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⚡"The Path Forward for Residential Solar"

Columbia Energy Exchange

Photo by Gary Cole / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Bill Loveless
Guest: Mary Powell | CEO | Sunrun
Category: ⚡Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[7:33] “It's hard to imagine a future that doesn't include this large infrastructure that we have and utilize it for the good of society. So, from my perspective, it's quite clear what the role of the utility is: green up your grid as fast as possible and deploy as much modern technology as you can to grandpa's grid, because it can still get a little bit smarter, a little bit more effective, a little bit more efficient. And then be a leader, step into that space of partnering with all of these new distributed technologies.”

[10:29] “What […] needs to be done is not complicated. It's just how we can move quicker. […] Of the 77 million households that are well positioned to have solar generation only 3% currently do. So when you start to think about the magnitude of that […] change, that could happen, and the benefit from not just a climate perspective, not just by having a planet that's powered by the sun, which has always been the vision and dream of Sunrun. But also in the context of providing so much more resilience and affordability for Americans all across the country.”

[16:59] “When I think of investment in the existing grid, what I see is most important […] for our major cities [is] to bring on some large renewable resources, whether that's offshore wind, […] some utility scale renewables to bring them into the urban areas. For most of the country, I would say, the reality is that a utility that is really seeing distributed energy as a path towards rethinking their grid, it isn't those huge infrastructure projects that are needed at all. It's actually thinking more innovative around […] how do we put in maybe some utility scale storage to operate alongside all of these customers that have now moved to independent solar and storage in their home?”

[20:17] “When you look at the cost and the speed of adoption of distributed solar and storage [in Europe], it is much, much quicker. And in large part, the cost is lower, because they've stared down some of those issues […] around permitting and around utility process, because that's a big part of what adds to the cost of distributed energy and storage in home. So I think that's one thing we can learn. They definitely also did work around integration with the grid.”

[21:58] “Whenever you see the kind of growth we've had in [the residential solar] space, it's not surprising to see some supply chain challenges. […] What we see is that by the time we get well into next year, I think we'll start to see those loosen up. But in many ways, I guess you would say, it's a luxury problem of the success of the industry, and the fact that customers so much want to see this kind of transition happen. Although we really will be very excited when those constraints are not as visible as they are now in the context of moving things forward.”

[23:54] “The growth of residential solar is so important to combating climate change and customers […] want this technology, they're demanding this technology. And I think that in my experience, when you have those kinds of forces, when you have something that is that is needed so much from a climate perspective, and you have so much customer demand, that industry and regulators and folks figure out how to radically collaborate, to get things done to solve the issues and to keep the industry moving forward. So I have great optimism that we will do just that because at the end of the day, customers are demanding this transformation, they're driving this more than anybody else, which is a really good thing. That gives me hope around climate change and it also gives me hope that for when we bump up against different challenges, we’ll again figure out a way to radically collaborate, address concerns and keep things moving forward.”

Rating: ⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 45 min | 🗓️ 10/05/2021
✅ Time saved: 43 min