Politics is hugely important to the renewable energy industry. Above all else, our industry needs stable policy. Being a small businesses, it’s hard to keep up on the very industry-specific policies, even though these policies are very important for your businesses. This is where we see audio content and interviews to be very powerful and useful to the HeatSpring community and politics is a great way to use HeatSpring TV.
Everyone has questions about politics and wants to keep up to date, so I reached to Stephen Lacey, a report for Climate Progress who loves in Washington DC and is very connected to the the politics and policies of renewable energy.
I wanted to get his opinion on a few things.
The additude and political climate around Solyndra and Evergreen
The hugest push lately is jobs. The solar industry is creating thousands of jobs, how is this contrasting with point 1.
Small guys vs large guys. How can small contractors can go up again solar companies that have $500 million in cash.
Being in DC, where he thinks federal policies are going and what he’s excited about.
After concluding our conversation (you can watch or listen to the full interview below with annotated time stamps) here are the points that have really stuck with me.
The conclusions on the future of renewable energy.
The worst-case scenario doesn’t seem bad anymore. Our industry has enough momentum that a full scale government scalback will not happen. It will be bumping but we’ll probably be able to ride out.
The incremental improvements, especially in the solar PV businesses, are adding up to huge cost savings that is further driving growth.
There’s a lack of support on that we can count on from the federal government and this will mean that the role of state and regional governments will continue to be high. What does this mean for you? You can have an impact on your industry developing by being involved in local and state government.
The day-to-day news might sound bad but the outlook is continuing to look amazing. Solar is the fastest growing industry in the US, it has a huge benefit to the domestic economy as $.73 of each dollar spent on solar stays in the US, the industry is a net exporter, costs are coming down extremely quickly and it’s creating tens of thousands of jobs.
There is still a lot of push back with some federal politicians challenging whether green jobs actually exist of not. We need to start collecting stories of small businesses creating jobs with politicians so they understand.
Here’s is the video interview. Note, the video on my side, the left side, stops around 3 minutes due to internet difficulties. However, the audio stays good the whole time which is why I decided to post it. If you’d like to download the episode as an MP3 and listen at another time, you can download it on iTunes at HeatSpring TV.