Saving $5 Trillion with the “Value of Solar” Karl Rabago

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Hosted by
Ron Kamen

Ron Kamen has decades of expertise & leadership in catalyzing exponential change in sustainable energy adoption with governments, non-profits, and businesses.

Quantum Quote: “the iPhone has 100,000 times more computing power than an entire Apollo rocket ship that went to the moon” 

Karl Rabago led renewable energy research and development programs for the United States government, did advocacy work with the Environmental Defense Fund, consulting work with engineering firm CH2M Hill, policy analysis with the Rocky Mountain Institute, ran Regulatory Affairs in 28 countries for AES, and launched a greenhouse gas credit business with GE energy.

Karl is the founder of the groundbreaking “Value of Solar” concept where we move beyond paying for what solar costs. Where CONsumers become PROsumers who also generate our own energy and are paid the real higher VALUE that energy is worth.

SuperNova #1. “When we run a scenario to electrify the economy and reduce carbon emissions by 95%… we can see 5 trillion dollars in energy savings for the people in the United States by 2050…  It’s a win win, win, win win win scenario – you notice everything about it and the jobs, multiply… and the savings multiply, and the rates go down.”

SuperNova #2. What stands in the way is anything we’ve ever done before, which is usually what stands in the way of everything we want to do.

SuperNova #3.  Here it comes again. It’s going to come in another way, and it’ll work for you. And it’ll probably be better. And you’ll be telling stories to your great grandkids about how you were here when they used to just make electricity at power plants.

SuperNova #4.  Think of all the ways to ask good questions. If you need something from someone, especially a bureaucrat, the best question to ask is: what would you do if you were me? It invites them to be in your space.

Worst Clean Energy Moment – Coming up with a great new idea – the “Value of Solar” – and then getting attacked for it by his friends in the solar industry because it was too different.

 Ah-Ha:  Deciding to call it a simple name – the value of solar – so everyone (regulators, utilities, average people) could understand it.

Best Advice he’s ever received: “Saw the wood that’s in front of you”. Focus on what you’re doing and do it as well as you can, and that will lead to great opportunities. 

Personal Success: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Try ideas out on people. Ride a bike or spend other time NOT thinking about work. Start the day with an hour of current industry news so that the patterns form in the back of your head while you work on the stuff in the front.

Internet Resources:  Energy and Environment Twitter sources.

Book Recommendation: Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Magic Wand – The best part of COVID without the disease. Talk to our neighbors instead of driving by each other. Be polite while standing in line, because we believe we are sharing in a common effort. Ask questions about what is important in life. Spend more time with our family. Get back to community.

One thing that Energizes today – Community Solar & Vibrant Clean Energy https://www.vibrantcleanenergy.com/. Applying big data modeling to the energy sector and finding the savings that we can have. Getting carbon-negative jet fuel from corn & good farming.

WTF or F –  Looking up into the eye are the center of a hurricane in 2008 

Parting Advice – Step up and step in. Everybody has something to offer in solving the problems that affect us all. Step up and listen to other people, and step into the dialogue. Because being a bystander is not an option – we all have a responsibility.

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