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Trade,Tech & Environment

The solar industry develops cutting-edge technology and is part of a fast-growing global marketplace. The global trade and environmental impacts of these technologies are a key element of growth and a major focus at SEIA.

More than 70 million Metric tons of CO2 reduced annually by U.S. solar
Solar Energy Overview

Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. The U.S. solar market is growing rapidly as the industry scales up new innovative technologies and drives down manufacturing and installation costs. There are several ways to harness solar energy: photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling, concentrating solar power, and passive solar.

Solar Technologies

There are three primary technologies by which solar energy is commonly harnessed: photovoltaics (PV), which directly convert light to electricity; concentrating solar power (CSP), which uses heat from the sun (thermal energy) to drive utility-scale, electric turbines; and heating and cooling systems, which collect thermal energy to provide hot water and air conditioning.

Photovoltaic (Solar Electric)
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Solar Heating & Cooling
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Concentrating Solar Power
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Quality Assurance for PV System Installation
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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics
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Solar + Storage

Storage is playing a revolutionary role in the further advancement of solar. States with higher storage penetrations will lead an unmistakable trend in the solar industry.

The Solar + Storage Opportunity

Energy storage is beginning to play a larger role in the U.S. solar industry and energy markets as a whole. Federal, state and local policy makers are making decisions now that will dictate to what extent storage can and will be used. The U.S. energy storage industry comprises hundreds of companies and thousands of American workers that manufacture, distribute and install residential, commercial and utility-scale energy storage systems across the country.

International Trade

SEIA supports fair and free trade of solar equipment to grow the American solar industry, which is strengthening our national security and driving local and national economic growth.

SEIA's Work on Trade

As a trade association that represents 1,000 member companies across the entire solar supply chain, SEIA seeks to promote and protect the interests of the 9,000 U.S. companies engaged in the solar industry and the more than 250,000 American workers they employ.

Environment

Solar technologies offer a number of environmental benefits, such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and waste over fuel-based energy sources. Climate change, sustainability and recycling are all concerns of the solar industry, which is taking steps to address environmental and social issues in the lifecycle of solar products.

Climate Change

Solar energy plays an important role in transitioning the U.S. to a low-carbon, sustainable future. Solar energy technologies can provide innovative, cost-effective solutions to reduce emissions in a number of sectors of the economy.

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PV Recycling

Most solar technologies produce useful energy for decades. However, as the volume of solar installations in the U.S. grows, the industry is planning ahead to ensure that panels are responsibly recycled once they reach the end of their useful life.

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