SEIA President Proposes a Solar Bill of Rights

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On opening day of the Solar Power International '09 exposition in Anaheim, CA., Rhone Resch, President and CEO of The Solar Energy Industries Association, in his keynote address, proposed a Solar Bill of Rights to protect the Industry from unfair subsidies that give the Oil and Coal industries their advantages in competing and lobbying to suppress innovation. In a dynamic presentation including Powerpoint slides, highlighting the many accomplishments the SEIA has achieved in winning tax credits for investment and implementation, Mr. Resch made a compelling case for leveling the playing field in the competition for America's future energy needs. Read the full article here.

All we seek is the freedom to compete, and all consumers want is the freedom to choose their energy source. Instead, the full promise of solar power is being restrained by the tyranny of policies that protect our competitors, subsidize wealthy polluters and disadvantage green entrepreneurs.

And Americans know better than anyone else in the world that there's only one way to overcome tyranny--by declaring our rights and fighting for them with a united and determined voice.
That is why, today, SEIA is asking you to enlist in the fight to secure a policy environment that allows solar to compete and empowers consumers to choose.
So let's make today solar's Fourth of July --the day we declare our independence from policies that prevent greater use of solar energy which Americans so urgently need.

"Today, we're declaring a Solar Bill of Rights.
And here's our First Amendment:
First, Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses. Today's systems beautify and add value to communities and homes, and yet antiquated rules prevent many homes and businesses from going solar. From restrictive covenants to onerous connection, permitting and inspection fees these rules create fundamental barriers to solar. Utilities should not be allowed to restrict green power with red tape.
Number 2, Americans have the right to connect their solar system to the grid with uniform national standards. This is as simple as creating a standard jack for telephones. Can you imagine buying a phone in Nevada and bringing it home to California and finding out it doesn't fit into the wall jack? Other industries don't stand for this and neither should we.
Next, Consumers have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates. Call this solar's eminent domain--utilities use the power we make, and we expect to be compensated at its actual value. This is not just the cost, but the true value of solar including our security benefits, peak power benefits and environmental benefits - as well as the true price for carbon.
And this right, for me and my family, is personal."

The Exposition speakers will feature Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at Tuesday's session to address the new energy paradigm. Wednesday evening, Oct. 28, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., Solar Power International presents "Public Night," a free opening of the expo floor to the general public. Southern Californians can tour a huge energy expo featuring 925 companies. They can see and learn about the latest solar energy technology for homes and businesses, talk to the experts and attend free workshops.