WASHINGTON, DC — The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the following statement from president and CEO Rhone Resch in reaction to President Barack Obama’s re-election for a second term:
“SEIA congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election. President Obama has been a tremendous supporter of solar energy and we look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration over the next four years.
“To date, the Obama Administration has created and supported pro-solar policies that have been vital to the success of the industry. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009.
“Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by 400 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 5,700 megawatts today. The Administration enacted a policy allowing solar installations for the first time on public lands and set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of 2012, which has been a great driver of this growth. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households, and 2012 will be another year of record growth for our industry.
“Policy certainty is crucial to continue the growing role of solar in America’s energy mix. Stable policy frameworks at the federal and state level, including maintaining and expanding commitments to renewable energy initiatives, spur and leverage private sector investments in the solar industry to meet our nation’s future energy needs.
“As we recover from the recession, America needs plentiful and diverse energy resources, including solar, to power our economy. Solar is clean, reliable, and more affordable than ever. Since the beginning of 2011, the average cost of solar panels has dropped more than 50 percent and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by more than a third, thanks to innovation, entrepreneurship, and strong federal and state policies leveraging private investment.
“More than nine out of 10 voters want the U.S. to develop and use more solar power, and the president understands the importance of solar to the American people. The solar industry looks forward to continuing our productive working relationship with the Obama Administration, the incoming 113th Congress, and state legislatures throughout the country to create smart policies that help power our homes and businesses with domestic energy and create jobs across America.”