SolarDay 2011 is today

June 18, 2011 is SolarDay in the US, Canada, and the UK. In its 3rd year, SolarDay was created to raise consumer awareness about the local and global benefits of solar photovoltaics and solar power.

June 18, 2011 is SolarDay in the US, Canada, and the UK (the Southern Hemisphere celebrates in November). In its 3rd year, SolarDay was created to raise consumer awareness about the local and global benefits of solar photovoltaics and solar power.

Solar is one of the few bright lights in today’s economy, said John Reed, the day’s creator. While utility-scale solar is gaining momentum, commercial and residential solar installations are a big part of the industry. SolarDay is a way to educate consumers about all of the federal, state, and other policies, from zoning to rebates, and what their options are. Check out the events here: http://www.solarday.com/events.

Some consumers want solar power because they support clean energy; some are able to save money by harnessing solar energy; others see it as an issue of national energy security and abating our dependence on foreign oil. Japan’s post-earthquake nuclear disaster has motivated more people to seek safer energy, Reed adds. Solar is a universal product: it fits in urban and rural settings, in large and small installations.

SolarDay is modeled on the Earth Day concept, attracting cities and nonprofits, and encouraging companies to sponsor activities. This year, prominent supports include US Senator Dianne Feinstein, CA.

It is global in nature as well. EarthDay has partners in Australia, and works with Light in the Night and Solar Villages to bring small solar installations to villages around the world that do not have electricity. “About 1.8 billion people in the world live without electricity,” said Reed. “To bring them a solar installation on a micro-loan opens up opportunities for commerce and better quality of life.” Solar installations bring progress without the destructive effects of other kinds of power.

This year, SolarDay’s website will be updated continuously to keep consumers informed beyond the event. We’re currently in solar’s “window of opportunity,” said Reed, and the SolarDay organizers want to capture it and spread the word. Check out the site here: http://www.solarday.com/

What’s in the future? More countries, and more companies, involved. The politics and technologies for solar cells change constantly, and global awareness is critical for the market, concludes Reed.

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