SEIA praises Obama's solar support in SOTU address

Tuesday’s State of the Union (SOTU) address by Barack Obama has been praised by the SEIA for the U.S. president’s solid show of support for solar.

After proffering praise to the role natural gas has played in helping the U.S. economy bounce back strongly after recession, Obama reserved special mention for solar power, particularly the White House’s own efforts in helping PV proliferate more widely across the nation, as well as the industry’s role in local job creation.

"Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced," Obama boomed. "Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do," added the President, who also remarked confidently that the U.S. is now a global leader in solar power.

Having first installed solar panels atop the roof of the White House as far back as the ’70s (these 32 panels were removed by the Reagan administration a decade later), Obama decided to bring them back last year, installing between 20-50 on the roof.

Such tangible solar support from the U.S. government has been welcomed by SEIA president and CEO, Rhone Resch, who said: "From the rooftop of the White House to the floor of the People’s House, President Obama continues to show his strong, unwavering support for solar energy.

"On behalf of the 143,000 Americans who work in the U.S. solar industry – and the tens of millions of people who support it – the best way to thank the President for his leadership is to go out and prove him right," added Resch, who revealed that solar is now the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the U.S. – a claim backed-up by a recent report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"Fresh off a record-breaking year," Resch continued, "America’s solar energy industry is looking forward to another great year in 2014 – thanks, in part, to President Obama’s continued leadership and the smart public policies that are making solar more affordable than ever.

"With an estimated 13,000 MW of solar currently installed in the U.S., we’re generating enough clean, reliable electricity today to power more than two million American homes – or every single home in a state the size of Colorado. Like the President, we see 2014 as a year of action, a year of progress and a year in which more and more Americans turn to solar to save money, help meet their energy needs and improve our environment."