Speeding the Energy Transition

Sean White, Master Solar PV Trainer | Training Solar Professionals for “Solar Coaster” Climb | #85

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As innovation in solar chugs along and consumer perception climbs and falls, one thing is true. New terminology – with accompanying acronyms – appears almost daily right now in solar industry. From “solar economics” to “virtual power plants (VPP) ” to “frequency regulation” and “vehicle to grid (V2G),” these terms are the future of solar. And solar is climbing high.

Sean White is an award-winning solar photovoltaic (PV) professor, master trainer, solar contractor and author of several books, including Solar Photovoltaic Basics, Solar PV Engineering and Installation, PV Technical Sales, PV and the NEC and Energy Storage Basics.

Sean was the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Trainer of the Year. He contributed to the development of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installation Professional Job Task Analysis and is a member of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Technical Committee.

Sean is a highly-experienced PV educator with thousands of hours teaching at solar training centers throughout the world. Many thousands of his students are employed at both startup and leading solar companies. Sean also designs commercial and residential PV systems.

On this episode of Clean Power Hour, Sean joins Tim to talk about important milestones in the history of solar technology from its inception in the 1950’s to its maturity today. They discuss solar energy storage, bidirectional car batteries, self-consumption systems, V2G, VPPs, getting to cash positive, plus details on all the important upcoming industry conferences.

Sean’s depth of experience and knowledge makes him an obvious choice for any company’s solar training or consulting needs, as he literally wrote the books on solar. Listen in to bring that expertise to the forefront to tackle any business challenge, hire new talent, acquire new business and so much more.

Key Takeaways

Names of relevant national and international industries, associations, conferences and trends solar professionals need to know about

Interesting milestones in PV cell development from its invention in 1954 to one gigawatt installed worldwide in 2000 to one terawatt installed worldwide in 2022

How the price adoption curve has played a major role in the solar industry

How battery size and availability introduce the new frontier of solar: “solar plus storage”

Which NABCEP tests require prerequisite training and on-the-job experience, and which can be taken with just coursework

Why California has half of solar energy production and its likely status-change to a “self-consumption system” in the very near future

Details on Sean’s predicted boom of self-consumption systems and how the “price is right” for bidirectional batteries in electric vehicles

How the conversion of a power plant to a huge solar energy storage system in Moss Landing, California is a shining example of a win-win

The essential missing piece that is the main barrier to V2G technology

Which mainstream car company is actively working on a V2G-ready car

How solar energy will become economical in 5-10 years because of good “solar economics”

How solar is desirable to for both climate repair and affordability

Why energy storage can assist with “frequency regulation” (injecting extra power into the grid or holding back when necessary)

How the return on investment varies geographically based on energy costs, and how cheap energy locales have quicker “ramp-ups”

How the “solar coaster” came to be and why solar could be the next massive money-maker

How virtual power plants are absolutely necessary when nature deals a punch

How utilities pushing back sends consumers migrating off grid