In recognition of the first ever intercontinental flight by a solar-powered airplane – as well as its historic flight across the United States – the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) presented its 2013 Innovators-of-the-Year Award to Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, co-founders and co-pilots of Solar Impulse.
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Good afternoon everyone. Someone once said: “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”
Without question, Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are living proof of that. Today, we are here to congratulate these two great adventurers on making both solar and aviation history.
Let me begin this afternoon by thanking all of you – each and every one of you – for being part of this very special occasion.
Albany lawmakers are on the verge of passing solar legislation that promises to allow New Yorkers to lower their energy bills, deliver billions of dollars in economic investment, create thousands of new local job opportunities, modernize New York's aging power infrastructure, and ensure a reliable clean energy supply in the state for generations to come. There's strong bipartisan support for this bill, but precious little time remains on the state legislative calendar to enact the New York Solar Bill before lawmakers adjourn for the summer. So they must act fast.
A goal of mine in writing for Forbes.com on energy issues is to point out intriguing business models, trends, and new concepts that may change the way we think about energy-related issues. Lately, I’ve been focused on dramatic changes in solar models and economics. Things have really changed in a very short timeframe, as the following story illustrates.
David Crane, CEO and president, NRG Energy (NRG)
“With the cost of solar panels now just 10 percent of what they were five years ago, how do we streamline the local approval process and reduce the friction costs so that U.S. homeowners can realize the solar value of their property while paying less for their electricity?”
New solar panels will be installed at the University of Florida by the end of November, reducing the university’s energy costs and serving as a teaching tool for professors and students.
Blue & Green Tomorrow
Six UNESCO World Heritage sites including Qutb Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb have been earmarked to receive clean energy installations over the coming months.
More solar power generating activity is coming to Yuma County with the announcement that the permitting process has begun for a new solar photovoltaic facility — the Hyder II Solar Power Plant.
Its nickname is "Project Titan." The biggest solar park in Tennessee will be located in Chattanooga when the $30 million project comes on line next to the Volkswagen plant later this year.
Happily, over the years that I served as Arizona's attorney general, and as Phoenix mayor before that, I found that large majorities of voters support clean energy. The popular support for solar and wind was apparent across our state, from visits to every corner of Arizona and countless letters and e-mail messages. Our citizens spoke clearly: They wanted clean and affordable energy, and they also wanted to maintain the spectacular natural beauty that drew many to Arizona in the first place.