show episodes
 
SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, ...
 
Broken English is a mobile podcast hosted by me, Andrew Mahar in and around Chicago, Illinois. This first season is a mixture of interviews from people who have immigrated to the U.S. ranging from Mexico to South Africa to Turkey to Bolivia. With the Trump administration creating such a negative connotation around the word “Immigrant” now more than ever, immigrants need a voice to share their side of the story. Broken English is here to be that voice.
 
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show series
 
Jeff McAulay and Jim Bowen are back on SunCast to discuss how we can reach more Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customers and accelerate the adoption curve for this critical segment of the industry. I’ve had Jeff on the show before talking about how, through their company Energetic Insurance, they have helped developers improve the credit rating of t…
 
This week’s Tactical Tuesday guest is a returning SunCast collaborator & guest, Scott Nguyen of Bodhi Solar. If you haven’t heard his executive profile, I’d highly recommend you queue that up to listen to next, it’s episode 357 from 2021. In that discussion we go deep into Scott’s use of design thinking in developing his software platform focused o…
 
Paul Webb is an Energy Expert and Technical Adviser with 40 years’ experience helping businesses understand how to manage their energy consumption and implement strategic ways to reduce monthly/yearly costs. You’ll love his stories and his in-the-trenches approach which incorporates all stakeholders of an organization, from the boardroom to the sho…
 
Today's guest Spencer Oberan is co-founder of one of the solar software companies that seems to be on everybody’s lips lately, Enerflo. If you haven’t heard of Enerflo, don’t worry, I hadn’t either until January of this year, but they’re a fast-growing startup that’s been in relative stealth mode but seems to be integrating with virtually every pla…
 
Time for #FlashbackFriday! Each quarter, Mike Casey (CEO, Tigercomm) and I convene the top podcasters covering cleantech sectors for a rich, one-hour discussion of trends, developments, challenges and opportunities. Join us in hearing from the people who help shape the view of your company and your sector for investors, markets, and policymakers! T…
 
Matt LeDucq has 15+ Years of experience in renewables, specifically in developing solar for some of the biggest names in the industry like Nextera. He’s overseen more than $5Billion in transactions in EPC, OEM and long term investments, and has deep experience leading transactions for utility scale solar, community solar, stand alone storage, elect…
 
Have you been wondering how to get into the booming solar industry? Curious about the path that someone might take who’s currently doing the job you’d like to have? Where if that job is in solar project development or management then take notes today! My guest, Isha Rege, has risen through the ranks at one of the leading solar development companies…
 
Six years ago, after reading an article in Time Magazine calling energy poverty the worst kind of poverty, Simon Doble was driven to take action, and SolarBuddy was born. But, Simon is a true serial entrepreneur. By his early 20’s he was a successful businessman, investor & developer and has always sought to impact the built environment around him.…
 
The annual CERAweek hosted in Houston, TX by S&P Global has been hailed as “the Davos for Energy” by some, and it didn’t disappoint. In March, I attended the conference to see whether there would be much focus on the Energy Transition, and to my great surprise there was much discussion indeed. It was wholly unexpected to find not just hallway chatt…
 
En este episodio de Plaza Central, Beatriz García Nice plática con Clemencia Carabalí, fundadora de la Asociación de Mujeres Afrodescendientes del Norte del Cauca (ASOM), sobre las dificultades que atraviesan las mujeres afrodescendientes en el norte del Cauca, Colombia, a causa de la violencia, el racismo y el deterioro ambiental. También charlan …
 
While Deborah Knuckey’s resume says plenty about her more than 20 years of strategy and marketing experience in the renewables sector, she’s more defined by her career breaks to learn mountaineering, do polar expedition training, study photography and complete a graduate program in documentary filmmaking with the hope of retracing her father’s expe…
 
Today's featured clean energy entrepreneur is Ankit Sheoran, Founder at Wattmonk. I’ve been getting to know Ankit and his team at Wattmonk over the last few months, and it was delightful to meet him in person finally in Boston! Special thanks to our mutual friend Anthony Conklin for making the connection and for bringing Wattmonk to my attention. A…
 
I said it when we released the episode with Cary Hayes back in January (Ep 438 btw) that the REC Solar “mafia” has deep roots. Today’s guest, Catlin Mattheis, is proof as he and his co-founders are one of the many “alumni organizations”, as we might call them, from that long heritage REC has given us in California. When you hear the origin story of…
 
Today's guest, John Chaimanis, is CEO of Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure. John is a returning SunCast guest & you can hear his original executive profile back in episode 196 of SunCast when we discussed his approach to what we referred to then as “Value-added finance” for solar project development. John’s team and reputation have grown substanti…
 
I’ve gotta give NASA credit. It turns out the space program has delivered many many more terrestrial benefits and innovations than might be assumed at first observation. There’ve been a few folks lately on the show who’s original pursuits & passions took them closer to the moon than the average person. Today’s guest is among that elite group, havin…
 
Jon Powers, is a true [Solar]Warrior. From serving the US Army in Iraq, to becoming the first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer under the Obama administration, Jon has demonstrated passion & leadership in renewables. He was able to parlay that expertise into a strong brand and portfolio in the clean economy vis a vis his company, Clean Capital. Sin…
 
A year ago, the industry was mildly shocked to learn that Jigar Shah, Industry Icon, Entrepreneur, Investor & Visionary would be joining the US Department of Energy to head the infamous Loan Program office(LPO). The LPO is notably responsible for the Title XVII program that invested in companies like Tesla, Ford, Nissan and a large number of solar …
 
Piper Wilder has been working with electric cooperatives for decades and has keen insight into how to partner with (and sell to) them compared with the functional process with the more traditional utility structure. How many electric cooperatives there are in the United States? What percentage of the total (of electric utilities) that represents? W…
 
Dana Clare Redden is the founder and CEO of Solar Stewards, a social enterprise connecting corporate social responsibility initiatives with schools and universities, affordable and senior housing, places of worship, and nonprofits in marginalized communities. Today, Dana and Nico discuss: What is energy burden? (And how might we best work towards a…
 
Suncast is a decidedly better show because of today’s guest. I mean that in all sincerity. In 2018, sitting with Tara Doyle over a beer at SF’s Thirsty Bear brewery, I was challenged to diversify the then very-white-very-male interview guest roster of the fledgling show (still under 100 episodes!!). That day I pledged to get SunCast to at least a 3…
 
Meghan Nutting's work speaks for itself; She has advocated for and contributed to numerous Solar policies and solutions over the past decade-plus. Additionally, she cut her teeth in public affairs, has worked as a Legislative Director for New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, and as a Press Secretary for former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe.…
 
This week’s tactical Tuesday features Britta von Oesen, longtime #Solar Warrior and Clean Energy maven who currently serves as Managing Director with CohnReznick Capital where she opened the W. Coast (SF) Office. She has over a decade of experience with everything from investment banking to tax equity and development in the environmental sector and…
 
In this episode of Plaza Central, Benjamin Gedan speaks with Ian Chen, an associate professor at the Institute of Political Science at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University, to discuss the rivalry between China and Taiwan, why Taiwan is so invested in preserving diplomatic ties in Latin America, and how China wields “medical diplomacy” to pressu…
 
Shaun Keegan co-founded Solar Landscape with a childhood friend in 2012, personally developing each side of the business from design and build to legal and policy. In 2020, his sister, Kate Gold joined the company to lead their community engagement & workforce development initiatives. Kate joins the interview today to provide some color into Shaun’…
 
Just a few weeks ago (Feb 2022), I was live and in person at the RE+NorthEast Trade Show. I LOVE in person interviews!! Especially this one with Nadia Pabst, VP of the newly created Public Affairs Practice, a notable expansion of Antenna Group who is so well known for Marketing and PR. From storage to solar fleets to self driving vehicles, Nadia br…
 
We are kicking off Women’s History Month with Mary Powell, the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun, the Nation’s leading home solar, battery storage, and energy services company. You may also recall that Mary served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Mountain Power Corporation (2008-2019), an electric services company that serves 7…
 
In this audio-exclusive, host Nico Johnson gets unique behind-the-scenes insight into the strategic investment by two industry giants, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Shell Ventures, into one of the more well-established building energy management platforms in climatetech - GridPoint. GridPoint today announced it has closed a $75 million strateg…
 
Warning this is a 2-hour life course that you don't want to miss! Queue it up and set aside the time. You will be rewarded Ever meet someone and stand in awe of their genius? Well, have we got a show for you! This week’s episode features Michael Burz, CEO and Co-Founder of Enzinc, a green energy startup developing a revolutionary type of battery ba…
 
Today's Tactical Tuesday features Derick Lila, the founder of PV Buzz (a platform focused on the North American Solar industry.) Recently, he made an interesting post on LinkedIn about Black History month and its emphasis on "black awesomeness" while overlooking issues related to black wellness. The post was particularly notable as the theme of thi…
 
Miles Braxton went to UVA specifically to study in the lab of Mool Gupta, the Father of Photonics. He should have been a prime candidate for the booming solar industry: a black engineer, young and ambitious, ready to put his boots on and earn his stripes. Then, he couldn’t find a job. Anywhere. He now leads Risk Management for the Goldman Sachs Ren…
 
Happy Tuesday, Solar Warriors! If you've been keeping up with our podcast, then you'll remember Alex Williams, CEO of Solar Energy Partners, who appeared on the show at the beginning of this month. In that episode, we talked at length about his company and his success in mobilizing over 1000 people into high-performing solar sales. And while his su…
 
This week we’re excited to welcome our guest, John Farrell, to Suncast. John Farrell is an author, a podcaster, co-director of the Institute of Self Reliance, and leads the Energy Democracy Initiative. He has also been featured in the New York Times and is widely known as a “guru of distributed energy.” On this week’s episode, we were able to get s…
 
Many will instantly recognize the popular NPR Quiz show “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” If you don’t, you really have missed one of the all-time-great NPR staples. Well, at Intersolar North America last month, Scott Nguyen, CEO of Bodhi Solar, and I hosted a very special version [Scott’s brainchild] of WWDTM - the Solar Edition! Wait, Wait Don't Tell …
 
Alex Williams is a problem-solver. That, and he loves to recruit high-performing sales people. He loves watching people transform into what they think they can be. And through the pandemic he got his perfect chance. His company, Solar Energy Partners, hired and trained over 1000 sales people over the last 18 months, all focused on knocking resident…
 
In this special presentation of Plaza Central, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama Erika Mouynes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica Rodolfo Solano, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic Roberto Álvarez, and the Wilson Center's Cynthia Arnson discuss the Alliance for Development in Democracy, an initiative to pr…
 
Can Energy Storage unlock a “Solar-Plus-Storage-Powered Future” for the largely yet-to-be-disrupted Commercial and Industrial segment of solar? Today’s guest, Yotta Energy’s CEO, Omeed Badkoobeh, believes it can, and we get into the innovative storage technology they’ve created to address this behemoth and largely untapped market. Of the more than …
 
How did Zvi Alon become Chairman and CEO of one of the early MLPE pioneers, Tigo Energy? By believing in the strategy he mapped out and invested in! When the original founders lost hope in the plan, Zvi stepped in, and the rest is history. Hear today how one of the iconic power electronics companies birthed here in Silicon Valley stayed alive amids…
 
I’ve been getting a LOT of inbound over the last year since President Joe Biden took office as investors and renewable energy developers the world over increasingly see the United States as a “great place to invest”. Sergio Blanco was my direct boss at Conergy, the last real “job” I held, at a time when I was trying to learn what it takes to develo…
 
I first met Cary Hayes back when I was working at Trina Solar circa 2012. He was still at REC Solar, and we had an unforgettable dinner (and too many laughs) in Phoenix. I’ve always wanted him on the show, and am so glad to finally have the chance. Cary and I have a lot of fun in this interview because that’s the kind of human and leader Cary is…he…
 
Andrew Birch, affectionately referred to by many as simply “Birchy”, joins Nico in this live interview [rebroadcast] from the Intersolar N. America expo hall floor from Thursday January 13, 2022. Birchy is the Godfather of online solar sales (you may remember him as the co-founder and CEO of Sungevity), and always has keen insight into what’s trend…
 
Jason MacDuff is President of greenpenny, a virtual carbon-neutral bank dedicated to financing a sustainable tomorrow. Money deposited in greenpenny is secure, earns interest, and is only used to finance renewable energy systems and carbon reducing efficiency projects - no fossil fuels. And greenpenny has been offering their residential and commerc…
 
Some of you will recall, Nico was live-broadcasting from the CleanPower21 tradeshow in Salt Lake City back in December. While he was there, Nico got the chance to sit down with Heather Zichal, the CEO of the organization that runs the CleanPower show and that has been shaking things up in Washington for you and me in a good way all last year. The t…
 
You probably assume that the Utility-scale solar market, having deployed hundreds of GW globally, has surely by now figured out the necessary software suite to manage projects. It’s hard to imagine how everybody would just keep building novel tools in silos like it’s still 1998 and Salesforce still doesn’t exist! Well today’s guest, Andrea Barber, …
 
Mark Culpepper, who heads up global solar for Drone Base, is on a mission to simplify the process and amplify the importance of solar site data gathering with aerial methods. As the name might imply, Drone Base has built an entire business around aerial thermographic inspection. They’re on a role, hot off a $20M round of investment and acquisition …
 
If you have yet to set out your goals for 2022, then you’re absolutely in the right place. If you have, then maybe this anecdote will help support your courage to achieve them! As we wrap 2021, most of you overachievers have likely already mapped out your 2022. But for some of you, goal-setting (actually really writing it down) has not been a regul…
 
Merry Christmas! As a special bonus for these longer days, I decided to NOT break out this 100 minute episode into 2x50min episodes bc I believe you don’t need to be tricked into listening when the content is good enough - just know that it’s long and you might need to pause and come back - or like listener Alex recently did you can just binge for …
 
In the final episode of Season One of our Green Hydrogen series, we’re looking at how Hydrogen might be useful to aid hard-to-abate industries such as Steel in achieving a zero-carbon future. Let’s get serious about carbon intensity for a minute: the steel industry produces approx 2.6 GIGATONS* of carbon emissions annually, that’s over 7% of total …
 
If you’ve been around the solar industry for long, you might recognize the name, Raffi Garabedian. If you don’t, however, it’s probably because you haven’t studied the rise of one of the largest solar manufacturing brands in the world, First Solar, or perhaps you didn’t sell against First Solar for years like Nico did in his past life! Raffi was th…
 
In the words of today’s guest, Hanan Fishman, “Planning a DC microgrid is no different than any other technical undertaking. You need to start with defining the problem you are trying to solve. In the realm of microgrids, several buzzwords often come to mind including resilience. But you’ll need to drill beyond just buzzwords and really understand …
 
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