Its funny how a simple thing like a computer virus can make take a step back appreciate your business. This morning a virus shut down my computer and let me have some time to just think about the business I have. (Anyone else notice how useless you are without a computer these days?)
And in thinking about my business I was able to break down what I love about this industry and why.
1. The People
The people in the solar power industry are different. They get it. Sure there are some jerks and scam artists, but for the most part the people in this business are here because they are passionate about renewable energy and want their work to make a difference. And this translates to how they relate to others and conduct themselves. And the customers that are interested in solar panels usually share the enthusiasm and become infected by it.
2. The Purpose
In my previous business I owned a concrete and excavation company. And my purpose was to make as much money as possible. I wanted to do good work, and provide a living for my employees, but at the end of the day there was very little satisfaction. With solar, I know that even a little system is going to provide clean energy instead of using fossil fuels, and that is very satisfying. Knowing that I can make a good living and help people and the planet? Slam dunk.
3. The Science
I’ll admit it, I’m no genius. How solar power actually works is still a bit of a mystery to me. I know the basics of photons and electrons and yada yada. But how this wonderful science came to be and how we actually turn sunshine into power still amazes me. Making something powerful and wonderful out of something you can’t really see sounds like the stuff of children’s books, and the child in me loves it for that reason.
4. The Technology
I love it that this business changes, if even a little, everyday. All over the world, at any given moment, someone is having a ‘Eureka’ moment in a lab somewhere that will improve how solar power works for us. Whether its more efficient solar panels, racking systems, inverter technology or even financing, millions of people worldwide are working their butts off to make this technology more viable and more affordable.
5. The Future
I’ve never had a business where I could look into the future and say “In 10 years, this industry will be light years ahead of where we are now.” Whether it’s rules requiring solar panels on all buildings (e.g. in Japan), costs being cut in half, or just widespread acceptance of solar as an alternative to dirty fuels, the future is bright. There will be bumps and misses and setbacks, but the future belongs to solar.
Kriss Bergethon is an entrepreneur and solar writer from Colorado, visit his site on Solar Panels for more information.
Photo via OregonDOT