residential solar installation

The 6 best resources to get started in solar

The advantages are no longer just about going green, as solar will be cheaper for nearly everyone over time. Outlined below are some of the best resources to help answer your questions about solar energy and find the right solar installer for your needs.

Introducing our Myths of Solar series

Solar needs subsidies to survive. Solar energy is diffuse and requires too much land. Rooftop solar will raise prices on low-income families. Retired solar panels

A bank of electric meters Alamy AT1J4P

What is a Megawatt-Hour?

A megawatt-hour is one of the most common measures of electricity. What is it, how does it relate to a megawatt, and how is it created?

How electric vehicles will transform the grid, part 1

Electric vehicles (EVs) will transform transportation, and along the way, they will also transform the electric grid, in both positive and disruptive ways. I share some take-aways from a panel on EVs I recently led at the Center for Distributed Energy.

What can you do with a megawatt-hour?

A megawatt hour, like it’s little sibling, the kilowatt hour, is a measure of electricity. But just how much is it? How long will it light a bulb? How far can it drive an electric car?

How is coal formed?

Coal began as dead plants that fell to the bottom of vast swamps millions of years ago. Which countries have the biggest reserves and which burns the most?

The top TED talks on clean energy

Over my 20 years attending TED, there have been a handful of mind-blowing talks on clean, renewable energy. A few of the talks were so powerful, they became catalysts on my own journey into this amazing new industry.

Scissor cutting the electric power cord

Four steps to take your house off-grid

Taking your house or business entirely off-grid and powering it with clean energy isn’t easy today but these four steps are 100% achievable with current technology. And, before we know it, going off-grid will be as easy as installing a new air conditioner.

The Green New Deal – climate salvation or too blue to be true?

Washington, DC has rediscovered the climate. Democratic rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is championing the New Green Deal. We take a look inside this climate manifesto to see what’s really there and whether it can be a blueprint for a clean energy future.

A blueprint for cleantech investing (Part 3)

Cleantech is one of the biggest and most exciting technology industries today. But, despite the buzz, it remains complex and opaque. This article breaks it down into bite-sized chunks and explains how the terms and segments fit together.

How will we fund the transition to a clean energy future? (Part 2)

Even conservative estimates forecast that transitioning to clean energy will require trillions of dollars of investments. Where will all this money come from? For better or worse, most of it will come from traditional sources like banks and governments. But, even thought it’s relatively smaller, venture capital will play a critical, catalytic role by lowering the risks for every other type of investment.

Does nuclear power enhance or undermine America’s national security? (Part 5)

While a stable grid is essential for the well being of developed countries, nuclear power magnifies the risks and rewards of making electricity to a level of national security. Few types of power generation are more contentious and none have the potential to affect the well being of nations like nuclear power – as both defender and demolisher.

My keynote presentation at the Southern Solar Summit

I recently had the honor to keynote the 10th annual Southern Solar Summit. My presentation focused on two points. First, solar and battery will become the largest source of electricity sooner than people think. Second, Georgia is in a unique position to help lead the clean energy transformation.

The inevitability of a solar powered future

There are few more important questions for the 21st century than how we will power our electric grids. Literally trillions of dollars and are at stake, and possibly even the future of the planet. It’s a good bet that wind and solar will make up the majority of the future grid. But, wind and solar are not the same. Wind turbines benefit from economies of scale. As they get bigger, their costs go down; but only up to a point. By comparison, solar’s cost declines are driven by something even more powerful, economies of volume – the more you make of something, the cheaper it gets.

What are the biggest trends threatening to disrupt the power industry?

I recently moderated a panel at the Energy Leaders Symposium called Disruptions in the Energy Industry. This event was hosted by Georgia Tech’s Center for Distributed Energy. To help frame the discussions, I defined a disruption as an industry changing so quickly that incumbents can’t keep up. I listed three drivers threatening to disrupt the power industry: a shift from economies of scale to economies of volumes, a shift from top-down to edge-in, and battery storage.

What are the risks of radiation from nuclear power plants? Part 3

Radioactivity triggers a deep dread in most people. It is invisible and hard to detect. It is associated with birth defects. It can lie dormant in adults only to emerge as cancer decades later. But just how dangerous is it really? How harmful is the radiation from nuclear accidents?

Just how dangerous are nuclear power plants? Part 2

Nuclear power has a unique challenge. While it’s much safer than most people realize, it easily conjures up thoughts of meltdowns, sickness, and bombs. Decades of movies and the occasional nuclear disasters have kept these fears at the forefront of people’s minds. Up until recently, the future of nuclear power looked grim. However, the growing concern over greenhouse gases has put nuclear back in the spotlight as a possible source of carbon-free electricity.

Montage of solar, wind, nuclear, natural gas and coal energy

What is the best way to make electricity?

Coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or natural gas? What criteria should we use when comparing various types of electricity generation, and which one comes out on top?

A battle for clean energy: the Kit Carson coop story

That outdated business models, conflicting interests, and aging technologies hogtie today’s behemoth electric utilities is no more evident than in the picturesque rural community of Taos, New Mexico. It is there that an inspired and tenacious collection of local energy champions have upended the sluggish pace of change that is the “business as usual” of many utilities.

Four takeaways from the Microgrid 2017 conference

Microgrid 2017 is a 3-day, deep dive trade conference attended by equipment companies, operators, universities, government officials, researchers, financiers, regulators and just about anyone else

“Solar subsidies are so unfair”

For people in the nuclear and coal industry, solar and wind probably feel like some kind of invasive species. Every effort to slow down renewables

A journey through Africa

A few years ago, on a vacation in Africa, we took a break from safaris and drove a few hours into the deep bush to

Why Write a Book?

It started with a late-night call My friend Mike texted me and said he needed to talk to me ASAP. Mike is an entrepreneur. He

Why Clean Energy?

  A friend recently asked, “You are a successful marketing tech CEO – why in the world are you getting into clean energy?” My answer