Achieving that growth will require direct engagement at the community level, said Brian Keane
, president and CEO of SmartPower. Many successful consumer products, from Coca-Cola to Tupperware, experienced early growth by leveraging social networks at the community and neighborhood level, he said. And that’s what they’re trying to achieve with initiatives such as the “Solarize” model.
“We work on the ground, connecting people, peer-to-peer and friend-to-friend, to talk about solar power. Because one is more likely to buy solar power from someone they know and trust — and who also buys solar power,” he said.
"Think about it in terms of other consumer products: If Coca-Cola had remained only an elixir that was sold in pharmacies, we wouldn't be talking about it today. But they figured out how to broaden its appeal to a mass market. And that's exactly what we're trying to do with SEEDS. How can we bring solar to a mass market?"
for the SEEDS program comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy SunShot Initiative
, a collaborative national effort that drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour.