Our mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. Through our leadership, research, and capacity building, we create transformative solutions to achieve a prosperous future in which solar technology is integrated into all aspects of our lives.
The Solar Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing solar energy use worldwide. We believe that increasing access to this clean, abundant, and affordable energy source will lift up people’s lives and bring about a prosperous future for all.
Founded in 1977, The Solar Foundation was relaunched in its current form in 2010. Today, we combine decades of experience with an entrepreneurial outlook and a focus on getting things done. While we firmly believe that solar is a key part of our energy future, The Solar Foundation has no industry affiliation. With our reputation for impartiality and rigorous analysis, we are on the front lines of the change toward a bright solar future.
The Solar Foundation is built on unmatched expertise, with a reputation for high-quality and objective research on solar markets, economic impacts, and the workforce. Our acclaimed publications and expert insights are helping decision makers accelerate the adoption of solar energy.
Through educational outreach and expert technical assistance, we work with decision makers in the government, business, and nonprofit arenas to expand solar energy use. Our commitment to building solar capacity is matched by the value we place on a strong, inclusive, high-quality solar workforce.
We are a recognized leader in solar that brings together diverse groups to realize ambitious, meaningful, and measurable goals. We build networks to help the nonprofit, business, educational, financial, and consumer sectors efficiently take advantage of solar technologies.
The Solar Foundation leads strategic initiatives designed to accelerate solar energy adoption and strengthen the solar workforce. Among our high-impact activities, we manage over $15 million in U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative cooperative agreements. Some of our major programs and initiatives include:
National Solar Jobs Census
The annual Solar Jobs Census is the first and most authoritative national benchmark for solar jobs research. It has shown time and again that solar is a leading source of job growth in the 21st century. As of 2016, the solar industry employs 260,077 people in the United States, marking a 25 percent growth from 2015. Read the National Solar Jobs Census.
The Solar Foundation leads SolSmart, a SunShot-funded program which provides no-cost technical assistance to help cities and counties make solar more affordable and accessible. Communities that achieve these goals receive official designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze, signaling that they are “open for solar business.” SolSmart aims to drive greater solar deployment and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs.
Solar Training Network
In an expanding solar jobs market, employers urgently need to gain access to qualified candidates. The Solar Training Network is a groundbreaking, SunShot-funded workforce development program that connects job seekers, training providers, and solar employers. This program is bridging the gap between supply and demand in the solar workforce.
Solar Ready Vets
Solar Ready Vets® is a national program that provides quality training and hands-on experience to transitioning military personnel who are within six months of separation. This SunShot-funded program allows service members to transfer the skills they acquired in the military to a civilian career in solar, while providing solar employers access to highly qualified candidates.
CivicPACE is a SunShot-funded program that supports solar energy development by bringing property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to tax-exempt organizations, such as nonprofits, affordable housing, faith-based institutions, and schools. Through this program, The Solar Foundation helps organizations overcome financing challenges and reduce the upfront cost of installing solar.
Our programs provide opportunities for businesses, organizations, and individuals to get involved. If you love our work and want to learn more about The Solar Foundation or provide your support, we want to talk to you. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our programs, or contact us with any questions.
The Solar Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization which relies exclusively on grants and contributions from companies, individuals, foundations, and government agencies to support our programs and deliver impact. Support our programs by donating to The Solar Foundation. Or sign up for our contact list to receive occasional emails with updates on our work.