The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) announces its 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day (“AREDAY”) Summit, to be held August 10 to 13, 2014, at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo. With a theme of “Accelerating Solutions for the Great Transition,” the 2014 AREDAY Summit will, among other notable presenters, welcome 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who is considered a pioneer in solar power advocacy since his time in office in the 1970s.
It is widely held that President Carter 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. While the White House panels were ultimately removed, the solar industry has achieved record successes, with PV installations increasing 41 percent in 2012 to reach 4,751 MW of new capacity, and nearly 13 GW of PV panel-generated power presently installed, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“President Carter’s work was undeniably key in laying the groundwork for the ‘Great Transition,’ ” said Chip Comins, chairman and CEO of AREI.
Further evidence of Carter’s solar industry work remains with the thriving Golden, Colo.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), originally established during the president’s administration as the Solar Energy Research Institute to foster solar energy technology research and development while popularizing knowledge about existing technologies, like passive solar, across the U.S. The Solar Energy Research Institute was designated as a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy in September 1991, at which time its name was changed to NREL. Today it serves as the country’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development, including solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cell technologies.
The former President will join a gathering of distinguished thought leaders, change agents, business and energy experts, scientists, philanthropists and media representatives who will engage in meaningful, actionable conversations on climate change in Aspen in August. This includes returning AREDAY Summit supporters Ted Turner, founder and chairman, Turner Enterprises, Inc. and UN Foundation; Dr. Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence, National Geographic Society; Dr. Amory Lovins, founder, Rocky Mountain Institute; and Susan Reilly, CEO, RES Americas; chair-Elect, AWEA. Newcomers such as Catherine Bachand, CEO, ONE DROP Foundation, will be on hand as well.
“This year’s AREDAY Summit is shaping up to be a deep immersion into charting the roadmap for true transition,” Comins stated. “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.”