Solar square one
Starting a new job always entails an opening period of fumbling about until you finally become comfortable with the work. As a reporter, you get used to tackling a new subject every day, so I’m looking forward to focusing my efforts on writing stories about unique case studies and the business and mounting, racking and tracking side of solar.
Being the new guy here at Solar Power World, I’m not a solar expert—yet—but I do know that the work this industry is doing is vital. Having grown up in a post-industrial region of Ohio, I’ve seen the economic and ecological impact of manufacturing facilities. Many once-viable, now decadesempty businesses remain untouched by humanity, left to be overtaken by plant life. Solar is a bright shining light in a country of excess emission and consumption, and solar can literally and figuratively stand where those economy-driving factories once stood.
We’re all witnessing the effects of a warming world today. An increase of 1° to the global temperature has bleached and killed oxygen-rich coral reefs; the weather is changing, affecting annual precipitation patterns; and wildfires are more prone to start and harder to control in dry, wooded regions. It’s heartening to see an industry capable of combatting that. There’s a chance we can reverse the harm we’ve done to our planet, and one solution is a concerted effort to switch to solar.
It’s capable of freeing acres of land in a National Park from miles of powerline with a single solar+storage microgrid. Solar systems in certain states are diversifying the electric market by giving homeowners the option to tie into a solar-supported grid, and solar+storage pushes ever forward as battery backup and microgrid solar solutions become more viable. However, there’s still room for solar to become more ecologically sound, especially when recycling decommissioned arrays.
Luckily for you, there are stories about all these subjects, and more, in this issue of Solar Power World. I’m looking forward to writing about the work you’re doing, and I’m glad to be here.