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Intersolar North America Launches With Zeal

California’s iconic Governor Jerry Brown opened the 7th annual Intersolar show in San Francisco on Monday afternoon, saying that the accomplishments of those in the industry have been “amazing” to date. But he also warned the standing-room-only audience that the path to sustainability “is daunting, its like a Mt. Everest to climb; we have a long way to go.”

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee confirmed the groundswell in solar: “Solar is one of the biggest disrupters today. We haven’t left those days of the gold rush...and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.” He noted that of the national solar labor force of 142,000, some 50,000 are based in California and 21,000 are in San Francisco. They support the 8.1 MW solar base in San Francisco, he noted.

New York State Senator from Brooklyn, Kevin Parker, also made a rallying cry for solar, mentioning his proposed bill that would increase renewable energy use in the state to 80 percent by 2050. “We need solar now. There has been idiotic debate around climate change,” he said.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, the executive director of CALSEIA, also celebrated the InterSolar show, having recently signed a five-year agreement to help promote the event. She noted that in March, California sourced 16.5 percent of its electricity from solar, not counting the 2 GW of residential rooftop energy in the state, which “might have pushed us to 25 percent,” on the peak day. She suggested that if it has taken the solar industry 60 years to accelerate from zero to 60 MPH, then “We should consider quadrupling that over the next six years.”

Lead image: Governor Jerry Brown speaking at Intersolar North America in San Franciso via Intersolar

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Charles W. Thurston is a journalist who specializes in renewable energy, from finance to technological processes. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years, living and working in locations ranging from Brazil to Papua New Guinea.

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