Quick StatsOfficial Name: Solar Energy Industries Association
Year Founded: 1974
Chief Executive: Rhone Resch
Headquarters: Washington, DC, USA
Mission: To build a strong solar industry to power America.
Language Spoken: English
# Countries Active: USA
Official Website: http://www.seia.org
Phone: (202) 682-0556
Areas of Focus: Conservation, Energy, Sustainable Development
Organisation Type: Association
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Solar Energy Industries Association
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. SEIA is a 501 c (6) non-profit association. A separate 501 c(3) called The Solar Foundation oversees policy-driven research and develops education outreach programs to promote positive policy and further deployment of solar energy in the U.S.
SEIA and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) have joined together to put on two of the solar industry’s most important conferences and expos – Solar Power International (SPI) and PV America (PVA).
The SEIA Siting Workshop educates solar project developers and financiers on best practices for the siting and permitting of utility-scale solar power projects. The workshop provides government officials with an introduction to solar power technologies and the siting issues facing developers today, as well as explores new and emerging policy areas. The workshop also gives attendees a chance to network with others at the forefront of this growing industry and exchange lessons learned.
Since 1974, the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and its members have worked to promote, develop and implement the use of solar energy in the United States.
On January 24, 1974, a group of five industry members met in the noisy basement of the Washington Hilton to discuss the possibility of establishing an association for the solar industry. They agreed to create "a broad-based trade association supporting prompt, orderly, widespread and open growth of solar energy resources now." This was the beginning of SEIA's more than three decades of solar energy advocacy.
SEIA faced a host of formidable challenges early on, chief among them, building a profitable solar energy industry. Sheldon Butt, SEIA's first president, was famously quoted as saying "shouldn't we have an industry before we can have an industry association?" But SEIA had emerged just as the effects of the first oil embargo were becoming painfully clear. SEIA would play a central role in integrating solar energy into the energy saving policies of the Carter Administration.
In the 1980s the solar industry faced one of its biggest challenges when President Reagan signed a tax bill that severely cut federal research funding and residential tax credits. Despite the political climate, SEIA, through its strength in numbers, was able to promote ongoing research and development funding, which kept solar energy a priority for the Department of Energy.
SEIA has grown tremendously from its early days. By the 1990s, SEIA had built the association to encompass 150 national members. Today, SEIA represents 1,000 companies from across the solar supply-chain, encompassing members from all technology and market segments. Today, SEIA represents installers, project developers, manufacturers, contractors, financiers, law firms, non-profits and more. Through the work of SEIA and its members, the solar industry has become the fastest growing industry in America. The future of SEIA and the solar energy industry in America looks as bright as ever!
Focus of Activities
SEIA is working on to help meet the solar industry's goal of installing enough solar to power 2 million American homes each and every year by 2015:
* Advocating for market-based policy at the federal level
* Providing the most comprehensive solar market research including the quarterly Solar Market Insight report
* Offering SEIA members a wide range of benefits not available anywhere else in the solar industry
* Bringing together industry professionals to the best B2B solar events in North America, including Solar Power International and the regionally focused PV America
* Helping the SEIA members participate in the political process through the SEIA PAC
* Assisting members of the media with any solar-related information relevant to their stories