The COVID-19 pandemic shook up the world as we know it. What will be the new normal for solar energy in the coming years? The panelists, who are recognized pioneers in solar, share their insights about plausible short-term and long-term developments.
Anna (Ebers) Broughel is a renewable energy economist at an engineering consulting firm Tetra Tech. Her most recent research reviewed over 60 international energy scenarios for 2040 and beyond, developing four main scenarios for post-COVID19 energy futures. Prior to joining Tetra Tech, she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy as a Science and Technology Fellow. During her post-doctoral training at the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland and at the University of Maryland, College Park, she researched social acceptance of wind energy and other energy technologies. She holds a PhD in economics and policy from the State University of New York in association with Syracuse University, where she was a Fulbright scholar. Currently, she serves as a council member for the U.S. Association for Energy Economics and is a non-resident fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. In the past, Dr. Broughel has taught classes in energy policy and climate change as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Jenny Chase is the manager of BloombergNEF's global Solar Insight Service. She joined BNEF mid-2005 and launched the Solar Insight Service in early 2006, and now runs the team from Bloomberg's Zurich office.
Jenny has conducted or overseen all the research of the Solar Insight Service since 2006. This has included PV experience curve analysis, which enabled the team to make a definite prediction of an upcoming sudden 35-40% fall in crystalline silicon module prices, a year before it happened and while most analysts were expecting slow 5-10% per year price slides. The timing of the price decline in early 2009 was predicted by BNEF's solar team with some accuracy in 2007, based on global supply and demand analysis. The team conducts regular and rigorous price surveys across the PV value chain, detailed and timely analysis of policy and its implications for the solar sector, and extensive technology and economic analysis of PV and solar thermal electricity generation. Jenny is the author of BNEF's quarterly PV Market Outlook, which draws together updates and output of proprietary models to give a detailed account of demand, supply, price, margins and investment activity in the PV industry. The team also conducts continuous ad-hoc research and data provision on the hot questions of the day for many of the leading financial institutions, utilities, developers and manufacturers.
Jenny is the author of a book, Solar Power Finance Without the Jargon, published by World Scientific Publishing in 2019. She holds a BA in Physical Sciences and an MSci in Physics from the University of Cambridge, England, and breeds award-winning West of England geese.
Charlie Gay (Dr. Solar) has over 45 years of experience in renewable energy. Currently, he serves on the Sandia National Laboratory Energy and Homeland Security External Advisory Board as well as the Advisory Panel for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. He has significant private-sector experience, including past tenures as president of Applied Solar for Applied Materials, chairman of the technology advisory board for SunPower Corp, president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and president of ARCO Solar. Dr. Gay's public service includes Director of the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office and Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He is creator of the Greenstar Foundation, an organization that delivers solar power and internet access to villages scaling microenterprise in the developing world. Charlie has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside. He holds numerous patents for solar devices, won the Gold Medal for Achievement from the World Renewable Energy Congress, and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013 for leadership in the development of the global photovoltaic industry.
Gregory Nemet is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs . He teaches courses in policy analysis, energy systems, and international environmental policy. Nemet's research focuses on understanding the process of technological change and the ways in which public policy can affect it. He received his doctorate in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. His A.B. is in geography and economics from Dartmouth College. He received an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2017 and used it to write a book on how solar PV provides lessons for the development of other low-carbon technologies: "How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation" (Routledge 2019). He was awarded the inaugural World Citizen Prize in Environmental Performance by APPAM in 2019. He is currently a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report.