I’m back!

Maureen-McIntyreIf you’re a long-time ASES member, you may recall that I was the editor of SOLAR TODAY from 1990 to 2003 (editor and publisher from 1998 to 2003). In 1990, my mandate was to improve the magazine’s editorial quality, redesign SOLAR TODAY to appeal to a broader audience, and help build an advertising base.

This time around, my editorial predecessors—the wonderful Seth Masia and the extraordinary Gina Johnson, who moved on about a year ago—have maintained SOLAR TODAY’s editorial quality during market and organizational ups and downs. Their good work provides a firm foundation as we tackle SOLAR TODAY’s next challenges—building a large, engaged community of solar supporters and developing a viable, sustainable business model for SOLAR TODAY.

So where do we start?

Americans overwhelmingly support the development of solar energy and that support bridges political divides. Solar is also taking the marketplace by storm, thanks to financial incentives, new leasing and financing options, and falling prices (see “Benchmarking the Declining Cost of Solar”  for an analysis of the factors driving the decline in photovoltaic prices).

Then why does solar account for only 0.2 percent of the electricity generated in the United States? One fundamental reason is that the solar community lacks the communication clout that keeps traditional energy sources predominant.

With your help, we can change that.

Based on conversations with solar stalwarts from around the country, we’ve identified a need that SOLAR TODAY and ASES are uniquely well-positioned to address—building public support for solar and clean energy technologies and policies.

This effort entails:
• Dramatically growing our audience into a diverse, active community of solar supporters;

• Updating the SOLAR TODAY website to complement the print magazine and provide in-depth information for solar activists in an accessible, user-friendly, searchable format;

• Expanding and enhancing our social media presence to grow our audience among young solar professionals and advocates as well as disseminate news and information in real time;

• Redesigning the magazine to make it easy to navigate for new and old readers alike;

• Refocusing our content to engage, inspire, and inform solar advocates and enthusiasts of all political persuasions and from all walks of life (see our first “Parting Shot”);

• Deepening our coverage of the role of solar energy technologies and policies in mitigating climate change (see Karl Böer’s latest article); and

• Highlighting ASES programs that build public support for solar, notably the ASES National Solar Tour.

Please support this effort.

This holiday season, give SOLAR TODAY subscriptions and ASES memberships to everyone on your list. If you’re not a life member yet, consider upgrading your membership.

If you like what you see in this or a future issue of SOLAR TODAY, share your copy with friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers. Encourage them to subscribe, send letters to the editor, join ASES and/or their local ASES chapter, and make their voices heard on energy issues.

If you have the means, please consider making a generous tax-deductible donation to SOLAR TODAY or ASES.

The way we consume energy affects the economic, environmental, and social health of our communities, our country, and our beautiful little planet. Check out the timeline of ASES’ last 60 years and imagine what a world powered by the sun would look like in 60 years.

Then roll up your sleeves and join us in creating that world.

Maureen McIntyre is the editor and publisher of SOLAR TODAY.

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