Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for Solar

Today, I'm thankful for the sun that is the source of all our power.

I'm thankful for Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, who discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839.

I'm thankful for Charles Fritts, who built the first working solar cell in 1883.

I'm thankful for Russel Ohl, who in 1939 discovered the P-N junction, the basis for modern solar cells.

I'm thankful for the team at Bell Labs, Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin, who produced the first silicon solar cell in 1954. (Price: $286/Watt)

I'm thankful for Presidents Jimmy Carter, for installing solar hot water on the White House in 1977 and establishing the solar tax credit, George H.W. Bush for establishing the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in 1991, George W. Bush for installing solar PV on the White House grounds in 2002, and Barack Obama for restoring and expanding the Investment Tax Credit in 2009.

I'm thankful for Hermann Scheer, who established Germany's feed-in tariff in 1999

I'm thankful for Gary Nystedt, who conceived the prototypical solar garden in Ellensburg, Washington in 2003

I'm thankful for Colorado State Representative Claire Levy and Senator Suzanne Williams who introduced the Community Solar Gardens Act, and to Governor Bill Ritter who signed it in 2010.

I'm thankful for Louellyn Lambros in Scituate, Massachusetts, Elana Bulman and Tim Woodcock in New York, Brice Miller and Helen Deffenbacher in Omaha, and Rosana Francescato in San Francisco who made possible the Community Solar Confluence tour last spring, and all our speakers

I'm thankful for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, for recognizing the need for solar power in both grid resilience and climate change mitigation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

I'm thankful for Sara Jayanphi at Solar One in New York, whose team is bringing portable solar generators to affected areas as part of the Solar Sandy project.

I am thankful for the 30+ volunteers of the SGI team, both present members and veterans, who kept the faith for so long and helped get the word out - project manager Sandyn Skudneski, web programmer Alvin Mites, solar gardener trainer Deborah Houser, chief executive "wingman" Becky English, co-op expert Stanley Florek, interns Ari Michelson and Justin Ptasnik, and so many more!

I'm thankful for the team of solar gardeners on the ground in Aurora - Dick Peterson, Suzanne Williams, Suzanne Lavoie, Bill Kirton, plus Stanci March and Tom Zwahlen of Namaste Solar, host Marc Collins, and Aurora sustainability coordinator Karen Hancock.

And most of all, I'm grateful for every solar gardener, host, subscriber, manufacturer and installer, every policy wonk, finance geek, attorney, legislator and sustainability coordinator, every nonprofit, congregation, and business, every philanthropist, financier, and entrepreneur who has participated. We have built a movement that is going to help save the climate and bring resilient power to the people!

- Joy

Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC
(719)207-3097 direct

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