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President Jimmy Carter to Address Renewable Energy Solutions at the 2014 AREDAY Summit

published: 2014-04-25 14:42

Jimmy Carter, the 39th U.S. President and a pioneer in solar power advocacy since 1970’s, will give a speech with a theme of “Accelerating Solutions for the Great Transition” at the 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) Summit held by the American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI).

Jimmy Carter.

“President Carter’s work was undeniably key in laying the groundwork for the Great Transition,” said Chip Comins, Chairman and CEO of AREI. “As a country we have survived both the Great Depression and the Great Recession, and are now welcoming the Great Transition, in which we must take the critical steps toward an environmentally and economically sound future.”

Sally Ranney, president of AREI added: “The Great Transition is about us learning from the past, and realizing what it takes to fashion a better tomorrow. As Maya Angelou said, ‘Do the best you can until you know better…Then when you know better, do better.’ This echoes the AREI mission in advocating for renewable energy project deployment, and underscores the efforts of President Carter, who among many achievements was first to install solar panels for hot water generation on the White House roof in 1979, in the midst of the Arab oil embargo, to inspire Americans to seek energy alternatives.”

President Carter himself predicted at the time of their installation that “A generation from now, [the 32 solar panels and hot water heater] can either be…an example of a road not taken or…just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” He additionally stated in a 1977 televised speech preparing Americans for the introduction of his energy proposals to Congress, "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of…permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power."

While the White House panels were ultimately removed, the solar industry has achieved record successes, with PV installations increasing 41% in 2012 to reach 4,751 MW of new capacity, and nearly 13 GW of PV panel-generated power presently installed (according to Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013). Additionally, the Invanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) complex, located in California’s Mojave Desert, is presently the world’s largest solar project at 377 MW (net) of power generation capacity.

Evidences have proven Carter’s vision in solar energy, the foundation of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), former Solar Energy Research Institute, is a good example as it remains a primary laboratory for renewable energy including solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cell.

“This year’s AREDAY Summit is shaping up to be a deep immersion into charting the roadmap for true transition,” Comins said. “With a powerhouse group of leaders from across all aspects of the climate change movement, we are preparing not only for the hard-hitting facts, but the serious commitment to action.”

According to Comins, the AREDAY Summit structure additionally emphasizes the “Five E’s” of AREI – Energy, Environment, Economy, Education and Employment. The 2014 AREDAY Summit agenda and related information can be checked on AREDAY Summit’s website.

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