TV oil tycoon joins Solarworld in solar wake-up call

“We can’t expect the government to pull a genie out of a bottle to ease Americans’ addictions to fossil fuels," he said. "We need to take the lead in building a solar America.”

Appearing at Solarworld’s invitation before the trade show in San Francisco, the U.S., Mr. Hagman outlined the fallout from the nation’s over-dependence on fossil fuels. He said the nation has suffered oil-related price shocks, military conflicts and environmental disasters, including the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico spill. Moreover, he added that its dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil has steadily grown, and much of its manufacturing employment has shifted overseas.

He went on to invite consumers to embrace the U.S.-original energy alternative of high-performance solar panels made from scratch by Americans, according to environmental, labor and quality standards. "Well-made American solar – applicable from California to Maine, wherever energy is consumed – affordably hedges against rising electricity rates and price shocks. Its domestic production provides new, sustainable missions for jobless workers, including soldiers returning from two Mideast conflicts to a recessionary U.S. economy," said Solarworld in a statement.

Mr. Hagman also unveiled a TV ad as part of a “Shine, baby, shine!” campaign, which includes references to J.R. Ewing’s oil business and Mr. Hagman’s experience with solar: he believes he owns the largest U.S. residential solar system.

Additionally, he acted as a board member of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) in accepting Solarworld’s donation of 100 kilowatts of industry-leading panels to power at least five health clinics in Haiti, following the country’s devastating earthquake.