Les Nelson – re-elected chair of the solar thermal division at SEIA
He has the US solar thermal industry behind him. Les Nelson was re-elected as Chair of the Solar Thermal Division at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) at the beginning of February. It is a position that the solar thermal expert has held since 1997. “He was re-elected with an overwhelming majority”, confirms Scott Hennessey, Manager for Climate and Energy Markets at SEIA. The vice chair position went to Mark Thormbloom, solar thermal manager at the US office of Viessmann, a German collector and system manufacturer. Both were re-elected for a term of three years.
The chairman is the spokesman for solar thermal energy on the board of directors. It also counts the chairs of two other SEIA divisions among its members: photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). The other 36 members of the board are representatives from the PV and CSP industry – who pay for their seats.
It was mentioned that the solar thermal division of SEIA should be strengthened. Therefore, solarthermalworld.org asked Les Nelson about which direction he thinks to take with his new mandate. He said the following:
“I have several major goals at this point – I’m sure they will change and be extended as time goes by:
- Increase research and development funding for the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). We have to continue our efforts to make the DOE aware of the value of solar water heating technology.
- Solar thermal’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, is just beginning to be realised in the US. This needs a great deal more attention.
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) programmes are being (or already have been) developed by numerous states around the US, and an effort is underway to pass federal legislation which would establish an RPS requirement for the entire country. Most of the individual state RPSs, and the proposed new federal RPS, make no accommodation for solar thermal technologies, even if they are used to displace electricity consumption. Indeed, many RPS strategies are entitled “Renewable Electricity Standards,” rather than Renewable Energy Standards. This must change.
- Work on including solar space heating and solar space cooling in the federal Investment Tax Credit.
- Bring recognition to the very large consumption of fossil fuels, and the corresponding production of greenhouse gases, associated with heating swimming pools, and work towards increased use of solar pool heating, particularly in pools which are heated all year.”
More Information: www.seia.org