Dan Urmann, architect of Solarhome.org, a Web platform for the solar industry, has announced that inquiries from every state were up since Congress passed the landmark RES bill, according to a recent press release.
"Never before have I seen such enthusiasm from the average citizen. The fervor being demonstrated by the public toward renewable energy represents a paradigm shift and the clear beginning toward a long term trend toward solar energy," comments Urmann. "Usually Earth Day is one of our biggest days of the year, but since Obama's campaign to electrify renewable, we have seen a marked and sustained increase in interest.” In the discussion, Urmann theorized that there is a large amount of pent up demand for solar, in particular. But now due to the shorter payback times being achieved and the greater environmental awareness, as well as a cheapening of solar kits, the industry is gaining new traction with new types of solar energy consumer entering the marketplace. Historically, kit sales and questions were primarily related to either wealthier environmentalists who were less cost-conscious or do-it-yourselfers who were off the grid and solar was their only solution for energy.
For the last several years, Japan and Germany have been the world's leading consumers of the world’s solar panels largely due to policies set in place per the Kyoto agreement and the government initiatives that followed. "Given the new direction of the energy plan for America, I can easily the U.S. being the largest consumer of panels given the size of the country and average household incomes and the suitability of many states and cities toward going solar. If federal tax incentives bring the payback period back to about five years, who would not want to make the initial investment up front especially when financing is available and for a technology that will eliminate solar bills for the next 30 years."
Urmann continues, "Normally we see an increase on traffic and inquiries on a state level when states pass more aggressive rebate initiatives. For the first time since the launch of this site, we are seeing demand on a national level. Last Monday the number of inquiries on a nationwide basis were up 268% over the same time the previous month."
When asked if Dan thought this was a passing phase or a trend, he remarked, "I think there is a lot of new entrants to the space and it is not a bump. Being a member of the trade, I have spoken with CEOs of competitors’ sites and they have had similar results."
"Solar is in a major growth mode and people are looking for products, education, and information. The goal for our site is to serve as the online destination point for the industry. I feel the business is definitely at an inflection point as the industry catapults into the mainstream."
Solar interest heating up in America (7/8)
July 8, 2009