Solar has the unique role of being a punching bag for those who hate policy risk. And we get it. At an investor conference I spoke at recently in London, survey data showed that over 80% of investment fund managers worried about policy risk. But there's more to the story. IronOak Energy's Dr. Clement breaks it down with 5 solar policy trends investors should know about.
Will Solar Be Forgotten?
No Mention on Trump's "Good" List
A recently released list of 50 infrastructure priorities from "45" (the Trump administration) does not appear to include solar. (Tell us if we missed it.) However, wind and storage do get kind callouts. As does conventional energy. But you might have already guessed that. (Note: It's likely not final.) Read more.
ENERGY STORAGE | ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Energy Storage as #1 New Product: According to 360 Solar Installers
A survey of 360 residential and commercial solar installers in the US said that batteries are their top new product offering in 2017. 60% of installers are offering battery options today, plus another 17% doing so this year. That may be saying a lot, or very little: Compared to what laundry list of other products beyond solar? And are people really buying? We are big believers in this market's potential, but the ROI is not there in many cases. Read more.
Batteries vs. Natural Gas:
Experiments in California
In 2015, Southern California's Aliso Canyon natural-gas storage facility leak created widespread public health risks and climate change impacts equivalent to 1.7 million cars' annual emissions. In response, the utilities are procuring lots of batteries to soak up excess solar power and later supply energy to the grid. In one example, AES storage installations will use 19,000 battery modules the size of kitchen drawers to power 20,000 homes. Fingers crossed that it's a success, or else... Read more.
PRODUCTIVITY | TIPS | TRIVIA
Creativity in Branding:
American Beer Revolution
I was listening to the creator of Samuel Adams beer in an interview on theHow I Built This podcast about entrepreneurs' stories. (Highly recommended.) As he started the microbrew revolution in the U.S., he thought about a relevant quote from Monty Python: “American beer is like making love in a canoe... It’s f***ing close to water.” (OK, pause, let that sink in...) Today, the U.S. boasts over 4,000 breweries, many winning awards globally. So, who's ready for a rebrand? Or a canoe ride?
Scary vs. Dangerous:
Not the Same Thing
Also from that podcast... This former BCG consultant-turned-6th generation brewer spent years working in wilderness-based leadership training via Outward Bound. From that experience, he learned the difference between scary and dangerous. As industry leaders and parents, this insight might be helpful for you, too. Dangerous, but not scary: Hiking in snow-covered mountains in late spring with the risk of avalanche. Scary, but not dangerous: Rappelling down a 300-foot rock cliff with a rope strong enough to support a car.