Speeding the Energy Transition

Nobel Chang, Cofounder of Palladium Energy | Deep Dive into the Ups & Downs of the Solarcoaster #97

Solar is an unpredictable industry.

Government incentives drive an uptick in the market for a few years. And then high-profile bankruptcies and severe tariffs put the brakes on development for a year or two.

But those of us committed to renewables for the long term keep moving forward, developing the grit it takes to navigate the ups and downs of what we call the solarcoaster.

Nobel Chang is Cofounder and Managing Partner at Palladium Energy, a utility-scale solar investor and developer headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, where he leads all things business development and commercial strategy.

A veteran of the renewables industry, Nobel got his start in 2009 with a semiconductor company building off-grid systems for rural applications in Africa and Asia before starting his own development shop in 2014 and building Palladium in 2019.

On this episode of Clean Power Hour, Nobel joins Tim to share his experiences in 13 years on the solarcoaster, explaining how his first major downturn was caused by the Solyndra bankruptcy in 2011.

He describes how tariffs on solar equipment and the SunEdison bankruptcy impacted the solar industry and discusses how to hedge against the volatility by working in multiple markets.

Listen in for insight around the current challenges associated with the antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) and find out why Nobel sees a bright future for the solar industry despite its ups and downs.

Key Takeaways

The volatility and unpredictability of the solar industry that fuels the solarcoaster
How Nobel experienced his first major downturn after the 2011 Solyndra bankruptcy
What happened in 2012 when the Obama administration put tariffs on equipment
How the 2016 SunEdison bankruptcy put a freeze on solar finance
How the 2016 downturn inspired Nobel to develop projects in markets abroad
How Trump era tariffs on imported solar panels dealt a major blow to renewables
The grit and creativity required to build a career as an entrepreneur in the renewables space
How the current antidumping and countervailing duties affect module pricing
How to hedge against the ups and downs in solar by working in multiple markets
Palladium’s role as a utility-scale solar and solar+storage investor and developer (and why storage is being tacked on to most solar projects now)
How the transition to wind, solar and storage signals a bright future for renewables