What are we doing to help people learn about solar energy?

National polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans support the greater use of solar energy, but there remain misperceptions both about the technology and the economics. Examples include: solar is too expensive; it is an immature and inefficient technology; it will cause problems with the electricity grid; that the electricity produced isn't valuable without storage; and it only works well in the desert. None of these misconceptions are true but unfortunately they persist due to a lack of education and awareness.

Solar energy is affordable. Most panels have warranties for twenty or more years and many owners of solar systems can offset 100% of their electricity use. Some people say that solar energy causes problems to the electric grid, but in fact many utilities are adding solar to their generation portfolio because of the peak power and other benefits. Finally, solar is already producing wealth and clean power in all fifty United States. It’s also worth noting that the biggest solar market in recent years has been Germany, which gets roughly the same amount of annual sunlight as the state of Alaska. Solar electric and solar thermal technologies are economically and technologically viable across America and we at the Solar Foundation are working every day to get the word out.

We're very excited about our work supporting the DOE SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, which helps local governments and citizens work together to create solar-friendly communities. We're working on a program we call SolarSmart Challenge, designed to improve student interest and performance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas, and serve as the sponosr for the Brian D Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund. If you're an activist who wants to fight the good solar fight, you'll want to look into our SOLARdarity page. Finally, if you really love getting into the details of local solar policy, markets and technology, you can check out our archived webinar series.

Click any of the links below to learn how we're working to show Americans the benefits of solar energy.