Clean Power

Published on March 10th, 2016 | by Derek Markham


New Documentary Shines A Light On Solar’s Role In Our Clean Energy Future

March 10th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Cost of Solar.

If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re already interested in solar energy, and in solar’s role in helping to create a cleaner and more sustainable future. And there are a number of ways that solar power can help enrich our lives, ranging from having our own home rooftop solar installation to participating in a community solar program to getting electricity from a utility-scale solar plant, but there’s another positive side to solar as well, and that’s the creation of jobs and businesses working in some aspect of the solar industry.

catching-the-sun-futureA new solar documentary, set to be released on the first of April, follows the stories of solar workers and entrepreneurs in the US, and examines how solar energy can both democratize and decentralize energy “in a way that rebuilds the ladder of economic opportunity.”

Catching the Sun, by an up-and-coming filmmaker, Shalini Kantayya, attempts to tell the stories behind the solar revolution, as seen by the workers and the entrepreneurs who are working to bring about a clean energy transition. The film offers a glimpse into the challenges and opportunities that are coming up as we try to build a renewable, low-carbon energy future, and explores the potential for solar energy to be a positive force in the arenas of social and economic justice.

Here’s the trailer:

“The journey to make Catching the Sun began because I was looking for hope. In post-industrial cities like Richmond, California, the dream of upward mobility is eroding. The oil economy has created monopolies and concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the few. I was fascinated by the idea that solar power could democratize and decentralize energy in a way that rebuilds the ladder of economic opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs. Through an unlikely set of characters, Catching the Sun is about people daring to lead a massive global energy transition that is already rapidly in play.” – Shalini Kantayya

For more info on this solar documentary, and where it can be seen after it is released nationwide this spring, see the website, or to learn more about Kantayya, see her website.

Reprinted with permission.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

  • Jigar Shah

    We have over 150 screenings sponsored by local solar companies. If you want to sponsor a screening ($600-$800), just click here

  • Carl Raymond S

    Looking forward to watching this doco. I hope it doesn’t gloss over the issue of the new role of the grid (backup and bi-directional redistribution, versus one directional distribution), and who pays for this.

    Looking back, there are lessons for batteries in solar. I hope the doco discusses Swanson’s Law – which says the price drops 20% for each doubling of cumulative shipped volume. Of course, it’s not really a law, just a way to describe an observation – as per Moore’s Law.

    If man does overcome the climate crisis, history should reflect that the solar part of the equation was solved partly by accident. The coal lobbyists were so busy undermining Kyoto and villifying a carbon tax, that they didn’t notice what Feed In Tarrifs were doing. It never was about penalising carbon, so much as defeating carbon with something cheaper – a new technology which merely required a kick start. FITs, morally right, but clearly wrong on a user-pays basis, gave solar that start.

    If we’ve learning something from Swanson’s Law, we should apply that knowledge now to batteries, using it to project the point at which the ICE becomes uncompetitive (around about the time the first Gigafactory hits full swing), and to project what role the grid will have in a world of dirt cheap storage.

    • Matt

      Carl I agree that the “correct” path in 1990 would have been EU, USA, China, Japan, and the rest of developed world removing a direct/indirect support for fossil fuel and add a carbon tax that grow slowing to say $500/ton by 2000. Then all the other supports would not have been need and the “free market” could have fixed the problem. But the people with gold would not allow that so we took a less optimal path. The key not is to work to keeping it going, we have “miles to go before we sleep”.

  • Martin

    Cool, now how to convince the average person this is the way to go?

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