Episode 1

This is Solar Energy Development               Show Notes

Guest:
Daniel Menahem
Find him on Twitter @dmenahem
Email him at dmenahem@mac.com

Book Recommendations/ Additional Reading:
Twitter. In particular, Jigar Shah @JigarShahDC

Habit Change:
Opt into renewable energy sources through your current electricity  provider. You’ll still get the same customer service, the same billing and payment process, and there’s no installation needed at your house. The costs can be cheaper or a little more expensive, depending on the price of energy at the time you are using it, same as when you are getting your power from traditional sources (sold on an open market) but you can also choose a fixed rate plan if you want to know your bill is going to be everything month.

12 states actually mandate that utilities provide a green pricing program, where consumers can opt in, and possibly pay more for green energy (Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Delaware, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut.  

It is already available in many states and growing. Kansas and Missouri recently proposed similar measures to allow ratepayers (aka individual household consumers or businesses) to opt into wind as their primary energy generator.  One company is an example of this --Clean Choice Energy, which allows you to opt in for them as your energy generator. They are operational in in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Soon, we'll be expanding to Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and eventually Texas, and they also work with many major utilities.  Clean Choice Energy - will put the link and information in the episode notes, but that is one direct way you can incentivize more renewable energy development.

Interestingly, a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the opt-in rate into these green pricing programs by consumers was 2.1%, even though in polling, 67% of Americans said they would opt in if the option was available, even if it cost more. We won’t try to break down what all of the reasons for that disparity is today, but we think that at least SOME of that gap is related to the fact that people 1) don’t know this is actually available to them in their home, and 2) haven’t taken the ten minutes to figure out how to make the change. So this can be a one-time action you take to change your energy supply to renewable energy! Call your utility or look at their website to make the easy opt-in!

Additional Reading | Habit Change:
http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/policy/green-pricing-programs
https://cleanchoiceenergy.com/faq/#panel-signingUp

Episode Overview by Segment:
Minute 1:00: Learn more about our hosts, Allyson Sand and Erin Delawalla, and why they decided to start this podcast!

Minute 7:40: Learn about some background on solar energy markets in the U.S.

Minute 9:30: Meet our guest, Daniel Menahem, and hear about his daily routine and background in solar development.

Minute 12:00: Steps involved in developing a utility-scale photovoltaic solar facility.

Minute 14:45:  Identifying the customers for big solar projects (utilities, commercial and industrial companies).

Minute 17:30: Why are commercial companies outside the energy sector procuring wind (Facebook, GM, etc.)?

Minute 21:30: International solar development, including China.

Minute 24:45: Impact of solar panel tariffs in the U.S.

Minute 27:40: Rooftop solar in the U.S.

Minute 30:30: More renewable energy penetration in the U.S. and effects on the grid.

Minute 34:15: Daniel’s crazy idea for the environment -- bring renewables to emerging markets.

Minute 35:15: Additional learning resources.

Minute 37:30 Solar panel tariff update.

Minute 38:45 Habit change of the week.

Erin Delawalla