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Published on February 1st, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan

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Talkin’ Cleantech With CleanEdge Senior Editor Clint Wilder (Video Interview)

February 1st, 2016 by  

Originally published on Sustainnovate.

I was lucky to spend a lot of time with Clint Wilder, senior editor at CleanEdge, while in Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit, Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony, and other Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week events. One morning, Clint set aside approximately 45 minutes of his time to respond to a barrage of questions from me… on camera. What a kind fellow.

In all seriousness, it was a really interesting chat and went much, much longer than I initially anticipated. We discussed cleantech terminology, a basic history of modern cleantech investing, and much more. I was happy to see him highlight the near disappearance of the term “alternative energy,” since that is a good sign that clean energy has actually become mainstream (not some fringe alternative).

I was especially interested to hear Clint’s thoughts on clean energy trends at the beginning of 2016, and expectations for the coming year. In response, he discussed the importance of the COP21 outcome, record-low solar and wind power prices, and the lack of effect (or greatly limited effect) low oil prices have had on clean energy installation growth.

We also discussed the huge solar power ITC and wind power PTC extensions, pessimism across the industry leading up to that, Sunrun cofounder and CEO Lynn Jurich’s strong words against fatalism beforehand, and the energy tradeoff for those extensions.

We then dove into a discussion of the absurd net metering news out of Nevada (which included retroactive cutting of net metering, but now seems like it will grandfather in existing rooftop solar owners). And we touched on carbon pricing, renewable energy standards, and utility-scale vs decentralized renewable energy.

Clint also touched on CleanEdge’s new grid modernization report and he gave his perspective on the stage of development in this side of the industry (which includes demand-response systems, time-of-use pricing, better transmission lines, and more). Clint provided his 2 cents on why this aspect of the electricity industry is moving along quite slowly, while also highlighting some leaders in the space.

Perhaps the most interesting segment of the interview for me was when Clint and I discussed public utility commissions (PUCs) and their role in supporting (or fighting) solar and wind power growth across the US. PUCs are a big key to a clean and stable future.

Clint also highlighted regional solar and wind markets he finds particularly interesting (aka, hot).

Hopefully that long summary has inspired you to hit play on the video above.


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



  • Zach, another great interview. Thanks.

    I couldn’t agree more that the “alternative energy” term is now outdated. It was appropriate in the 1970s at the Toward Tomorrow Fair where Bucky Fuller spoke that I attended, and perhaps it was ok to use during some of the 1980s, but the term is now fully outmoded.

    The “clean tech” term is currently the best term in my opinion. It was great to hear Clint state that “advanced technology” doesn’t work since the establishment wants to include nukes under that rubric, which, while nukes reduce carbon pollution, they cause tremendous water thermal pollution, nuclear radiation, and disastrous mining pollution.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/dec/05/nuclear-greenpolitics

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