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Published on October 17th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


My CNBC Energy Opportunities Interview (VIDEO)

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October 17th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
I noted about a month and a half ago that I was going to be interviewed for CNBC and Harvard Business Review’s Energy Opportunities series.  I was interviewed about a month ago now, at CNBC’s studios in London, and the video has just been published.

Of course, while I actually spoke for about 10-15 minutes, CNBC cut it down to a more attention-span-friendly 2 minutes or so. There’s stuff I would have liked them to have kept in, but I think that they did quite a good job overall and chose some of the most important segments to feature.

Overall, it’s not a pleasure to watch myself on video, and I’m not quite used to discussing these matters verbally. But, hey, what can you do?…

In the possibility and hope that this video would be watched by more than just people interested in and knowledgeable about energy (and clean energy, in particular), I wanted to focus on a few points that I thought were most important for most people to understand:

  1. Inaction (in the case of climate change and peak oil) would be several times more expensive than the cost of changing over to a clean energy economy as fast as possible.
  2. We have the technology we need. We have it today! All we need to do is suck it up and get this technology deployed (with strong government policies, innovative programs and businesses, and our own wallets).
  3. Clean energy is not just about the environment (meaning: the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the climate we’re used to). Decentralized, clean electricity is good for local economies and individuals’ pocketbooks.

Also, knowing that repetition is key to people remembering anything, I emphasized these points a few times in the course of the interview and am quite happy that some of them were repeated in the course of the 2-minute video.

So, now, here’s the video, followed by some of the things I discussed that were left out:

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As I said above, I didn’t expect CNBC to include ALL of my points. I knew the video would be shortened. Luckily, though, I’ve got a blog where I can share more. Other points I know or am quite sure I mentioned (sometimes multiple times) include:

  1. Solar costs have dropped tremendously in recent years (and even this year), making solar a great financial investment for millions of people.
  2. Along with dropping costs, great government rebates and innovative group buying/discount programs like One Block Off the Grid (1BOG) and Sunny Britain offer make solar an even more attractive option for millions of people.
  3. Solar leasing also offers great opportunities for people who don’t have the opportunity to (or don’t want to) invest in a solar power system of their own. Basically, with solar leasing, you can cut your electricity bill down from day one and be saving money from there on out. (Of course, it involves giving up some of the long-term profits from installing solar to someone else.)
  4. Wind energy is the cheapest option for putting new electricity on the grid in many places around the world now.
  5. With dirty energy costs continually rising (and already too expensive if you take externalities into account), the future is clearly clean energy.. the question is just how fast we get to the future.
  6. People support clean energy! The only things holding us back from a faster transition to clean energy are the power of the fossil fuel industry over our political systems and the public not pushing politicians to do more (and, of course, politicians not doing more on their own).

I think I covered much more than that, but those were some of the other key points.

Hope you find the video and my follow-up comments here useful. If so, sharing with more people than just your niche “energy circle” would be greatly appreciated.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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