November 3rd, 2010
Shelby Ruff, Regional Director of Business Development, Solar Community, San Antonio is among more than 50 Texas business and government leaders speaking at Texas Renewables 2010, Texas’ premier business-to-business meeting for anyone in or wanting to be in the Texas renewable energy industry. The conference takes place November 7-10 in San Antonio and is organized by Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) and hosted by CPS Energy.
Like all the Texas renewable energy industry sectors, solar is definitely feeling bullish about the future of renewable energy in Texas. Ruff noted, “Solar Power in San Antonio is on the path to help put Texas on the National Map. With CPS Energy offering great rebate incentives, Solar San Antonio working with the community to get the word out and advocate for renewable energy, and San Antonio Credit Union offering solar loans, San Antonio could be one of the top solar markets in the country.”
Recently the Solar Foundation released a study of solar industry jobs titled National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce reporting that the U.S. solar industry employs an estimated 93,000 workers. They also concluded that over the next 12 months, over 50% of solar firms expect to add jobs, while only 2% expect to cut workers. While Texas ranks high for existing solar related jobs, without a supportive statewide program for development, it has just a fraction of those seen in California.
Solar San Antonio recently tested their solar initiative program, the Bring Solar Home campaign. Lanny Sinkin, executive director, reported, “In the 6 weeks of the initiative, we received more than 450 applications from homeowners asking our assistance in going solar. This response far exceeded our expectations and demonstrated to us that there is a huge pent-up demand for solar in San Antonio.” Sinkin will discuss the campaign in the “Removing the Up-Front Cost Barrier to Solar” workshop, one of three renewable energy workshops starting at 1:00 pm on Sunday, November 7 as part of the Texas Renewables 2010 conference.
Russel Smith, executive director, TREIA and co-organizer of Texas Renewables 2010 noted, “Since the last legislative session, Texas has moved from a tiny blip on the worldwide solar industry’s radar screen of business development potential to a flashing signal that can’t be ignored. If the Texas Legislature passes a solar incentive program, a significant non-wind portfolio standard, or both, we will see Texas move quickly into the top tier of states for solar development.
Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) www.treia.org is the oldest renewable energy non-profit trade organization in Texas whose work promoting development of renewable resources and their wise use has spanned a quarter of a century.