The US solar industry has welcomed the support of President Obama in Tuesday’s State of the Union (SOTU) address.
After praising the role of natural gas in his “all of the above” energy strategy, Obama gave a special mention to solar power.
“It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too,” he said.
“Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving US$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,” he added.
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), praised Obama for his role in developing the US sector.
“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 US 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,” said Resch.
“Today, we’re well on our way to doing that, with solar now the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, pumping tens of billions of dollars into the US economy. But despite this milestone, we believe the best is yet to come,” he added.
“Fresh off a record-breaking year, 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 which are making solar more affordable than ever. 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,” said Resch.
Earlier this week the Solar Foundation released the results of its jobs census that revealed employment in the sector had risen 19.9% in 2013 to 142,698.
The White House installed solar panels in August 2013 after former Energy Secretary Steven Chu first mentioned the tender process for the install in 2010.