Sudeb Dalai (follow-up)February 26, 2021
Amrita Saigal and Arun SaigalJanuary 26, 2021
Sun YooNovember 25, 2020
Mohanjit Jolly and Mark GorenbergSeptember 03, 2020
Lynn Jurich: Pioneer of Clean EnergyTrue pioneers are ahead of the pack – and benefit when the world comes around to their vision for the future. There is no better example in the clean tech space than Sunrun.
When Sunrun was founded 15 years ago by a few newly-minted MBAs, the rooftop solar industry was 1% of where it is today, only a few states were solar-friendly, solar panels were $3/watt, and home storage batteries were impractical. Fundamentally, the up-front costs of solar were out of reach to the vast majority of homeowners. Starting a solar business in this environment was nuts.
Sunrun’s journey from startup to successful public company was typical of pioneering survivors. Not only did the team develop a new residential solar business model and the infrastructure to help them scale, they also raised boatloads of cash to fund their rapidly growing solar installation business. Along the way they established close partnerships with solar equipment providers and installers, overcame resistance from skeptical utilities and policy makers, and took advantage of M&A opportunities for both revenue growth and technology.
Please join us to honor Lynn as our 2020-21 Pioneer of Clean Energy and to listen in on this fireside chat as she shares her team’s journey from crazy idea to viable business to successful public company. We’ll also get her thoughts on the future of solar and energy storage technology, the importance of public policy in the clean tech space, diversity in the workforce, and new opportunities in the rapidly changing electric utility business.
Fireside Chat with Gokul RajaramJoin us for a fireside chat with Gokul Rajaram!
Gokul has served on the executive team at DoorDash since November 2019, after Doordash acquired Square’s food delivery business, Caviar. Prior to DoorDash, he worked as the Product Engineering Lead from July 2013 to October 2019 at Square, where he led several product development teams and served on Square’s executive team.
Before Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook from August 2010 to July 2013, where he helped Facebook transition its advertising business to become mobile-first. Earlier in his career, Gokul served as a Product Management Director for Google AdSense, where he helped launch the product and grow it into a substantial portion of Google’s business. Gokul has served as a Director of Coinbase since August 2020, Pinterest (PINS) since February 2020, and The Trade Desk (TTD) since May 2018.
Could California Have a Texas-sized Power Outage?Last month a weather driven sequence of events left millions without power for multiple days in Texas, America’s energy heartland. The last two years have also exposed vulnerabilities in California’s power supply infrastructure, with both elective Public Safety Power Shutdowns and capacity-driven forced rolling blackouts. Is California on a path to have a Texas sized power disaster?
Though there are important differences, there are many similarities between Texas’ power infrastructure and California’s: from wholesale market design, to high amounts of renewable generation, to the fact that both markets have experienced generation capacity shortages recently. Furthermore, many of the trends that exist in both markets, coupled with trends in weather patterns, may exacerbate the capacity issues experienced recently. So far California has been spared from a Texas-sized failure, but industry experts disagree as to whether California is equally vulnerable or possibly headed in that direction.
Our discussion will illuminate the key factors that led to the Texas blackout and relate those factors to how California is currently situated and where the state is expected to be in the near future. We will also cover the various mechanisms that can be used to improve power infrastructure resiliency, e.g., revised incentives/regulations, energy storage, distributed generation, smarter grids, and demand-side management. Tune in to hear a broad range of viewpoints on these issues from our panel of experts, moderated by an experienced industry analyst.
The Peril and Promise of Solar GeoengineeringIt is becoming increasingly apparent that the goal of no more than a 2 degrees C. rise in global temperatures established by the Paris Agreement will not likely be met in a reasonable time frame. Post-pandemic global emissions are expected to continue to rise as more fossil fuel plants, including coal, are still being planned or placed into service for the foreseeable future, while countries that are reducing emissions are missing their goals. And while proposals for taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere are emerging, it will take decades for these to prove themselves and scale up to the levels required. Meanwhile, deforestation, severe droughts, raging fires and more powerful hurricanes appear to be happening faster than expected.
With this as a backdrop, Dr. Keith argues that solar geoengineering may be a viable option in that it could be implemented fairly easily and at low cost, estimated at $5B per year, yet offset the impact of many decades of carbon emissions. Research done to date by his team and international colleagues, suggests that the identified risks may prove manageable, but that much more research needs to be done to create a greater assurance that unintended consequences can be understood and controlled.
He will first review the science and technology of solar geoengineering, addressing its effectiveness in reducing climate risks. Then he will describe how solar geoengineering may create new non-climate risks and analyze their potential severity. Finally, he will discuss how a substantial research program could further reduce risk and uncertainty. He will then propose a case for integrating solar geoengineering into a climate policy that includes a full range of emissions cuts, major carbon removal approaches and adaptation. In his proposal, solar geoengineering is positioned as a long-time frame but temporary bridge to buy time to get to net zero emissions and fully implement carbon removal without blowing away the 2 degrees C. goal altogether.