The rise in the popularity of solar energy comes with the rise of the number of organizations and associations that aim to promote this form of renewable energy even further. As solar installers, it’s important for you to be aware of these organizations because they are the ones that will most likely provide you with news regarding the solar industry and organize solar conferences and trade shows.
In other words, solar organizations and associations will be your reliable source of information. They will be the ones to help you remain updated on what’s happening in the solar industry. And you already know that for solar installers, being well-informed is important if you want to succeed in this business.
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So, right now, you’re probably wondering. Which organizations and associations should you know about and possibly even become a member of? There are obviously a ton of them out there. To help you where to start, here are eleven suggestions of well-known and respected solar organizations.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
- Website: https://www.seia.org/
- Location: Washington, D.C., USA
- Found in: 1974
The Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA in short, is the national solar trade association in the United States. Its primary aim is to build a strong solar industry in America through advocacy. And true enough, throughout the years, SEIA has been constantly working to tirelessly promote, develop, and implement the use of solar energy in the country.
As of now, SEIA is working with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, and educate the public on the advantages of solar energy.
American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
- Website: https://acore.org/
- Location: Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
- Founded in: 2001
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a national nonprofit organization that aims to unite finance, policy, and technology to speed up the transition to a renewable energy economy. This organization achieves its goal by convening leaders across constituencies and facilitating partnerships. Aside from that, they also educate senior officials on important policies, publish research and analysis on pressing issues, and undertake strategic outreach on the policies and financial structures that are essential to renewable energy growth.
Solar Energy International (SEI)
- Website: https://www.solarenergy.org/
- Location: Paonia, Colorado, U.S.A.
- Founded in: 1991
Solar Energy International, or SEI, is a nonprofit educational organization. SEI’s primary mission is to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. Through their training program Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP), SEI offers hands-on workshops and online courses in solar PV, micro-hydro, and solar hot water. Additionally, they also work cooperatively with grassroots and development organizations in the Americas, Africa, Micronesia, and the Caribbean.
International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
- Website: https://www.ises.org/
- Location: Freiburg, Germany
- Founded in: 1954
The International Solar Energy Society (ISES) is a nonprofit UN-accredited membership NGO that was founded way back in 1954. Its primary goal is to become the trusted global advisor on renewable energy.
To achieve that goal, ISES informs and connects its diverse membership of researchers, academics, professionals, practitioners, businesses, decision-makers, and advocacies in more than a hundred countries. Then, aside from that, they also promote solar research and development, provides authoritative advice on renewable energy issues worldwide, advocates for a sustainable global solar industry, and promotes energy education for everyone at all levels.
Solar Powering America
- Website: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solarpoweringamerica/solar-powering-america
- Location: Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
- Founded in: 2013
Solar Powering America was formed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And these government agencies created Solar Powering America to coordinate their efforts to meet the goals in the President’s Climate Action Plan. These goals include doubling U.S. renewable energy deployment between 2012 and 2020 and installing 100 megawatts of solar on federally-assisted housing.
Solar Powering America aims to make it simple for communities, businesses, organizations, and state and local governments to both learn about and commit to choosing solar. Aside from that, it also serves as a central hub where organizations can make commitments and track the progress in deploying solar.
The Solar Foundation
- Website: https://www.thesolarfoundation.org/
- Location: Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
- Founded in: 1977, 2010 (relaunched)
The Solar Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that aims to advance the use of solar worldwide. They work to achieve that goal through their essential research products, educational outreach, and leadership.
Furthermore, they also publish the annual National Solar Jobs Census, which is the first and most authoritative benchmark for solar job research. The Solar Jobs Census counts the number of solar jobs all over the country and also provides comprehensive data on the U.S. solar workforce. On that same note, the organization also publishes the Solar Industry Diversity Study to provide in-depth data on diversity and inclusion in the solar workforce.
The Solar Foundation firmly believes that solar jobs are accessible for all. That is why they lead the Solar Training Network, which is a workforce development program that connects solar job seekers, training providers, and solar employers. This program aims to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the solar jobs market.
Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
- Website: https://sepapower.org/
- Location: Washinton, D.C., U.S.A.
- Founded in: 1992
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is a nonprofit organization that aims to make the world carbon-free by 2050. And they believe that in order to help achieve that goal, they have to facilitate the electric power industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research, and collaboration.
As of right now, SEPA has over 1,000 members, plus 700+ utilities, who continuously help them in making smart and clean energy choices.
American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
- Website: https://www.ases.org/
- Location: Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
- Founded in: 1954
The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) was established in 1954 as a nonprofit organization that advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy. It is also the U.S. section of the International Solar Energy (ISES). And just like its mother organization, ASES shares information, events, and resources to cultivate community and power progress in the U.S. and perhaps even beyond.
Global Solar Council
- Website: https://www.globalsolarcouncil.org/
- Location: U.S.A.
- Founded in: 2015
Founded in 2015, the Global Solar Council is an international nonprofit association of the national, regional, and international associations in solar energy and the world’s leading corporations. With a primary goal of enabling solar energy, they offer programs in regulatory policy, trade policy, new market opening, and jobs and skills training.
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
- Website: https://www.irena.org/
- Location: Abu Dhabi, United Emirates (Headquarters), Bonn, Germany (IRENA Innovation and Technology Center), and New York City, New York, U.S.A. (Office of the Permanent Observer to the United Nations)
- Founded in: 2009
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, such as bioenergy, solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal. With this, they aim to support countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. Furthermore, they also serve as the principal platform for international cooperation and a repository of policy, technology, resource, and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
To achieve all of their goals, IRENA provides a wide range of products and services, including:
- Annual reviews of renewable energy employment
- Renewable energy capacity statistics, cost studies, benefits studies, and technology briefs
- Renewable Readiness Assessments
- The Global Atlas, which maps resource potential by source and location
- REmap, a roadmap to double renewable energy use worldwide by 2030
- Facilitation of regional renewable energy planning
- Renewable energy project development tools like the Project Navigator, the Sustainable Energy Marketplace and the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility
World Solar Thermal Electricity Association (STELAWorld)
- Website: https://www.stelaworld.org/
- Location: Brussels, Belgium
- Founded in: 2011
World Solar Thermal Electricity Association, or STELAWorld for short, has been formed to work with international agencies like IEA, IRENA, UNFCCC, UN Development Program, the World Bank, and many more. This organization was formed to assist policy-makers and energy investors to access information on solar thermal electricity development and the value and the rapidly reducing cost of solar thermal electricity production.
STELAWorld, through its member bodies, aims to promote data and information exchange regarding solar thermal power generation from the industry, research agencies, academic institutions, and governments worldwide.
Solar organizations and associations, both local and international, have done so much not just for the solar industry but also for the entire world. They create all these programs, researches, studies, and solar conferences just to inform and convince people that solar is the way to go. Because of these immense contributions, solar professionals should know these associations. And even better, they should be a member of at least one.
There are quite a lot of solar organizations out there right now, which is great news. This list only aims to provide you with eleven suggestions that you can start looking up. Find one among the organizations mentioned above that resonate with you. Or find more organizations that are not mentioned and yet are still active and just as passionate. Then become a member of them.
By following these associations and becoming a member, you’re broadening your knowledge of the solar industry. And that’s the most important thing.
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Rikki Suarez majors in Creative Writing and loves writing about renewable energy, clean technology, and solar power.