The solar energy sector is witnessing momentous identify shifts. I’d call it an identity crisis, but we’re not that far yet. Jigar Shah, however, might be so bold. As homeowners transition from merely generating energy to storing and redistributing it to the grid, there’s a growing sense that our traditional understanding of “solar” as the industry in which we participate might be too narrow. But what does this mean for installers, utilities, and everyday consumers?
Jigar Shah, the director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, offers an exciting (if provocative) glimpse into the future we shall inherit. With his hand in funneling billions to pioneering energy projects that transcend the boundaries of solar, encompassing batteries, electric vehicles, and more, Shah has taken on the mantle of Chief Story Architect, so to speak, in conveying the captivating concept of the “virtual power plant”. Shah elaborates on how this next evolution of the grid will place homeowners at the heart of vital grid services. Yet, as we explore these innovations, Shah also casts a spotlight on a pressing concern: how do we ensure equitable access to these advancements, particularly for marginalized communities facing steep energy expenses?
Join us for a riveting discussion, recorded live from the RE+ 2023 Tradeshow floor, that promises to expand horizons, challenge preconceptions, and reveal the latent potential within our homes and communities. Shah challenges us to embark on a journey into a more holistic, equitable, and resilient energy future, where every individual has a role to play, and no company may any longer call itself a “solar” company…we’re in the Virtual Power Plant business now, y’all!
This and many other iconic conversations were captured LIVE at the PowerUp Live Podcast Stage in Las Vegas the week of Sept 11-14, 2023. You can watch them all at www.suncast.live !