Our History

ASES was founded in 1954 when Bell Labs discovered the photovoltaic effect of silicon. This highly-efficient photovoltaic material launched the solar industry and a period of endless opportunity and innovation.

ASES was established by visionaries who imagined a brighter future than the preceding post-war decades had produced. These pioneering minds understood the deep historical precedent of thousands of years of solar utilization through passive solar design and solar thermal technology. With the advent of silicon, they envisioned a new era of energy innovation when these and other proven technologies would speed the world toward a more peaceful, sustainable energy economy.

The vision that launched an industry

Many among solar, renewable energy and sustainability’s finest have left their marks on ASES. Whether as leaders, supporters, staff, board members, educators, researchers, or advisors, their tireless efforts, expertise and vision over more than 60 years have had a positive, dramatic effect. Could they have imagined the many business models and economies they would spawn? The subsequent entrepreneurship, research and design ultimately shifted 21st century thinking and lifestyle toward smarter, more sustainable lifestyle choices.  

A legacy of leadership

The impact of these early solar champions can be seen in:

  • More than six decades of advocacy, research and scientific papers
  • 45 National Solar Conferences and counting
  • 30 years of Solar Today magazine issues
  • 17 volumes of Advances in Solar Energy
  • Countless policy reports commissioned by ASES
  • More than 20 years of the National Solar Tour
  • The prevalence of solar and renewable energy businesses, events and media that has erupted over the past decade

Today, ASES is steadfastly focused on the goal of achieving 100% renewable energy and sustainable living for the benefit of all life on Earth. The viability of a sustainable global economy powered by renewable sources is proving itself around the globe and redefining human potential. ASES recognizes the opportunities in the challenges we face, and invites you to help make a difference at a time when it matters most.