Standing Ovation at the Opening Ceremony
California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. was met with a standing ovation as he delivered the keynote remarks at Intersolar North America’s Opening Ceremony. Throughout his speech the governor emphasized how far the solar industry has come, and also how far the industry still needs to go. The governor drew upon California’s history of innovation, a place where people traveled from across the world to mine for gold. The Governor stated that there is a real mining of the imagination even more powerful than the mining of the Sierras for gold. He said, “We have to invent not just gadgets, but keep our eye on the big goal. The big goal is to build a more equitable and just society… and that’s why solar is so important.”
Following the Governor’s remarks, San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin M. Lee took the stage. He urged the audience to continue building the solar industry in San Francisco. Mayor Lee highlighted notable achievements accomplished under his leadership. Since 2008, more than 3,000 homes have installed solar through San Francisco’s go solar program. Just a few months ago, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall installed a solar power system, becoming the first major symphony nationwide to do so. New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker similarly championed local policies that have grown the solar energy industry significantly in New York. He animatedly talked about how Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for policy makers in New York and discussed the authorization of 3,000 MW of solar projects through 2023 via the NY-SUN program.
Franz Untersteller, minister of the environment, climate protection and the energy sector, Germany, discussed the major policy incentives implemented in Germany that have played a key role boosting the solar industry. He optimistically discussed the future, proudly talking about the strength of PV technology. Finally, CALSEIA’s executive director Bernadette Del Chiaro concluded the session with a discussion of California’s solar policies and an inspirational call to action, asking the audience to help quadruple the solar industry in the next six years.