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?”
Several renewable energy leaders have voiced their approval over the re-election of President Barack Obama and renewable energy advocates who won races in the House.
With President Barack Obama now elected to a second term, will the U.S. solar market continue its pace of expansion? Although the solar sector's membership comprises voters with diverse political views, most industry leaders characterize the Obama win as a positive for the continued development of solar projects large and small.
The best billboard for solar power is a solar panel. People are captivated and inspired by solar panels quietly at work producing clean energy. Last month, Americans saw tens of thousands of these billboards through almost 600 American Solar Energy Society (ASES) tours of homes, municipal buildings and businesses in 38 states, each demonstrating the use of clean, affordable solar power.
"If private investors say no to you, and green investors like the people at Google or Al Gore say no to you, and you only have Uncle Sam to turn to, what does that tell you about your project?" said Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute libertarian think tank.
The U.S. solar energy industry added jobs at about 5.74 times the rate of the rest of the economy in the 12 months ended in September, according to a report from the Solar Foundation.