show episodes
 
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, ...
 
Broken English is a mobile podcast hosted by me, Andrew Mahar in and around Chicago, Illinois. This first season is a mixture of interviews from people who have immigrated to the U.S. ranging from Mexico to South Africa to Turkey to Bolivia. With the Trump administration creating such a negative connotation around the word “Immigrant” now more than ever, immigrants need a voice to share their side of the story. Broken English is here to be that voice.
 
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show series
 
I first met Cary Hayes back when I was working at Trina Solar circa 2012. He was still at REC Solar, and we had an unforgettable dinner (and too many laughs) in Phoenix. I’ve always wanted him on the show, and am so glad to finally have the chance. Cary and I have a lot of fun in this interview because that’s the kind of human and leader Cary is…he…
 
Andrew Birch, affectionately referred to by many as simply “Birchy”, joins Nico in this live interview [rebroadcast] from the Intersolar N. America expo hall floor from Thursday January 13, 2022. Birchy is the Godfather of online solar sales (you may remember him as the co-founder and CEO of Sungevity), and always has keen insight into what’s trend…
 
Jason MacDuff is President of greenpenny, a virtual carbon-neutral bank dedicated to financing a sustainable tomorrow. Money deposited in greenpenny is secure, earns interest, and is only used to finance renewable energy systems and carbon reducing efficiency projects - no fossil fuels. And greenpenny has been offering their residential and commerc…
 
Some of you will recall, Nico was live-broadcasting from the CleanPower21 tradeshow in Salt Lake City back in December. While he was there, Nico got the chance to sit down with Heather Zichal, the CEO of the organization that runs the CleanPower show and that has been shaking things up in Washington for you and me in a good way all last year. The t…
 
You probably assume that the Utility-scale solar market, having deployed hundreds of GW globally, has surely by now figured out the necessary software suite to manage projects. It’s hard to imagine how everybody would just keep building novel tools in silos like it’s still 1998 and Salesforce still doesn’t exist! Well today’s guest, Andrea Barber, …
 
Mark Culpepper, who heads up global solar for Drone Base, is on a mission to simplify the process and amplify the importance of solar site data gathering with aerial methods. As the name might imply, Drone Base has built an entire business around aerial thermographic inspection. They’re on a role, hot off a $20M round of investment and acquisition …
 
If you have yet to set out your goals for 2022, then you’re absolutely in the right place. If you have, then maybe this anecdote will help support your courage to achieve them! As we wrap 2021, most of you overachievers have likely already mapped out your 2022. But for some of you, goal-setting (actually really writing it down) has not been a regul…
 
Merry Christmas! As a special bonus for these longer days, I decided to NOT break out this 100 minute episode into 2x50min episodes bc I believe you don’t need to be tricked into listening when the content is good enough - just know that it’s long and you might need to pause and come back - or like listener Alex recently did you can just binge for …
 
In the final episode of Season One of our Green Hydrogen series, we’re looking at how Hydrogen might be useful to aid hard-to-abate industries such as Steel in achieving a zero-carbon future. Let’s get serious about carbon intensity for a minute: the steel industry produces approx 2.6 GIGATONS* of carbon emissions annually, that’s over 7% of total …
 
If you’ve been around the solar industry for long, you might recognize the name, Raffi Garabedian. If you don’t, however, it’s probably because you haven’t studied the rise of one of the largest solar manufacturing brands in the world, First Solar, or perhaps you didn’t sell against First Solar for years like Nico did in his past life! Raffi was th…
 
In the words of today’s guest, Hanan Fishman, “Planning a DC microgrid is no different than any other technical undertaking. You need to start with defining the problem you are trying to solve. In the realm of microgrids, several buzzwords often come to mind including resilience. But you’ll need to drill beyond just buzzwords and really understand …
 
Biraj Borkataria is always looking at the details to determine how they affect the big picture. As an analyst for RBC, ranked #7 globally for his sector, he’s a respected voice in the discussion around Big Energy’s transition toward climate solutions. In this Part 3 of our Green Hydrogen series, Biraj and I aim to take stock of how Green Hydrogen i…
 
Two decades ago, Jason Goodhand was working in Hydrogen. But he says it’s different now. “Whether it's renewable energy, or oil and gas, every sector is trying to ramp up to have enough people to work on hydrogen projects. And it's incredible how fast it came around this time.” How has the market developed? What’s changed over the last twenty years…
 
It’s time to bet on the future. Climate change is here, disasters are daily, and even financial systems are strained to breaking. In Episode One of our Green Hydrogen Mini-Series, Sheldon Kimber is thinking outside the grid and betting on dramatic change, with his eyes set on five inevitable technologies of the zero carbon future. What markets will…
 
Hydrogen, the most abundant element on earth, has been hailed for decades as a beacon of the coming clean energy revolution. So why has it still not arrived? And why is everybody all of a sudden talking about Green Hydrogen? In this mini-Series, in partnership with Intersect Power, we will help you filter hope from hype and reality from fiction to …
 
I’ve said it a lot from the pulpit of SunCast, but there really is a LOT that the Renewable energy sector can still learn from the traditional power sector. The fundamentals of how the power sector works can often feel like a lost art. Today’s guest, Mitchell Samuelian, recounts the many stories and examples where he helped fill those gaps in skill…
 
Bill Nussey’s book comes out TODAY! Freeing Energy: How Innovators Are Using Local-Scale Solar and Batteries to Disrupt the Global Energy Industry from the Outside In is a handbook for navigating the clean energy transition. Last week, we released a 2+ hour in depth interview with Bill. Today, we’ve got a highlights reel, to help you get to know th…
 
The transition to clean energy is moving far too slowly. Trapped by a century of fossil fuel investments and politicians that struggle to plan beyond the next election, the “Big Grid” that powers our modern world is outdated and in dire need of an upgrade. Bill Nussey is on a mission to understand how this transition will benefit us all, especially…
 
Today is Giving Tuesday, yes, yes it is a real thing, and each year we highlight the GivingTuesday campaign of one Nonprofit that we see doing world-changing things. This year we are thrilled to highlight GivePower, one of the most impactful nonprofits in both rural electrification and clean water. If you missed it, we had GivePower’s President, Mi…
 
Today’s Thanksgiving Episode features Youness Scally, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Everybody Solar. Over the past ten years, they’ve developed systems to aid other nonprofits and charitable organizations in installing their on solar projects, and he did it all as a side-project! Hear what it’s like to tackle the details …
 
En este episodio de Plaza Central, Beatriz García Nice platica con el Secretario de Estado para Iberoamérica y el Caribe y el Español en el Mundo del Gobierno de España, el Embajador Juan Fernández Trigo, sobre el posicionamiento de España como un gran aliado en la donación de vacunas a países hispanohablantes, el estado de las relaciones entre Esp…
 
FRIDAY BONUS EPISODE. Today’s episode is EXTRAORDINARY and is not limited to energy professionals. It’s about storytelling, and I bring it to you, solar warrior, because I love this industry and I want to inspire each one of you to tell your unique story to the world. You give me hope. Your hard-earned skills, aspirations, drive and creativity are …
 
Few Clean Energy entrepreneurs are as familiar with the bumpy road from coal to clean energy as Kiran Bhatraju. The son of an immigrant doctor, Kiran grew up in a rural Kentucky town where the economy practically depended on coal. His knowledge on the subject is deep enough and his perspective unique enough that he even wrote a book on the subject.…
 
You need to tell compelling stories. Rain Bennett can help. In his recent TED Talk, “You Don’t Get Hired for Your Expertise” Rain breaks down what you DO get hired for in a very personal and compelling way. Moreover, in today’s Tactical Tuesday, Rain and I break down exactly how he does it, and I extract the lessons you can apply to your very next …
 
This is the Full-length interview with Energy Ogre founder and CEO Jesson Bradshaw, who also appeared on the podcast a couple of weeks ago on a Tactical Tuesday. In this episode, I learned: Why TX is an attractive place for industry How deregulated markets work The perspective of a retail energy provider How you can be sure you're getting the best …
 
For the las six months, the solar industry has been under a shroud of confusion and uncertainty with regard to a handful of policies that are affecting all of us. Whether you have felt it yet or not, the WRO (Withhold Release Order) has slowly crept into the solar industry consciousness and is impacting everything from project equipment and project…
 
Nathan Jovanelly believes everyone should have the right to purchase clean energy. In today's discussion, we talk about his childhood in a blue collar family, how he almost enlisted in the military, and how discipline and diligence paved the way to success, first in engineering and now as the Director of Business Development for IGS Solar. As is of…
 
In Today's Tactical Tuesday we spend 15 minutes diving into the reality of deregulated markets with of Jesson Bradshaw of Energy Ogre. Most of us in the US do not have choice when it come to who powers our homes. But in Texas, and a several other "choice markets" (deregulated energy markets), energy is as competitive as telecom services. Much like …
 
Auston Taber launched Solar Support after years behind the scenes at companies like REC, SMA, Huawei and GInlong, where he learned how to repair systems and mitigate damages from failing hardware. From aging inverters to hurricanes, there's always something threatening productivity of a solar array and Auston's mission is to keep those unproductive…
 
Today's Tactical Tuesday is our Final Debate of the Great Debate Series for 2021, and features four solar industry experts - 2 who represent Distributed Generation, and 2 who represent Utility-scale "Central" Generation. The hot topic being debated: "Distributed vs Central Generation - How do we create the 100% Renewable Grid of the Future?" Barbar…
 
Starting, failing, transparency, humility, organization, leadership, family, burnout...these are just some of the themes that emerged in today's riveting discussion with Reid Wuntke. Reid is a highly intentional and focused leader. You may recognize him as President of one of the world's leading solar software platforms, Energy Toolbase, but he cam…
 
The Solar Power World 2021 Top Solar Changemaker award-winner is Kate Gold, director of community engagement at Solar Landscape. From the Article feature on SPW's website: "Talking about diversity and inclusion in the solar industry is a good start, but the 2021 Top Solar Changemaker is actively bringing underserved communities into the green econo…
 
Welcome back, Solar Warrior. This is a SunCast Rewind that’s also a Tactical Tuesday, typically a short form conversation with subject matter experts designed to give you the practical tools, tips, and advice for building your solar business or career. Today is a special collaboration with Mike Casey from Tigercomm as host of our Quarterly Podcaste…
 
When Eric White met a group of Louisiana oil guys at an OPEC Summit while studying abroad in Vienna, he scarcely could have imagined that his career would soon center around two of the most powerful sectors in the world: Finance & Energy. And when he began to see the renewable energy sector scaling, his traditional finance & energy training suggest…
 
Solar Module Recycling and Refurbishing is a critical (if often overlooked) element of our green, clean energy future. Janette Freeman is passionate about saving the landfill from the millions of solar panels which will be coming to end-of-life in the years ahead. She is the Director of Business Development for FabTech Solar Solutions, which does s…
 
Residential Solar finance is a hot hot market, and few companies have stormed the proverbial castle and taken a leadership position so decisively as Sunlight Financial. On the surface, it looks like a rather traditional "this banker left his banking job for another banking job" kind of story. But as you'll hear in today's interview with Sunlight's …
 
Despite their widespread use in the renewable energy industry, using an 8760 to project financial performance can lead to significant errors in revenue models. In particular, revenue models that pair an 8760 with historical prices miss the impact of hourly renewable energy generation on hourly power prices. Because wind and solar plants are relativ…
 
Today's guest is Amy Simpkins, CEO of Mu Grid. We talk about her life as a clean energy consultant, her history in astronautics and her new podcast, Power Flow. Growing up in a culture of theater, music and performance, Amy has deep love for words and a connection to story. But she spent years taming the right brain and training the left as an engi…
 
Welcome, #SolarWarrior, to another Tactical Tuesday, a short-form conversation with subject-matter experts designed to give you practical tools, tips, and advice for building your solar business or career. Ten years ago, if you called on a solar company to give you a rooftop solar system proposal, one of your installer’s first steps was to come to …
 
Today, Nico shares his 400th conversation with clean energy experts on Suncast. Each episode investigates a small piece of the big puzzle by asking CEO's, founders, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders to share their story and answer questions like "how did you get here?" and "where are you going?" One by one, these intimate conversations help unite a…
 
This is Part Two of our two-part series with Reagan Farr, CEO of Silicon Ranch, a pioneer of solar development in the Southeastern US. If you missed part 1, it's probably useful to queue that one up first, as it sets the tone for this episode. And, this one is a longer episode, as we get into the details of how Reagan and his cofounders Matt Kisber…
 
This is Part One of a two-part series with Reagan Farr, CEO of Silicon Ranch, a pioneer of solar development in the Southeastern US. We talk about his childhood in Baton Rouge, where "curiosity ruled the day" in a home of educators, law school, and 8 years as a commissioner with the Governor of Tennessee. Reagan was there when the state decided to …
 
Solar Power International was officially cancelled last Friday. 😩 Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering and in the arduous process of Rebuilding that great city, yet again. In today's Tactical Tuesday Nico chats w/Danielle Danko of Solar Power Events (the org that produces SPI) about how we can support the NOLA community, and wh…
 
What does it look to disrupt an industry? What does it take to make a career of it? And as Jim Collins suggested, WHO do you need to get on the bus? In Today's episode Nico gets into these details with Solar pioneers Daniel Flanigan and Charles Pimentel as we navigate their clean energy career paths through Offgrid solar, Hydrogen (Plug Power), Sol…
 
Whit Fulton knows a thing or two about solving problems. Today, I interview this introverted inventor & talk about his journey to deliver a brilliantly simple yet innovative energy solution to the world: a smart meter collar adapter. After seven years as the CEO of ConnectDER, his team is delivering a technology that dramatically simplifies the way…
 
Today's Tactical Tuesday is the latest installment of our GREAT SOLAR DEBATE series, featuring two industry experts - Brian Potts, Partner at Perkins Coie and Karl Rábago, Principal at Rábago Energy. Brian and Karl debate the value of Net Energy Metering (NEM) in the residential market. Should it change to encourage more investment? Or should it re…
 
In this episode of "Two the Point," Benjamin Gedan speaks with Liliana Ayalde, former U.S. ambassador to Brazil and former civilian deputy to the commander and foreign policy adviser at the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). They discuss the confirmation of Lieutenant General Laura Richardson as the next commander of the U.S. Southern Command, the f…
 
Unless you were under a rock last week, you prob noticed that two Solar industry SAAS titans have joined forces. Aurora Solar, hot off the heels of raising a giant $250M Round of funding, announced their first acquisition from that war chest - none other than Folsom Labs - makers of pioneering commercial solar design tool many of you use: Helioscop…
 
Today I talk to Ram Ambatipudi about his long history in energy and how that brought him into the world of Electric Vehicles. When Ram left business school in 1995 he headed straight to Southern California Gas Company. Turns out, being on the inside of the world of utilities would prove an unmatched advantage for him as moved through his career, fr…
 
Today's Tactical Tuesday is a five minute jewel from our full episode with Clean Energy Associates' VP of Sales & Marketing, Darryl Parker. In this episode, Darryl focuses on understanding the customer beyond your average sales training. How can you really listen to the customer and structure your offer based on their real concerns? Remember you ca…
 
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