In mid-October, my Tigercomm colleague Mark Sokolove and I took Scaling Green’s Communicating Energy lecture series on the road to the Solar Power International 2011 (SPI) conference and trade show in Dallas, Texas. With so many articulate, knowledgeable, clean energy thought leaders and company representatives in attendance, the opportunity to interview several of these folks on the state of the solar industry today and its prospects for the future was tremendous. So, we took advantage of it, specifically by speaking with:
We plan to release lengthier videos of each of these people responding to a number of questions. For now, though, here’s a montage of them reacting to the great news out of The Solar Foundation’s (TSF) National Solar Jobs Census 2011. This census, as we discussed earlier on Scaling Green, had exciting information regarding the state of the solar industry in the United States. A few highlights included:
Not surprisingly, given these statistics, the solar industry executives that Mark Sokolove and I interviewed at the SPI conference were enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the industry. For instance, Rudy Wodrich pointed out that solar is “one segment of the economy that can truly bring back some jobs to the United States.” Janet Hughes noted that “there’s no question about it, there’s been huge job growth [in the solar industry].” Aaron Block pointed out that his company is “rapidly growing…we grew 70% in the last two years.” Kevin Smith added that solar is now a “similar size as steel production and coal mining.” Rex Gillespie reported that his company has “added several people over the past couple of years just to support the solar growth.” Tor Valenza pointed out that solar is “growing…despite the recession, despite hard times.” And, Philip Jordan, whose firm conducted the census for TSF, noted the methodology behind the study and that, “solar is growing about 10 faster than the overall economy and much faster than fossil fuel” (see video below). In sum, these are good times for solar power, times that are likely to get even better in coming years! Thank you to everyone that spoke with us and check back in for further coverage from these interviews.
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