What is a Solar Energy Society?

Mary McMahon

A solar energy society is an organization dedicated to promoting the development and use of solar technology to meet energy needs. The International Solar Energy Society, founded in 1954, is an example of such an organization. Many nations have their own national societies, some of which have regional chapters in different areas. For example, the American Solar Energy Society charters chapters in US states like Louisiana.

Solar energy societies promote the use and improvement of solar technology, like photovoltaic panels.
Solar energy societies promote the use and improvement of solar technology, like photovoltaic panels.

There are several aims to the mission of a solar energy society. One is public outreach and education. These organizations provide information about solar energy to interested members of the public. Some offer tours of solar homes and other facilities, provide workshops where people can learn about solar energy, and issue publications to keep people informed about the latest developments in the industry. Members of the society may also be available for lectures, consultations, and other public outreach services to get more members of the public thinking about and using solar energy.

A solar panel.
A solar panel.

Another aspect of the work of such organizations is the promotion of new solar technology. These groups may invest in the development of alternative energy and are also involved in research and development. The goal is to improve existing technology and promote the development of entirely new technology in order to make solar energy more efficient and accessible.

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Solar energy societies may also provide referrals to solar energy contractors, offer networking opportunities for people looking for jobs in the industry, and assist their members with the completion of solar installations. These organizations are commonly interested in other environmental issues and may partner with other alternative energy organizations on projects, in addition to sponsoring environmental events like community cleanup days.

Membership in a solar energy society is typically open to anyone who is interested and wants to join. People pay dues for their membership and in exchange, they receive access to publications and members-only events. Many solar energy societies also hold public events that anyone can attend. At these events, people can talk with members and find out more about what the group does and the benefits of membership.

People who are interested in attending public events or joining a solar energy society can use their favorite search engines to locate a society in their area. Environmental centers also usually have resources about local environmental groups and sometimes referrals to solar energy societies are available through the building or planning department as well.

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