Reporter Briefing Memo: The Solar Industry is Thriving

September 23, 2011 at 9:04am

The following was sent to nantionwide energy and environment reporters this morning.  


September 23, 2011


To:       Energy and Environment Reporters


From:   David Graham-Caso, Sierra Club


Re:       The Solar Industry is Thriving


In the midst of all of the noise about Solyndra, it’s important to remember one thing: one company may have fallen victim to a competitive marketplace, but the rest of the solar industry is thriving. In fact, the solar industry is “the fastest-growing industry in America.” (


A few interesting notes:


Census Numbers Forecast a Sunny Future for the American Solar Industry

Earlier this week, The Solar Foundation, in partnership with GreenLMI and Cornell University, released its National Solar Jobs Census 2011.  The Census reported incredibly impressive growth in the solar industry – nearly 7% from August 2010 to August 2011.  The solar industry’s growth is even more impressive when compared with the fossil fuel energy industry, which shrank by 2%.  For more information about the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2011, please contact Mark Sokolove, Tigercomm at 424.208.3558 or


The Growing Solar Industry Helps Americans Across the Country

A recent report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association makes it clear that not only is the solar industry already strong and getting stronger, but it is creating jobs for people in states in every region of the United States.  In fact, in 2010 and 2011, 27 new U.S. solar manufacturing facilities have begun or will begin operations across America, including in Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.  For more information about SEIA’s new report: “Behind the Solyndra Headlines – America’s Solar Energy Boom,” please contact Jared Blanton at202.556.2886 or


There are hundreds of stories about how the nationwide expansion of the solar industry is putting people to work. Here’s just one, about a Michigan woman named Annette Herrerra (


The Demand for Trained Solar Workers is High

In fact, Oakland-based Sungevity, a residential solar installation company, has already begun hiring Solyndra’s former employees. For more information, please contact Sungevity CEO Danny Kennedy at 510.496.5522.


Spokespeople Available

There are plenty more statistics and stories about growth in the solar industry. Please contact me if you’d like more information, or are interested in speaking to our Executive Director, Michael Brune about the growing solar industry.  In addition to Brune, we have a great group of clean energy experts, including Deputy Conservation Director Bruce Nilles and Deputy Beyond Coal campaign Director Vanessa Pierce, ready to answer your questions about the growing solar industry and its importance to job creation in America.


Thank you for your time.


All the best,

David Graham-Caso