How did a tree-hugging publisher/economist find himself fully immersed in the solar industry? It started with an “a-HAH” moment in 2009. I had just written my monthly ag-magazine column, this time about the effects of climate disruption, in which I calculated my own carbon footprint. It left me feeling pretty sad & frustrated. Then, after 17 years as a publisher, I switched careers…went leaping into the fledgling “scum business” — that is, large-scale micro-algae production & oil extraction for clean-burning, renewable biofuels. Very exciting work, even if the potential results were years away. But, after just one year, that algae start-up ran out of operating capital…so, the moment for another career change. SOLAR! Clean energy technology. Already on the ground & running. Compelling for a wide range of scale…business, home, utility. Very well-suited for agriculture (my background). So, for six years, I worked to develop solar power systems, first at one solar company, then another. After seeing the great, the bad & the ugly of each, time for another leap — form a new, better company, Sun Lion Energy…together with the most ideal partner imaginable — Ken Nadsady, electrical engineer, former Space Station life-systems designer, solar design & installation genius, even a “Climate Reality Project” leader & trainer.
If we humans are to make the successful transition to a thriving sunshine economy, as we must, Sun Lion Energy & others must be here in the trenches, day after day, doing the hands-on work to deploy solar power, customer by delighted customer, kilowatt by clean, carbon-neutral kilowatt.