Why is our solar research important?
Right now, solar energy systems are generating useful electric and thermal energy in every state and country across the globe. Solar energy is clean, abundant and efficient. In the last few years, prices have decreased significantly and technology continues to improve. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Every day solar companies are creating jobs and the users of solar technology are making money every minute the sun is shining. So why aren’t there solar panels on every rooftop?
One of the main reasons more people don’t use solar is a lack of good information. There is also plenty of flat-out incorrect information about solar out there, and as a result many people believe that solar is too expensive or that the technology isn’t ready to provide a significant share of America’s energy needs. Despite this, we believe that millions of Americans are already seeing the facts and realizing full promise of solar energy.
Our research focuses on demonstrating the benefits of solar to both average citizens and key decision makers. In 2010, we published the award-winning National Solar Jobs Census 2010, which received widespread media coverage for establishing the first credible solar jobs baseline. Prior to that, we published two reports that were critical to efforts in extending the federal solar investment tax credits through 2016. This represented the first long-term tax credit for the solar industry, and has rapidly led to expanding markets, increased jobs and significantly lower costs for solar energy. TSF also supports the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Instructor Training Network (through IREC) by providing advanced solar labor market research and technical support. In October 2011, we published the National Solar Jobs Census 2011 report, which refines our Census 2010 methodology and numbers and provides for the first-time credible, baseline, conservative state numbers.
Finally, we have been contracted to research solar energy best practices in the U.S. and how they can be adopted by countries in Latin America. This research was published by the Inter-American Development Bank for the Fifth Americas Competitiveness Forum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.