Solar

Solar – The Largest Energy Source on the Planet with United Solar Energy Supporters Dr. Richard Perez and Eva Hoskin

Episode 93

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Hosted by
Ron Kamen

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

Quantum Quote: “Look at the numbers. Always look at the bottom line– the numbers. Because that’s the best way to back up what you say.” – Richard Perez

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever had.” – Margaret Mead

Saving Earth and attaining sustainability isn’t too late if we know where to rightly invest our time and money. Switching to solar is the most cost-effective and impactful way to create the clean, sustainable future we all desire.

As technology advances create a more comfortable way of life, we often turn a blind eye to all things natural. But the Forces of Nature are orders of magnitude greater than any man-made power, and the greatest source of energy on the planet is The Sun.

The AWESome powers of the air, water, earth, and sun can provide all our energy needs. But – how do we get there? 

Join us today to hear Dr. Richard Perez discuss his studies in how much power we can tap into from clean energy sources; how those resources are orders of magnitude greater than coal, oil, gas, and nuclear; and how the “out of the box” solution to our energy dilemma is to overbuild solar and waste a third of the solar output. 

By building more solar than we need during peak times – and throwing out the extra – we can generate enough energy to carry us through the nights and winters.

Dr. Richard Perez leads solar energy research at U. Albany’s ASRC. He has served multiple terms on the board of the American Solar Energy Society and as associate editor of Solar Energy Journal. He has produced over 250 journal articles, conference papers, books & chapters. He holds patents on energy storage, and load management and leads an International Energy Agency Activity on renewable firm power generation.

Eva Hoskin started with the United Solar Energy Supporters (USES) in late 2020 as an intern which budded into a long-term role, eventually leading to her becoming the Executive Director. In addition to working for USES, she is actively organising communities in New York and Pennsylvania to educate them about utility-scale solar projects.

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SuperNova #1. The reason why we did the energy study initially – and still –  is to dispel common misconceptions about solar energy being a small niche energy source, when, indeed, it’s the largest resource by orders of magnitude.

SuperNova #2. We project there is more solar available for deployments than the finite resource by a factor of 100. Over the next 30 years, you could generate 100 times more solar energy than you could from any of the finite resources.

SuperNova #3. There are three ways to overcome the intermittency issue. The first is to use storage. Energy storage is getting cheaper. The second is to couple solar with other renewables that have another output, like the wind in New York. The wind tends to blow more when the sun doesn’t, and vice versa. There is more wind in winter when there’s less sun.  There is more wind at night generally. So, there is a good balance between the two. And the third one is out of the box. The solution, in fact, entails wasting roughly a third of the solar outputs– throwing it out.

Best Advice He’s Ever Received: “Don’t fight. If you have winds against you, don’t go against it. Try to find a way where it blows your way. And you can make it happen that way. So go with the flow and shape the flow.” – Richard Perez

“One of the things I’ve learned from Dr. Perez, since working with him, that really is one of the biggest takeaways for me is just how little of the land is needed to generate all the solar energy we need. Less than 2% of farmland would need to be used. And the efficiency of panels is getting so much better every year.” – Eva Hoskin

Most Energized About Today: “It’s looking at PV growth over time. Almost since I started in the business, solar has been growing at 20%, 25% every year. It’s been growing at a constant rate that, by definition, is an exponential. And one of the very important things about exponential is that you don’t even notice they are there until you start noticing them. And when you start noticing them, then they blow up ‘exponentially’.” – Richard Perez

“I’m most energized that USES’ new solar film series is almost complete. We are very much looking forward to sharing that with the public. It’s going to be three 60-second films, highlighting the economic benefits that communities can get through hosting a solar project. Super excited to get that out there and start creating more.” – Eva Hoskin

Parting Advice: “Follow the sun.” – Richard Perez

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Episode 93