At his keynote speech at Solar Power International in Florida this year, former President Bill Clinton put forward a proposal to energize the solar PV industry: “Americans need to know more than they now know”.
In a transcript released by Edgar Gunther, Clinton enthused: “I am preaching to the saved here, I know that. So the real question is, what about everybody who is not in this room?”
He continued, “Most Americans do not know 100,000 people work in this sector of the economy. Most Americans would be surprised to know that more people work in this sector of the economy than work in the coal industry for example.
“Most Americans would be shocked to know that even in the depths of the recession this sector was growing more than 8%, more than twice the average of even the growth sectors. And that the pay on average is greater.”
The former President denounced the unfounded anger towards Solyndra, stating the bailout was nothing compared to what traditional energy companies are in receipt of.
“In fact there are still US$22 in subsidies for coal, oil and nuclear for every dollar that’s invested in public funding for a clean energy future.”
Clinton praised the efforts made in Florida. He said: “Florida has done a really great job I think in the Florida utility in promoting solar power but you still almost never see any PV cells on the top of these buildings. If we solarized every building in this state and built some concentrated units here we could just shut down the rest of the country.”
He drew his address to a close with an emphatic: “You represent the future and I still think if we sell this as keeping America at the head of the future business, you will prevail.”