Scientists at Bell Labs made the first solar cell in 1954. A dozen years later entrepreneurs started installing solar panels on rooftops. Now we have over one million homes and businesses powered by solar panels. We owe much of this success to the thousands of men and women who pioneered the solar industry. They are the ones who had visions of solar panels on every sunny rooftop.
Jeff Spies, now with Quick Mount PV, had the idea to get these pioneers together. “In October 2015, a group of dedicated solar professionals gathered in southern Humboldt County for the first-ever Solar Pioneer Party,” said Jeff. “These incredible people assembled to celebrate the birth of the solar industry and recognize the contributions of those intrepid backwoods solar engineers and mad scientists that made solar home power possible.”
The second Solar Pioneers gathering is coming up in the middle of October. And it’s not just a gathering of solar old-timers, or an opportunity to test that solar powered defibrillator. The strategies, tactics and sheer force of will that got our industry off the ground is in just as much need today. So please join me on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as my special guest, Jeff Spies, talks about the next Solar Pioneers Gathering.
About the Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr