Episode 524

524: How solar got below $20/mwh and why we’re moving too slow! w/Dr. Gregory Nemet

Published on: 27th September, 2022

Today’s guest is a veritable expert on solar and climate change, and has recently served as a lead author for the IPCC’s 6th assessment report. He made his name a few years ago in the energy sector writing a book which explains how we got to the level of low-cost solar we presently enjoy - what was the combination of entrepreneurial effort, technology, and policy that got us here? 

Further, he explores how that is relevant for future solar & whether the lessons learned can extrapolate to other technologies. 

Gregory Nemet is an author and a professor at the University of Wisconsin, where he teaches courses in energy systems analysis, policy analysis, and international environmental policy. His research focuses on understanding the process of technological change and how public policy can affect it. 

Dr. Nemet received a master’s and Ph.D in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in geography with economics from Dartmouth College. From 2013-18 he chaired UW–Madison's Energy Analysis and Policy certificate program, and in 2015, he received the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship for outstanding research contributions. 

He was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow in 2017, which particularly calls to me as I'm a big fan of Andrew Carnegie. The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program supports high-caliber scholarship in the social sciences and humanities that ideally results in the publication of a book or major study. 

Gregory turned his research into his first book, How Solar Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation. Published in June 2019, it makes the case that other low-carbon technologies with similar properties can benefit by understanding the drivers behind solar energy's success. 

In today's Tactical Tuesday, we'll explore takeaways from his 20 years of research to understand how solar prices dropped dramatically and spurred an energy revolution. We'll also dive into his work as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6). Join us to learn more about how lessons learned in the solar arena can be a catalyst for innovation in climate change and climate technology.

If you want to connect with Gregory, you’ll find links in the show notes on the blog.

SunCast is presented by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter brand.

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Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 520 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on Twitter, LinkedIn or email.

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About the Podcast

SunCast
SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tune in, and stay informed.