Annual Solar Day continues to grow along with the U.S. solar industry. 

Photo: istockphotos

SolarDay 2010 - Saturday, June 19 - is a national day of recognition for solar energy, energy independence and protection of the planet.

The first annual SolarDay was held in 2009 with exactly one event - a tour hosted by the city of San Francisco using bio-diesel buses of solar hot water heating systems in the city. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in 2009 the solar industry added 441 megawatts of new, clean power to the U.S., pulled in 1.4 billion in new venture capital investments, provided 45,000 jobs and grew by 36% in annual revenue.

By the end of 2010, SEIA estimates the U.S. solar industry will surpass 60,000 jobs. Extending existing programs, including the Treasury Grant Program will add 200,000 new domestic jobs to the solar workforce and result in 10 gigawatts (GW) of new solar installations by 2016 - enough to power 2 million homes.

 Addison Huegel, Executive Director of SolarDay recently stated "As if the cost of electricity was not a good enough reason to adopt solar energy using the available rebates, there is the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf that reminds us yet again about our reliance on fossil fuels and the fragility of our ecosystem.

"More and more people are adopting greener lifestyles for both ethical and economic reasons. Solar is a major component to green lifestyles. Let's not forget that 50% of the electric energy produced in the U.S. is from burning coal. In China, 83% of the electricity is generated by burning coal.

 "Government support of solar on the state and Federal level has made solar affordable. People with solar installations for their homes and businesses can significantly reduce their monthly energy bills. And, there are many incentive and rebate programs that can reduce the cost of a solar installation by nearly half. Plus, new programs allow you to pay off your solar installation through your property taxes and other methods. Some solar companies will install a solar installation at no cost - and simply charge you for the electricity you consume - at a guaranteed rate with no surprises." says Huegel.

An additional goal of Solar Day is its mission to bring the 1, 600,000,000 people without electricity a sustainable way to have electricity with its SolarDay’s Light the Night and Solar Villages Programs.

SolarDay's Light the Night and Solar Villages programs are planned to grow into the use of very low-cost solar as a tool for beneficial changes in the developing nations who need electricity for the most basic of functions, including:

  • Providing electricity to pump clean water,
  • Providing electricity to process crops, enable telephone and internet communication, enable solar-generated, battery-powered lighting for adults and children in villages all over the world - from India to Indonesia, Africa to South America - to learn at night, conduct commerce and improve their lives.
  • Providing basic electricity and lighting to small villages currently without electricity and far from power lines for the most basic of needs which those of us in the developed countries take for granted.
  • Working with solar manufacturers and the solar trade organizations in the developed countries in partnership with the United Nations, non-profit organizations and NGO's to identify the areas of greatest need to implement these beneficial programs.