Stephen Lacey's Comments

April 28, 2011

Our Final Podcast. For Now.

Thank you all so much. I can't tell you how much it means to me and REW to have such a dedicated following of listeners. As I mentioned in the podcast, the show evolved in style and substance because of constant input from our audience. There's nothing more fulfilling than that.

@Cott -- there are a couple clean energy podcasts out there, but they have a different approach. The two best are the "Energy Priorities" podcast from Energy Priorities magazine and the Bloomberg New Energy Finance podcast.

April 13, 2011

How Are State SREC Markets Performing?

@Anonymous -- I'd love to hear additional thoughts on why you thought the first paragraph offensive.

We keep a strategic reserve of oil to release when prices get too high; We help utilities set their electric rates; We set tariffs to avoid importing foreign biofuels; We provide enormous consumption subsidies to various fossil energy sources; Oil producing nations create partnerships so as to create coordinated efforts to increase or decrease supply and dictate prices; We require energy companies to procure their energy from specified technologies like renewables, etc.

While we certainly have market-based systems that help determine the price of energy, the system is far from free. That is my point.

April 13, 2011

Solar is All About Efficiency -- Business Efficiency

@Jim -- You make a great point. I'm not purposefully avoiding solar thermal. The PV America conference revolved around photovoltaics, so that's what we focused on!

I agree that we need more attention to solar thermal though...

Thanks. -Stephen

March 11, 2011

U.S. Solar Market Blooms, Challenges Remain

I can certainly appreciate your desire to put more funds toward R&D. However, I don't recall seeing any ideas from you about what kind of technologies you support.

You are constantly hammering away on things you don't support -- but I'm very curious to hear what it is you DO support.

And as I said in a much earlier post: to think that we won't need the same kinds of investment to scale some emerging technology is crazy. It takes decades to create true scale in energy. If you look at every single energy source (coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables), the path toward commercialization is equally long and expensive!

Anyway, I'd love to hear more about what you think could work.

March 14, 2011

Busting 4 Myths About Solar PV vs. Concentrating Solar Power

Hi All -- Let's keep it civil and stick to the issues. This is a great debate without all the name calling and personal attacks.

March 02, 2011

Solar as a Social Network?

Thanks Sam and SolarSherpa. If you haven't seen the full article from Elliott Gansner and Scott Mueller on the fragmentation issue, you can see it here:

February 24, 2011

Bolstering Renewables with Patriotism

I agree with Steven on his point about the size of China's energy system.

To go even further: We are so focused on China's push toward clean energy -- but we ignore how terrible its water and air still is due to coal-fired electricity and lower environmental standards in the industrial sector.

Should we feel competitive with China from a manufacturing standpoint? I think so. But it looks like the country has a long way to go before it catches up to the U.S. from an overall environmental-health perspective.

I'm not sure we need to be as worried about China as everyone says.

I'd love to hear some thoughts from others -- especially those who know the country well.

February 09, 2011

How to Get a (Hopefully Clean) Energy Job

Thanks for sharing your experience, Rob.

It's interesting to hear the disparity between what industry groups are saying and stories like yours.

Anyone else in a similar position? Or have a different experience?

February 11, 2011

How to Get a (Hopefully Clean) Energy Job

@WLodato3 -- Take a listen to the podcast and you'll get lots of great advice. Paul Grana, our third interviewee, talks a lot about the business side of things.

Also, he had an article published yesterday that you may find interesting:

February 09, 2011

Solar PV Becoming Cheaper than Gas in California?

@James Stack -- I appreciate the comment and the criticism.

While we used "projected," "expected" and "estimated" to describe the comparative price outlined by the MPR, we could have much more accurately described how regulators determine the MPR through GHG offsets and other factors.

Thanks very much for providing the model details for those who want to take a look.

February 03, 2011

Will Solar Sales Stay a Professional Position?

I just don't see this as a major problem. Will it be somewhat of a problem? Yes. But a big one? Probably not.

I think that as the industry expands, you are inevitably going to have more scheisters who join in. But we're starting to see reputable, well-branded businesses form now. Customers will gravitate toward companies that have a good track record and who aren't just out to get a quick sale.

States are also creating standards around who can install solar -- potentially keeping bad businesses out of the market. (However, I think some of these standards anger a lot of legitimate installers too).

Stephen Lacey

Stephen Lacey

I am a reporter with, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep...

Total Access Partners

Growing Your Business? Learn More about Total Access