#HeroesofFreeingEnergy: Abby Hopper

“I was an EMT and then, when I went to college, I joined the rescue squad and I became a firefighter as well. After college I became a lawyer by training, so immediately prior to entering the energy industry, I was a divorce litigator. Now I’m in energy. When I started, I didn’t know how electricity worked, other than how to turn on a light switch.

“Now, I’m running a business . In just the past two work days, I’ve met with the leaders of the climate team at the White House. I’ve met with the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. I’ve met with other members of the Ways and Means Committee. I’ve met with U.S. senators. Well, if you were with my children, they would say, ‘My mom talks on the phone and has meetings.’

“So, businesses want certainty. If we know what the rules of the road are, we can innovate and experiment and be creative. We could be selling pencils, or we could be selling solar panels. But you can’t keep changing the rules on us every year. 

“For the future, I wish for three things. First,  I  wish for business certainty. I  wish for a trained, equitable, diverse workforce. People talk about jobs a lot, that’s great, but I want entrepreneurs. 

“Second, I want business owners and wealth creation. That’s what I think true diversity looks like. 

“And the third is storage. Storage is transformative. Batteries are not just going to transform the way that our grid works, they’re going to transform the relationship people have with their own energy usage and their own energy systems. That, I think, is incredibly exciting.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, is one of the 320 people that author Bill Nussey interviewed for his book, “Freeing Energy: How innovators are using local-scale solar and batteries to disrupt the global energy industry from the outside in.”

Available today

Learn more about Abby from her Freeing Energy podcast with Bill Nussey.

You can see all the heroes (so far) and their stories here.

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