Industry Perceptions of Solar Energy Policy in the American Southwest

Susan Haag, Martin Pasqualetti, Marie Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The American southwest has among the best solar resources in the world. For this reason, the solar industry monitors the progress of solar energy development there closely. Yet, meaningful adoption has been slow, particularly in the state with the richest resource, Arizona. This article reports on the results of internet surveys and personal interviews to explain why this is true. We focused on identifying industry-perceived barriers to solar adoption. We asked three questions: (1) Which industry factors slow the speed of adoption of solar energy in Arizona? (2) Are there unmet workforce needs that slow adoption in Arizona? (3) Which policy incentives are needed to accelerate solar development? We identified a need for the following steps: establish financial security for projects with newly created and targeted statutory instruments, develop standardized college-level solar curriculum to train a local workforce, and provide conspicuous government support and supportive policy commitments that are sustainable. A systematic and integrated effort with government, industry, educational, and public representation is needed to make solar energy a significant contributor to the future economic vitality of the state, thereby helping to advance such adoption in other places with similar opportunities for solar energy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • American Southwest
  • energy policy
  • solar energy
  • workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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