Despite the recent increase in the use of solar energy, a major challenge in the industry remains to be education, or lack thereof. In most cases, people are either unfamiliar with how the solar industry works or intimidated by its seemingly complex nature. For the industry to experience further growth, contractors must educate homeowners and businesses about why going solar makes sense and the technology works. Here are some additional resources that provide reliable information about the ins and outs of the solar industry for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike.
By: Emily Wild, SPW Contributor
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is a national trade association in the United States consisting of members that research, manufacture, distribute, finance and build solar projects internationally. The association prides itself on representing the entire solar industry from installers to engineers. Its website provides valuable information concerning issues and policies in solar, as well as current press releases from the solar industry. SEIA contains up-to-date analysis of the solar market through research reports and fact sheets that are used globally to assist government agencies and consultants in making informed decisions about solar. The site also hosts interactive features meant to involve people in advocating for the benefits of using solar.
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit association that stands to help utilities integrate solar energy into their portfolios. The company emphasizes the importance of collaboration between solar companies and their customers and stresses the value of continual technological advancement for solar energy to reach maximum potential. SEPA’s website includes a comprehensive schedule of upcoming events in the solar industry, such as conferences, webinars and workshops. By promoting these events, SEPA aims to provide industry members with opportunities to better understand the technical and market issues related to solar energy. The website has a resource section that provides information about engaging with solar that is geared toward various groups from private companies to interested parties. One of the most unique components of the source is the utility solar blog that features recent articles from reputable authors and a section for public contribution.
The Energy Department of the United States aims to overcome the environmental, nuclear and energy challenges of the country through the use of transformative sciences and technology. Their website provides a detailed overview of the nation’s energy priorities, including the country’s energy sources, environmental protection and nuclear safety. There are areas of the website specifically geared toward both consumers and businesses. A notable component of the website is the section dedicated to energy innovation. Not only does it feature the most recent advances in the solar industry, but it offers specific examples of what the solar industry could include in the near future. To involve the public in creating a more energy efficient country, the website offers advice on conserving energy within people’s everyday lives.
Solar Energy International (SEI) is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to providing technical training in renewable energy to improve people’s quality of life and promote sustainable development throughout the world. The company offers interactive online workshops and courses for anyone in the general public who is interested in using solar energy. The website has information about their international projects, including in-depth analyses of the programs and long term goals for each one. There is also a link to the digital version of SEI’s print magazine, an editorial that contains overviews of international projects and tips for at-home uses of solar energy.
SolarReviews is an online source with an objective to promote reputable solar installers to consumers in the most efficient way possible. SolarReviews believes that if consumers can be adequately informed of the performance of certain solar installers, it will lead to more positive experiences with solar, resulting in a universal increase in the use of solar energy. For consumers who are relatively unfamiliar with the world of renewable energy sources, the website presents the basics of solar in straightforward diagrams along with comprehensible explanations. For those who are more knowledgeable about the industry, there is a page of significant current events in solar. To simplify the process for consumers, the source allows people to search for installers according to the specific service they need and within their area of residence. The search results are then presented by means of company name or highest rated installer.
Geostellar offers a user friendly source meant to inform potential consumers about the advantages and efficiency of going solar. The website is mainly geared toward those who may be on the fence about converting to solar energy. To positively influence their decision, the website contains a “curious” page where potential consumers can read inspirational stories about solar energy and learn about all of the benefits involved. Consumers can also receive a free quote on a solar installation, including a projection of how much they will save in their future without electric bills. To further sway people’s opinions, Geostellar promises a 90 day installation, a $1 million guarantee, and lifetime maintenance for its consumers. By breaking the process down into the 4 simple steps of estimate, design, install, and generate, Geostellar aims to promote the use of solar in an encouraging manner.