Wednesday, November 23, 2011

America Should be Leading the Way in Renewable Energy Development

Bill Gallagher, president of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, responded to the recent Daytona News-Journal's article, "Proceed Carefully on Solar Energy Policy," with a letter to the editor explaining that solar energy makes fiscal sense for Americans.

As appeared in the Daytona News-Journal "Opinions" section November 21, 2011:

Reading Thursday's News-Journal article, "Proceed carefully on solar energy policy," I could not help thinking about the plight of the blacksmith 110 years ago, when the automobile was threatening to replace the horse and buggy. It is easy to envision statements such as, "That new contraption is noisy, it belches smoke, it is too expensive, and it will never amount to anything!" Fortunately, this short-sighted thinking did not deter the development of the automobile, the aircraft or the space shuttle.

As the rest of the world turns to renewable resources as a means of producing clean power, energy security, and a permanent hedge against ever-increasing utility costs, political affiliations continue to divide and effectively paralyze our nation and state from adopting common-sense energy policies.

There is little doubt that some folks, for political reasons, would like to see solar development postponed or eliminated. The recent loan-guarantee debacle has provided fodder for them, and they will continue to attempt to discredit solar utilization using phrases such as "too expensive, too soon, needs more development, hold off, proceed carefully." In the meantime, other nations are moving forward with renewable energy deployment, undeterred by attempts to derail their goal to provide clean, reliable energy for their citizens.

The fact is that the vast majority of Floridians and Americans support the use of solar energy as a cost-effective, viable alternative to conventional energy sources. They are confused by the messages being sent that are contrary to their notion of "common sense."

When they hear "too expensive," they ask "compared to what?" Continuing to purchase electricity to heat water?

Let's make a comparison: A typical solar water-heating system in Florida can be installed for $4,000-$6,000, depending on the size of the family, offset 20-25 percent of a homeowner's utility costs, and pay for itself through energy savings in as little as five years. This means that for every four or five homeowners who install a solar hot-water system, the cost of powering one home is effectively removed from the utility grid. Encouraging Floridians to invest in solar for their homes and businesses reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, saves utility dollars, and creates jobs that are crucial to Florida's economic recovery.

America should be leading the way in renewable energy development and deployment. We have the ingenuity, the determination and the work force to make this happen. It is time to put political persuasions aside and do what is best for our community, our state and our nation.

--Bill Gallagher, Holly Hill

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eneref's Solar Heating Article Focuses on Commercial Building Market

Commercial Building Products magazine, the leading US publication targeting owners, architects and engineers of low-rise buildings, featured an article by Eneref Institute intended to demonstrate the immense benefits of solar heating and cooling. The story was developed in conjunction with numerous solar thermal manufacturers and industry associations.

The story was printed in Commercial Building Products annual “Green Issue” in conjunction with the GreenBuild tradeshow. For a printed copy of the magazine contact the publication. Or download the article from

To download a pdf from


To view the story on line from Commercial Building Products

About Eneref Institute:

Eneref Institute is a research and advocacy organization, whose Solar Thermal Advantage initiative is designed to encourage the adaption of solar heating and cooling in commercial and residential facilities.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Opportunity to Support Solar Industry and Squash Media Misinformation

From SEIA:

With national media still focused on solar issues, I wanted to share with you a few recent opinion pieces that help counter some of the misinformed articles that we’ve seen recently, including this skewed New York Times piece from this past weekend.

First, in the Columbus Dispatch, State Representative Peter Beck argues that Ohio is receiving a strong return on investment today solar power.

SEIA also placed op-eds this week in two outlets that have been traditionally lukewarm on solar. The first appears in the conservative online news portal, The Daily Caller. And in today’s Investor’s Business Daily, I argue that federal support for solar is not an anomaly - all energy industries have historically received federal policy support to power our economy.

It is important that we continue to push back on press pieces that are misinformed about solar. If you see a story that needs correction or context, feel free to use SEIA’s talking points on the industry’s real story. Keep the conversation civil and fact-based, but push back aggressively to show our industry will not let myths about solar go unchallenged.

I also have a quick request that will help extend the 1603 Treasury Program. Take ten seconds and add your company’s name to this letter. We will present the letter to Congress to show that allowing this program to expire will harm businesses across America. Real jobs are at stake – 37,000 next year alone hang in the balance according to EuPD Research. Please fill out the form at the end of the letter and we'll take it from there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Radio Interview with UMA Solar Director of Marketing Tod Ellington

UMA Solar Director of Marketing Tod Ellington was recently interviewed by Bill Gallagher on the Solar-Fit Renewable Energy Show. Follow the link to learn a little more about Tod and hear his thoughts on UMA Solar and the solar industry.