The signs of solar power becoming a truly self-sustaining industry are manifold: Solar manufacturing costs fell by between 70 and 80 per cent from 2007 to 2012 while at the same time, the efficiency rates of solar panels continue to improve. But this success has also led to pushback from many of our nation’s utilities.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak again to the Executive Director of Vote Solar, Adam Browning, to discuss some of the policies that have helped the solar explosion, how public utilities are reacting to the success of solar in very different ways, and what steps are being taken to start getting solar to the millions of Americans who are not homeowners.
How do we advance sustainable practices in a world driven by the profit motive? Public policy that mandates the use of renewables by private companies is one way. Not surprisingly, though, this sort of approach is often blockaded by those private interests. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with Ezra Garrett, the Chief Sustainability Officer from Pacific Gas and Electric, or PG&E, a private company that appears to be getting out of the way of sustainability advocates. This is no small matter, given that PG&E has a veritable monopoly in California, the nation’s most populous state. We hear from Mr. Garrett about PG&E’s track record on sustainability, what they are doing to get to the mandated threshold of 33% renewables within the next seven years, and whether they feel more comfortable backing policy or backing off from politics altogether.