This is your SolarWakeup for April 18th, 2017

Getting off the sideline. When I spoke with Tony Clifford I asked him why he thought Standard Solar was able to get acquired in a sea of available targets. He thought that being an active policy participant was a big part of it in addition to having happy customers. It can’t be understated that when a company has a senior executive spending a lot of time on policy work, they are making a time and financial investment on something intangible that also helps your competition. If you open a market, new companies come in and are able to take advantage. I hope that other companies look at Standard Solar and take a turn away from being quiet on policy to get vocal about taking positions. You have to listen to the podcast to see what else we discussed!

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Solar has work to do. I read the interview in the Atlantic and felt the usual tensing up while I read silly stuff. GE ‘used’ to be in solar. The US only makes 3% of the world’s solar panels. Oil companies have long left solar. On and on and on. Maybe our industry needs to do more public relations work and speak to Americans and reporters. Maybe we need a full time communications person that speaks to editorial boards in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and kitchen tables across America to explain the solar industry. We have work to do. Don’t read the article with opposition to the messenger, he has faults, instead read the content with a renewed energy to evangelize.

Make sure you listen to the latest episodes of EnergyWakeup. I speak with Tony Clifford about being acquired by Gaz Metro and his work at SEIA. Google is now at 100% renewables, how do they do it and what is next? Sam Arons talks to SolarWakeup.

Scary stuff for IOUs. First it was the IPPs losing robust merchant markets. Now large corporations are taking the IOUs to task. Interestingly this isn’t about cost of energy, the longstanding focus has been on cost and reliability. Now the Fortune 100 are saying, we want more renewables and we want it faster. Whether it was Google pushing Duke in NC, Vegas casinos leaving NV Energy or Microsoft bypassing PSE; corporate America wants renewable energy for their operations. Next step they want it everywhere they use energy and soon they will want renewables to match their energy loads at all times. Hold on to your horses.


Have a great day!