Cost Reductions In The Solar Space

Going Green had the chance to sit down with Andrew Truitt, the co-founder of Associated Energy to learn more about the trends we are seeing when it comes to cost reductions in the solar space and how it can help you.

We have talked extensively about trends in the solar industry, as well as how the cost of technology continues to go down, so now we’re going to talk with Andrew to get his insight.

How did you get involved in the sustainable industry?

After completing my B.S. in Physics at UC Santa Cruz in 2002 and MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology at Loughborough University in the U.K. in 2004, I started my career in solar as a photovoltaic (PV) installer in the San Francisco Bay area. After becoming a foreman in 2005, I moved to Washington DC in 2006 and joined Standard Solar as their fifth employee. At Standard I helped grow the company while ensuring high-quality, code-compliant PV installations, over time establishing Engineering, Procurement, Permitting, Construction, and Service departments as the company grew to become a major player on the East Coast

What trends are you seeing in your industry?

The cost reductions in energy storage, similar to PV in the 2000’s, are creating new opportunities to make renewable energy cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy. In addition to resolving solar and wind power’s dispatchability issue, batteries are well-positioned to provide grid services like ramp-rate control, volt/VAR control, frequency regulation, reactive power injection, etc… at a low long-term cost. As the cost of renewables and energy storage continue to decline I see a global shift towards a more localized and distributed resource infrastructure

What is one “Action Item” the viewers can take away from this conversation?

Support renewable energy politically and monetarily. This shift is well underway but policy will make a big difference on how fast it happens and who will benefit the most. Call on candidates to support real progressive energy policies (like the ITC) as opposed to greenwashing or “further study”. At home, vote with your dollars in terms of investing in a PV system, purchasing clean power from your utility, driving electric, converting to LED lighting, etc… These are often revenue-neutral or cash-flow positive propositions that increase demand for CO2 reducing technologies, which attracts investment and drives further innovation.

For more information about the solar industry, be sure to subscribe to the Going Green podcast, where we talk with leading experts in the cleantech and sustainability industries.

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