About Us

About the Institute

The GW Solar Institute at George Washington University identifies, creates, and shares pragmatic solutions to the public policy barriers preventing the adoption and scale of solar energy. Our mission is to revisit and revitalize national and international solar policies in a world where solar energy is increasingly affordable, disruptive to traditional business models, and able to meaningfully contribute to key societal goals.

Relevance and Impact

The GW Solar Institute provides policymakers with objective, strategic, and accessible analysis on the many complex issues surrounding solar energy. Our intricate knowledge of the decision-making process, proximity to key Washington institutions, and connections with influential stakeholders allows us to be especially impactful. Our insights and partnerships are promoting the adoption of innovative new public policies, regulatory approaches, and government investments that will enable solar energy to reach its full potential for creating jobs and replacing fossil fuels. We are also focused on educating and training a rising generation eager to contribute to a cleaner energy economy.


The GW Solar Institute is led by Amit Ronen, a well-known clean energy leader and agenda setter. Previously, Amit served as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell where he helped author and enact clean energy tax incentives and legislation that catalyzed hundreds of billions of dollars of new energy related investments. Amit also focused on clean energy policy while working at the Department of Energy and the White House and during his graduate education at Princeton University.


A central mission of the GW Solar Institute is to engage and facilitate dialogue amongst solar stakeholders, students, and the public. We regularly speak with the media and update leaders from the defense, chemical manufacturing, and semiconductor industries on key technical and policy issues. We are also active on social media and regularly convene and participate in dozens of clean energy related events each year.

Public Resource

The GW Solar Institute serves as a clearinghouse for objective information and analysis, such as providing testimony for legislative and regulatory bodies. Our website continually curates important new solar energy related reports, developments, and events for the benefit of policymakers, researchers, and the general public. We are also developing platforms for free, online courses designed to educate interested parties on trending solar energy issues.


Since 2009, the GW Solar Institute has gathered energy thought-leaders to one of the largest annual solar events in the capital region. Our events share cutting edge research, offer lessons learned from the policy arena, and provide a neutral forum for thoughtful discussion amongst solar leaders, policymakers, and students. Our symposiums have drawn over a thousand attendees and our archived materials have been downloaded over 70,000 times.  

The 2014 Symposium will focus on finding innovative new ways to ensure low-income families and communities can also realize the many potential benefits of solar energy.


The GW Solar Institute regularly engages with major media outlets and contributes information and policy analysis for publications like the New York Times, the L.A. Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, and many other national and international outlets. Whether interviewed for print, radio, or television, reporters regularly turn to the GW Solar Institute as an on or off the record source of unbiased information. 

Student Engagement

As part of the larger George Washington University community, the GW Solar Institute strives to provide educational opportunities and training to GW’s diverse student body. By teaching classes, providing internships, and helping students with coursework and research projects, our staff serves as a valuable resource across GW’s many schools and disciplines. We are also developing a Solar Certificate program, a Solar Scholar in residence opportunity, and internships within the solar industry.