Understanding the Solar Trade Case: My Conversation with SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper

Solar power has blossomed over the last 10 years from a nascent industry to a $23 billion market that continues to grow. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for a candid discussion on the current state of the U.S. solar market. This conversation kicks off “Experts Only,” a new podcast by CleanCapital in which we explore the intersection of energy, innovation and finance.

My conversation with Abby was extremely timely given the trade case before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). In this episode, we dive deep into the case and the impacts that it may have on the industry. Abby provides a critical and informative background on where the case stands and the path to getting it resolved. We discuss the context on just how big the American solar industry is today. It’s one of the fastest growing job sectors, with 1 in 50 jobs last year coming from solar. The industry employs more people than Google, Facebook and Apple combined. With tens of thousands of jobs on the line, the Suniva trade case has become an issue for which a broad, bipartisan coalition of companies, trade associations and other organizations are aligned in their opposition to the case.

The solar industry comes together for Solar Power International (SPI) in Las Vegas in a few short weeks. As always, SPI provides us with a great opportunity to connect as an industry, learn from each other and celebrate just how far we’ve come. It’s also an opportunity to look ahead. This year The Solar Foundation, in partnership with SEIA, will release a new study that is the first-of-its-kind, comprehensive baseline analysis of diversity in the solar industry. The study will provide a comprehensive analysis of the representation and experiences of women, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans and members of the LGBTQ community in the solar industry. This study is a crucial step towards becoming a more equitable industry that is both reflective of the diversity of our customers and a great place a work for us and our colleagues.

For those interested in learning more about the ITC case or the solar industry more broadly, give the episode a listen. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe, share and leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can also get involved with SEIA and the ongoing trade case by visiting Seia.org/trade to learn more.