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Entries in SEIA (171)

Saturday
Apr042015

SEIA Hails Energy Department Initiative to Train Solar Workers 

WASHINGTON, DC - In a decision that’s certain to help to speed up America’s transition to a clean energy future, President Obama announced today that the Department of Energy (DOE) will launch a new initiative to train 75,000 Americans – including military veterans – to enter the solar workforce by 2020. The President made the announcement at Hill Air Force Base in Utah as part of a roundtable discussion on clean energy technology and workforce training with Sen. Orin Hatch, Congressman Rob Bishop and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

“This new initiative will provide a big boost to the U.S. economy, while also helping to maintain solar energy’s explosive jobs growth,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “With stable public policies in place, we will not only meet the President’s goal of adding 75,000 new solar jobs in America by 2020, but we will blow past it. Today, the solar industry already employs 174,000 workers nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy. This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both our economy and environment.”

According to The Solar Foundation’s 2014 National Jobs Census, the solar industry in America is becoming increasingly diverse, with minorities, women and veterans representing a growing percentage of the workforce. Over the past five years alone, the industry has added more than 80,000 new employees – an increase of 86 percent.

Also, as part of today’s announcement, the White House will work to make G.I. Bill funding available to support solar workforce training. Dating back to 1944, the G.I. Bill has been widely hailed by historians as one of America’s most successful economic and political programs.

“With approximately 200,000 U.S. servicemen and women leaving the military each year, much more needs to be done to help them find civilian jobs and meaningful workforce training,” Resch said.  “As an industry, we are uniquely positioned to help. Record-breaking growth in solar energy installations nationwide requires a growing and skilled solar workforce. We applaud the President and his administration for undertaking this new initiative, and we’re prepared, and excited, to do our part to help. We look forward to more and more of our military veterans becoming solar veterans, too.”

The White House’s new workforce training initiative closely tracks U.S. public opinion. A new Gallup Poll shows that 91 percent of Americans want to see more emphasis, or the same emphasis as today, on producing solar energy. Compared to oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and other renewables, solar was the only energy source to show an increase in public favorability when compared to results of a similar nationwide poll taken by Gallup in 2013. 

Today, there are 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity in the U.S. – enough to power more than 4 million homes – with another 20 GW projected to come online by the end of 2016. What’s spurring this rapid growth? For one thing, solar energy is now more affordable than ever. According to SEIA/GTM Research, national blended average system prices have dropped 53 percent since 2010. 

Resch said the industry is also helping to fight climate change. Last year, solar helped to offset 22.3 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, the equivalent of removing 4.7 million cars off America’s highways and roads, or not burning 2.5 billion gallons of gasoline.

“Every 2.5 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight climate change by flipping the switch on another completed solar project,” Resch added. “We’re proud that solar accounted for one-third of all new electric generation capacity last year in the United States. And, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential.”


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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.
Friday
Apr032015

SEIA - Vermont Posts Significant Gains in Solar Capacity in 2014 

Vermont Posts Significant Gains in Solar Capacity in 2014

April 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC - Showing strong growth in all market sectors, Vermont more than doubled its amount of installed solar capacity in 2014, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review.  What’s more, Vermont was one of only four states nationwide to have 100 percent of its new electrical capacity come from solar energy.

In 2014, Vermont added 38 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 70 MW.  That’s enough clean, affordable energy to power nearly 7,500 homes. The report went on to point out that Vermont’s biggest solar gains came in utility-scale installations, but commercial and residential installations showed strong increases, as well. Of the new capacity added, 27 MW were utility scale, 6 MW were residential and 4 MW were commercial. Together, these installations represented a $76 million investment across Vermont – a 63 percent increase over the year before.

“Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont’s legislative leaders should be applauded for their ongoing commitment to the state’s clean energy future,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “As evidenced by this report, their efforts are paying big dividends for the state’s economy and environment. During Gov. Shumlin’s administration, solar prices in Vermont have dropped by more than 60 percent, while his latest plan, an ambitious Energy Innovation Program, is likely to serve as a model for other states to follow.  We congratulate Gov. Shumlin for laying out an agenda for a clean energy economy which focuses on jobs, affordability, renewable energy and quality of life for all Vermonters.”

Today, there are more than 70 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Vermont, employing 1,000 people. Notable Vermont solar projects include:

  • PSEG Essex Solar Energy Center was completed in 2014 by developer Juwi Solar Inc. This photovoltaic (PV) project has the capacity to generate 3.9 MW of electricity-- enough to power more than 700 Vermont homes.
  • At 3 MW, SunGen1 in Sharon is among the largest solar installations in Vermont. Completed by Talmage Solar Engineering, this PV project has enough electric capacity to power more than 500 homes.

In addition to a growing commercial sector, the Vermont residential market also showed gains last year, with installed system prices dropping by 8 percent – and down a total of 49 percent since 2010. Nationwide, the U.S. residential market added 1.2 GW of installed capacity in 2014, marking the first time that this growing sector surpassed 1 GW of clean, affordable solar.  Residential also continues to be the fastest-growing market segment in the U.S., with 2014 marking three consecutive years of greater than 50 percent annual growth.

“Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy,” Resch added. “This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. and Vermont economies, as well as for our environment.”


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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.
Tuesday
Mar102015

SEIA - U.S. Installs 6.2 GW of Solar PV in 2014, Up 30% Over 2013 

BOSTON, MA and WASHINGTON, DC - Applauding a record-breaking year, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review  report, the definitive source of installation data, forecasting and policy analysis for the U.S. solar market. Newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for year reached a record 6,201 megawatts[i] (MW), growing 30 percent over 2013’s total. An additional 767 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came on-line in the same period.

Solar accounted for 32 percent of the nation’s new generating capacity in 2014, beating out both wind energy and coal for the second year in a row. Only natural gas constituted a greater share of new generating capacity.

In 2014, for the first time in history, each of the three major U.S. market segments – utility, commercial and residential – installed more than a gigawatt (GW) of PV. 

The U.S. utility-scale segment broke the GW mark in 2011 and has since grown by nearly 1 GW annually.  In 2014, 3.9 GW of utility-scale PV projects came on-line with another 14 GW of projects currently under contract.

The commercial segment in the U.S. also first installed more than 1 GW in 2011 but has not shared the same success as the utility-scale segment. In 2014, the commercial segment installed just over 1 GW, down 6 percent from 2013. The report notes, “Many factors have contributed to this trend, ranging from tight economics to difficulty financing small commercial installations.” But GTM Research expects 2015 to be a bounce-back year for the commercial segment, highlighted by a resurgence in California.

The U.S. residential segment’s 1.2 GW in 2014 marks its first time surpassing 1 GW.. Residential continues to be the fastest-growing market segment in the U.S., with 2014 marking three consecutive years of greater than 50 percent annual growth.

“Without question, the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has helped to fuel our industry’s remarkable growth. Today the U.S. solar industry has more employees than tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter combined,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO.  “Since the ITC was passed in 2006, more than 150,000 solar jobs have been created in America, and $66 billion has been invested in solar installations nationwide.  We now have 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity – enough to power 4 million U.S. homes – and we’re helping to reduce harmful carbon emissions by 20 million metric tons a year.  By any measurement, the ITC has been a huge success for both our economy and environment.”

GTM Research forecasts the U.S. PV market to grow 31 percent in 2015. The utility segment is expected to account for 59 percent of the forecasted 8.1 GW of PV.

"Solar PV was a $13.4 billion market in the U.S. in 2014, up from just $3 billion in 2009," said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research. "And this growth should continue throughout 2015 thanks to falling solar costs, business model innovation, an attractive political and regulatory environment and increased availability of low-cost capital."

Additional key findings:

  • The U.S. installed 6,201 MW of solar PV in 2014, up 30 percent over 2013, making 2014 the largest year ever in terms of PV installations.
  • Solar provided roughly one third of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2014.
  • More than one third of all cumulative operating PV capacity in the U.S. came on-line in 2014.
  • By the end of 2014, 20 states eclipsed the 100 MW mark for cumulative operating solar PV installations, and California alone is home to 8.7 GW.
  • For the first time ever, more than half a gigawatt of residential solar installations came on line without any state incentive in 2014.
  • Growth remains driven primarily by the utility solar PV market, which installed 1.5 GW in Q4 2014, the largest quarterly total ever for any market segment. 
  • PV installations are forecast to reach 8.1 GW in 2015, up 59% over 2014.
  • 2014 was the largest year ever for concentrating solar power, with 767 MW brought on-line. Notable project completions include the 392 MW Ivanpah project. Genesis Solar project’s second phase of 125 MW and Abengoa’s Mojave Solar (250 MW), which achieved commercial operation in December 2014.
  • All solar projects completed in 2014 represent $17.8 billion in investment ($13.4 billion in PV and $4.4 billion in CSP).
  • As of the end of 2014, cumulative operating PV in the U.S. totaled 18.3 GW and cumulative operating CSP totaled 1.7 GW.

For more information, visit our website.


[i] Unless specified otherwise, all PV is reported in MW direct current (MWdc) based on array size and all CSP is reported in MW alternating current (MWac) based on power block size. For more information, see http://www.seia.org/policy/solar-technology/photovoltaic-solar-electric/whats-megawatt

 

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About U.S. Solar Market Insight

The U.S. Solar Market Insight report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market's current and forecasted trajectory. For more information, visit www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

About GTM Research:

GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research's analysis also underpins Greentech Media's webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, grid modernization, energy storage, energy efficiency and wind power sectors.

About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.

Thursday
Feb122015

SEIA - Solar Job Growth Benefitting Economy, Environment 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Saying it revealed “very encouraging trends,” Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), today applauded the findings of The Solar Foundation’s latest State Solar Job Census.

“Solar energy continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States,” Resch said. “The latest state-by-state breakdown of solar jobs nationwide not only shows impressive growth by our industry – but it also reveals some very encouraging trends. Big gains in employment are no longer limited to solar-friendly California and the sunny Southwest. Employment is also booming in East Coast states, including Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Maryland, while significantly growing in the southern states of Texas, Georgia and Florida.

“From coast to coast, solar is having a huge impact on both our economy and environment. Today, the solar industry employs nearly 175,000 Americans and pumps more than $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy – and we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential.”

According to SEIA/GTM Research, the U.S. has an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States – or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey – with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-16. In addition, innovative solar heating and cooling systems (SHC) are offering American consumers cost-efficient, effective options for meeting their energy needs, while lowering their utility bills.

From an environmental perspective, solar helped to offset an estimated 20 million metric tons of harmful CO2 emissions in 2014, which is the equivalent of taking four million cars off U.S. highways or saving 2.1 billion gallons of gasoline.

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About SEIA:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.

Thursday
Jan222015

SEIA Continues to Push for Negotiated Trade Solution

WASHINGTON, DC - As expected, the U.S. International Trade Commission today upheld the imposition of tariffs against Chinese and Taiwanese solar products, as part of a 2014 investigation into allegations of unfair trade practices.  After the decision was announced, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released the following statement:

“Today’s decision represents a clear setback for the U.S. solar industry. Yet despite punishing tariffs, and the market uncertainty they have created, our industry has been able to persevere so far in the face of needless and counter-productive litigation.  U.S. solar manufacturing and services jobs continue to grow, while solar prices continue to fall. 

“But consider how much better, and stronger, the U.S. solar industry would be doing without hundreds of millions of dollars in added tariff costs. In all likelihood, the industry would be well ahead of its goal of installing 10 gigawatts (GW) of new solar annually. We’d also see a robust and growing U.S. polysilicon industry, shipping billions of dollars in exports and benefitting our economy. Instead, we’re now faced with U.S. polysilicon plant closures and layoffs. And through it all, SolarWorld has gained little to nothing from its short-sighted litigation. 

“There is, however, a clear path forward – one which will help SolarWorld, restore U.S. polysilicon, and boost the U.S. solar industry overall. That path involves a negotiated solution, recognizing broader industry interests. We’re not talking about an unrealistic minimum price regime or unreasonable quotas – and certainly not a two-tiered minimum pricing scheme. Rather, it’s a solution which addresses U.S.-China competitiveness concerns, directly benefits U.S. solar cell and module manufacturers and allows the broader U.S. solar industry to reach its full potential. The SEIA settlement proposal, or U.S. solar manufacturing fund concept, represents that smart path forward. It’s time to turn the focus from litigation to negotiation. We remain convinced that a fair settlement is still possible.”

 

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About SEIA:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.