50th Annual National Solar Conference
SOLAR 2021: Empowering a Sustainable Future

August 3-6, 2021 | Hybrid Conference
University of Colorado Boulder + Online

University Memorial Center
1669 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor, Glenn Miller Ballrooms
Boulder, Colorado  80302

A Message from the Conference Chair:

Welcome to Boulder, Colorado, and the American Solar Energy Society’s 50th Annual National Solar Conference, SOLAR 2021: Empowering a Sustainable Future.

The American Solar Energy Society is dedicated to helping America work towards the goal of a 100 percent renewable energy society. Attendees of this conference also support this “greening” of America regarding the decreased use of fossil fuels and increased use of renewable energy sources, and the potential positive impact renewable energy use can have on the larger issues of climate change.  

The much-talked about “browning” of America coincides in time with this trend toward “green” energy.  And it coincides in place because predominantly brown and black and economically disadvantaged communities have often borne the weight of pollution and other environmental effects related to energy production and use.  

Indeed, the browning of America is underway and inevitable; the greening of America is not inevitable. I say that as someone old enough to have been excited in the 1960s about the prospects of gender equality, racial equality, and equal rights for LGBTQ+ folks, only to see now how much and how little progress has been made. Then, later, in the 1970s I was excited by President Jimmy Carter’s introduction of a renewable energy plan, only to see it dismantled and the industries move away across U.S. borders. I learned that policies and politics can change for the better and the worse, and that industry and market forces alone cannot always make change happen. Thus, in this conference we have a section dedicated to the latest technologies, and among others, also have a section devoted to discussing social and energy justice.

Whereas solar and other renewable energies have generally been perceived as doing positive work, more attention is now being placed on equity, and on racial and social justice aspects of green energy. Some of the attention is rightly focused on the opportunity to not be affected by energy pollution, but also to participate through careers, investment, business ownership, and leadership in the “greening” of the U.S. energy system.

I am deeply, personally and professionally committed to equal opportunity and equity, and to the greening of America. I look forward to the SOLAR 2021 conference with excitement and anticipation. New information and perspectives will be shared and gained, and that through the personal interactions (we all miss, but crave) that the conference can provide, some new positive change will result to help us toward these lofty and attainable goals of 100% renewable energy, social and racial justice and equality.

See you in August!

A year of pandemic
A year of social justice
A year for change

Dale Miller, Chair SOLAR 2021
Senior Instructor, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado Boulder
SOLAR 2021: Empowering a Sustainable Future, Annual National Solar Conference of the American Solar Energy Society
Boulder, Colorado, August 3–6
University of Colorado Boulder

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