Category Archives: Uncategorized

Solar Simplified Two-Part Series at the Berkeley Ecology Center

The Ecology Center and the Sierra Club Bay Chapter kindly co-sponsored a two-part Solar Simplified series held at the Ecology Center’s recently remodeled and very nice site.

The number of necessary topics to cover the basics of solar is growing, thanks to recent developments from PG&E, from Alameda County’s vote in November 2016 to create a “Community Choice Energy” program, and from the growing interest in the interconnection between solar, electric cars, and battery storage. So we decided to split the workshop into two 90-minute sessions.

Part 1 on June 10 covered these topics:

  • Components of a PV system
  • Solar Financing
  • Solar Economics
  • Environmental Benefits of Solar
  • How to Find a Great Installer
  • Solar in California and the World

Slides for Part 1 are here. I handed out a printout showing many of the details and calculations given in the slides. The printout is here.

Part 2 on June 24 covered these topics:

  • Solar Panel and Inverter Choices
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Batteries
  • Home Appliance Electrification
  • Community Choice Energy
  • Net Metering
  • Policies (that promote or stymie solar)
  • The Future of Solar

Slides for Part 2 are here.

Solar Guided Tour at the Sierra Club’s East Bay Dinner

The Sierra Club’s East Bay Dinner is held on the 4th Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Berkeley Yacht Club on the Marina for years. Good food and good speakers! Guy McPherson, the speaker in April 2017, paints a grim picture of where humanity is headed (namely, we’ll all be dead in 10 years). I tried to suggest a brighter future is possible, helped of course by massive amounts of solar power. Slides are here.

I’ll be speaking at the IEEE PV meeting at Xerox PARC at 7pm on Feb 11

I’ll be speaking to the IEEE Santa Clara Valley PhotoVoltaic Joint Society Chapter, at 7pm on Wednesday, February 11 (refreshments and networking are from 6:30 to 7).

Please join me if you can! There’s no charge and no registration is necessary.

Details about the talk.
More information about the IEEE SVPVS.

Here is the abstract for the talk:

Rapidly accelerating adoption of solar energy is urgent. A recent article in Nature suggests fossil-fuel exploration should cease globally and that only one-third of known reserves should be burned to limit catastrophic damage from climate change.

This urgent need is not widely recognized or understood because the situation is new, dramatic, complex, and countered by well-funded lobbying and media interests.

Technically literate people must address this chasm between reality and perception. Only we can grapple with spurious “research” findings and partisan media assertions, and only we can translate technical jargon into understandable content. We also should recognize that in order to cast doubt onto findings that challenge vested interests, scientists and science itself are under attack.

How to bridge this chasm by communicating with less technical people, is the focus of this talk. Technical people are persuasive to those who share the desire for rigor, but we are often much less able to persuade ideological people who lack tools for assessing the validity of quantitative conclusions.

The focus of this talk is on communication. Whether you agree or disagree that climate change poses a threat, or that solar power is the best or only way to deal with it, I believe you’ll find the communication strategies intriguing.

Lots of good things: Meet great people, partake in free refreshments, and collect a copy of a book on climate change in the US I’ll be handing out (free of charge)! I hope to see you there.


PS: If you’re not familiar with the IEEE SVPVS, the speaker series is (almost) always on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, same time, same place. Previous speakers are here.