Solar sector advocates responded with enthusiasm to President Barack Obama's references to solar power during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
‘We are extremely pleased that the president of the United States acknowledged the strength of the American solar industry and that the White House highlighted our new jobs data showing that 143,000 Americans now work in the solar industry,’ says Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of The Solar Foundation (TSF), in a statement. ‘As our new 'National Solar Jobs Census 2013' report shows, the U.S. solar industry grew nearly 20% last year. The president is right to point to solar as a bright spot in our nation's economic recovery, and we are looking forward to a strong 2014 as well.’
TSF's recent report shows that jobs growth in the U.S. solar sector is running at 10 times the national average. Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), was also enthusiastic about the president's acknowledgment of the solar sector's contribution to job growth.
‘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,’ he says, in a statement. ‘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.’
SEIA has consistently responded warmly to Obama's nods to solar power, from installing solar panels at the White House to identifying solar as an important element of increasing U.S. renewable energy capacity.