“Solar energy is really an American innovation story,” he said.
America developed solar panels decades ago and the technology is quickly becoming a super power in the American economy.
Kennedy, co-founder and president of Sungevity, focuses on solar as an economic engine in his book and aims to depoliticize the conversation about solar.
“It’s something politicians on both sides of the isle should support,” he said.
He exposes a lot of myths about the industry and the technology in his book and makes a strong case for solar, not only as a cleaner and more sustainable energy source, but as an economic driver.
“The book really highlights job creation,” he said. “We’ve already created a lot of jobs in the solar industry in this country. Not even 1 percent of our power comes from solar and there are more than 100,000 workers. That’s more than work in coal mining.”
Kennedy looks at how the industry has grown, where financing comes from and what the bigger-picture impacts are on the environment, security and economy.
The potential for growth in the industry is immense, he said.
“At the end, entrepreneurs are the true gatekeepers,” he said. “We need more people to start companies.”
He said his own company, Sungevity, was able to grow solar energy adoption through creating a different financing mechanism that makes solar more affordable and accessible. Sungevity offers third party solar leasing and concentrates on the residential market.
“What else can American come up with?”
General Wesley Clark, former U.S. presidential candidate and former supreme commander of NATO wrote the forward for the book and emphasizes solar energy’s power to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil while bolstering the economy and cutting back on CO2 emissions.
Kennedy said he’s been working on the book since the Solyndra debacle made big headlines last year.
“It’s really been a labor of love,” he said.
The book is on shelves in stores across the country and online at Amazon.