DOE Secretary, Senate Majority Leader Tout Solar's Benefits
Wednesday, Oct 22 2014
LAS VEGAS, NV – Calling solar "critical to the United States" when it comes to meeting its future carbon reduction goals, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today delivered the keynote address at Solar Power International (SPI), the largest solar trade show in America, co-sponsored by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
"Cost reduction, as we have seen dramatically in solar energy, is very much a part of shaping our clean energy future," Moniz said. "We've seen costs of modules decline by nearly 80 percent.
"Some of the world's largest companies are deploying solar on a massive scale – Apple, FedEx, GM, Google, Walmart and many more," he added. Moniz also pointed out that 85 percent of America's energy, with a big assist from renewable energy sources such as solar, is now homegrown.
In conclusion, Moniz said, "We are big on solar. The fundamental case is extremely strong, built on both technology and business model innovation, but we have to keep working together to grow solar in this country."
"With his broad knowledge of solar, and the benefits it provides to both our economy and environment, Sec. Moniz is uniquely positioned to help our industry continue its remarkable growth," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "He understands our many challenges and is working with his team and others in the White House to assist us in developing innovative, market-driven solutions. We applaud his commitment to America's clean energy future."
In earlier remarks at SPI's general session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said key public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) are paying huge dividends for the American economy.
"These incentives help to make solar more affordable to consumers and more attractive to investors. Letting these critically important incentives expire is not an option," he said.
Reid went on to point out the rapid growth of solar in his home state of Nevada. Today, there are 480 MW of solar energy installed in Nevada, ranking the state 6th in the nation in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 72,900 homes – or a city the size of the state capital of Carson City.
"Sen. Reid has worked tirelessly to advance the cause of clean energy in America – especially when it comes to solar," Resch continued. "Through his outstanding leadership and support of smart, effective public policies, solar continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in America, creating thousands of jobs, pumping billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and helping to protect the environment. This incredible growth will certainly be part of Sen. Reid's rich legacy."
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.