Clean Energy Solution Series - The Speed of Solar: A Review of the Tremendous Progress Solar Power Has Made in America

NDN's Clean Energy Solution Series

Monday’s panel on the progress of solar energy was illuminating.  No longer a cottage industry selling to the wealthy in the state of CA, solar energy is now mainstream and viable in almost every state. 

There is no better example than Sungevity, a company founded by Danny Kennedy, which focuses exclusively on residential solar installation. His company is active in 8 states: California, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Colorado, Arizona, Massachusetts, and New York.  You can either purchase your system or work with Sungevity for a customizable lease program.  His presentation, ‘The Sun Also Rises’ made a compelling case for solar energy as a mainstream source of energy. 

Andrea Luecke, Director of the Solar Foundation, made the point that solar PV has increased by 73% since 2000.  At the same time, the cost of PV has decreased by over 20% while the number jobs in the solar industry have grown at a rate of 26%. 

Rachel Tronstein, a Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency at the Department of Energy, presented DOE’s SunShot program.  The goal of SunShot is to reduce the cost of solar PV by 75% by 2020. Reducing the total installed cost for utility-scale solar electricity to roughly 6 cents per kilowatt hour without subsidies will result in rapid, large-scale adoption of solar electricity across the United States.  In doing so, solar will be cost competitive with fossil energy.

Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy - Founder, Sungevity

A long-time social entrepreneur, Danny has achieved global recognition as an environmental activist, spokesperson, and opinion leader. Most recently, Danny was the Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In 2001, he ran Greenpeace’s California Clean Energy Campaign, the success of which helped lead to the current California Solar Initiative. Danny was the founder and first Executive Director of Project Underground and serves on several nonprofit boards.


Andrea Luecke - Acting Executive Director, The Solar Foundation

Andrea Luecke is responsible for developing and implementing national educational initiatives and high-level research that promote the widespread adoption of solar energy. Ms. Luecke played a key role in authoring and releasing the National Solar Jobs Census 2010 and is currently playing a leadership role on two long-term U.S. Department of Energy programs: Solar America Communities and the Solar Instructor Training Network. Ms. Luecke is regularly asked to present on practical "best practice" approaches to widespread solar deployment at the national and international levels. View Powerpoint here.


Rachel Tronstein - Clean Energy Advisor in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). View Powerpoint here.

In this role she focuses on how to make renewables cost competitive with traditional forms of electricity in the near term. She joined the DOE in early 2009, first working in the Policy International Office with an emphasis on U.S.-China clean energy cooperation. Before coming to the DOE, Rachel worked at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York as the Commitments Senior Manager focusing on clean energy. Rachel has an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA with Honors from the University of Michigan, where she was President of the undergraduate student body.

Event Date: 
Monday, June 27, 2011 - 8:00am