All On The Same Page
Dr. Charlie Gay is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position he is leading the SunShot Initiative, a team that is dedicated to research, manufacturing and market solutions to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.
Takeaways - Quick chat with Tom Miller & David Dunlap
Tom (Tom Miller - Editor, Solar r.e.view; Creative Director, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems): What were some of your impressions from Charlie Gay’s talk at the BayWa r.e. Partner Summit?
David Dunlap (Director of Operations, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems): Charlie’s working at the Department of Energy to study the entire renewable energy spectrum and figure out its place within American energy use, policy, adoption, and everything else. It’s incredibly complicated. And he applies a PhD, data-driven mindset to that.
Tom: What should folks listen for in Charlie’s talk?
David Dunlap: Listen specially for those parts around trends and opportunities. And the need for being nimble as advancements and adoption increase. Charlie had a graph showing where a new technological advancement has an extremely slow start period, but once it starts to take hold, you have an explosion in the rate of adoption.
Also, focus on the parts around specific local policy, product trends, and the need for consensus among our industry and peers.
Tom: What was your biggest takeaway?
David: For me, the most significant takeaway was that our strongest asset is the people in our industry. We have to collaborate, and share, and talk, and be united in our roles. The more fragmented we are the harder it’s going to be to move forward.
I also got excited about the aggregated national data slides. That is information I was curious about 10 years ago—and had no access to—and now it could be a web portal on the SunShot website!
The ability to go into their website and see, “In my local jurisdiction, the cost of energy is this, typical cost of installed solar is that, relative ROI is whatever, and here is the relative local rate structure."
Tom: That’s huge!
David: Huge! So if a local installer is thinking of expanding into the next state, or a new jurisdiction, that information is there. You can gather it in a matter of hours instead of months.
Understanding how the market you’re stepping into is different from the one you already know, gives you ammunition to be successful right out of the gate.
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