It’s an economic decision to go solar. And that federal tax credit that gives you 30% of a tax credit off the cost of your solar installation, that’s money that stays in Texas. That is money that stays in Texas and there were other people that were in the room when he said that and their necks snapped back and they were like “Oh, yeah.” It’s a decision. By 2014 there were 7,000 people involved in the solar industry in Texas and that’s a lot of people. ~ Lucy Stolzenburg
My guest is Karl Rábago, Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law School in New York.
By the time the year 2000 came around I was more comfortable in my career and in that year 2000 my granddaughter was born. My first so far and only, but I actually remember realizing that with a little bit of luck and decent health care she would see the year 2100 and I knew I never would. And it gave me pause to think that everything I do will impact what her life is like a hundred years from now. ~Karl Rábago
“Where I first kind of noticed that was In tenth grade biology and we did a yeast culture. I remember distinctly. A little petri dish and you put these little yeast cells in there and then you looked at ‘em through a microscope and you counted them in a little grid system and I learned how to do that and then you let them sit for a while and we just charted the growth of the population and it was pretty cool….
Bill Spratley, Executive Director of Green Energy Ohio
I had a chance to speak with Bill Spratley, Executive Director of Green Energy Ohio since 2001. Bill worked as a consumer advocate and consultant in the utility industry for many years and served on U.S. DOE advisory boards under Carter, Bush and Clinton. He spent 16 years as Ohio’s first consumer’s counsel and founded the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. I would say Green Energy Ohio is pretty lucky to have an executive director that brings that much industry experience to the organization. […]
Dr. Jeffrey Brownson of the Pennsylvania State University
My guest this week is Dr. Jeffrey Brownson from the Pennsylvania State University. His focus is solar energy research and education. I spoke to him at the American Solar Energy Society conference, which was hosted by Penn State. Dr. Brownson is also on the board of the society, where he represents the interests of students and faculty. He also directed Penn State’s 2009 Solar Decathlon project. If you’ve never heard of the solar decathlon I think you will be amazed at what goes into it.
JB: My name is Jeffrey Brownson. I am associate professor of energy and mineral engineering at Penn State University. I work primarily on solar energy research and education. I am also the faculty lead for the solar option in the online master of professional studies program for renewable energy and sustainability systems.
DB: That’s a lot. Quite a few hats there. Is your background in electrical engineering or?
JB: I’m actually a scientist by training. I am both a materials scientist and a field systems scientist. I have experience in geosciences, environmental chemistry, materials science and I have grown into the solar field over the last two decades essentially to become a solar researcher in materials and systems. That was actually kind of enacted by the solar decathlon of 2009, where I became the faculty director as I arrived at Penn State and became really caught up in solar as a whole systems approach.
DB: That’s a really exciting project. Can you tell us a little bit about how the decathlon works? […]
I’m really excited about today’s show. I’ll be talking to Dave Renné, president of the International Solar Energy Society. Dave worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL, from 1991 to 2012. He developed their program for renewable energy resource assessment and analysis, and GIS integration. He has also consulted on renewable energy for organizations all over the world including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank
But first I have some news I’d like to share with you.
The Positive Polarity Report
In the previous episode I spoke with Lane Boldman, Executive Director of the Kentucky Conservation Committee. We talked about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. At the time of the interview we were discussing the draft version of the plan. The final version had not yet been released by the EPA. Lane let me know that the final plan is much more stringent for Kentucky. She has posted details on the final plan at kyconservation.org. There is also a fantastic episode of The Energy Gang podcast that goes into great detail on the plan.
Featured Guest – Dave Renné
Dave Renné saw a lot of exciting growth during his career at NREL. I would say he’s even busier now. He’s in his second term as president of the International Solar Energy Society. He serves on a International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. He’s an Associate Editor of the Solar Energy Journal. And he has his own renewable energy consulting firm. His client list includes, the World Bank, Clean Power Research, the International Renewable Energy Agency, Battelle Memorial Institute, the Brazilian Center for Energy and Climate Change and the Asian Development Bank.
DR: The International Solar Energy Society, which was formed back in 1954, promotes the research and deployment and end use of solar energy technologies and also promotes the communication of the value of those technologies to the broader population. So, it’s focused on promoting research and the development of these technologies as well as communicating how these technologies can be used to the broader community. […]
I’m really excited about today’s show. I’ll be joined by Jerry Bloom a prominent energy attorney who was actively involved in restructuring California’s energy market. He chairs the energy practice at Winston and Strawn. He is based in Los Angeles and has worked on energy projects in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, and China.
But first I have some news I’d like to share with you.
The Positive Polarity Report – where we recap the week’s biggest stories about electrons turning green
Colorado’s Renewable Portfolio Standard has survived an attack by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, which has ties to the coal industry. They filed a suit in federal court claiming that Colorado’s renewable portfolio standard (or RPS) was unconstitutional because it was essentially a regulation on out-of-state companies. If that were true it would interfere with interstate commerce. The claim was that since the RPS required Colorado utilities to obtain a percentage of their power from renewable sources and since Colorado was a net importer of electricity they were in effect regulating out-of-state electricity producers.
Happily, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Colorado’s RPS. Colorado was the first state in the U.S. to adopt an RPS by popular vote. It has created thousands of jobs and the Colorado wind industry has brought in $7.8 billion in investment. Twenty nine states in the U.S. have an RPS. Seven of those, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Connecticut and Oregon have RPS requirements of 25% or greater. There are more than 72,000 solar jobs and 12,000 wind industry jobs in those seven states.
If your state doesn’t have an RPS or it’s under attack by coal lobbyists take a few minutes to call your state legislators and let them know how you feel.
For more details on this story please check out a post on morningconsult.com by Rhone Resch , President of the Solar Energy Industries Association. I’ll put the link in the show notes.
Featured Guest – Jerry Bloom, Chair of Energy Practice at Winston and Strawn
I spoke with Jerry Bloom at the Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit in San Diego this spring where he moderated a panel on the State of the Solar Industry and the Road Ahead. He helps clients develop renewable energy infrastructure projects and guides developers through the financing and permitting process. That must take an enormous amount of patience which could explain why he was such a good sport about it when we were three or four minutes into the interview and I realized I hadn’t hit record. I had to ask him to start all over again. […]