I recently had the chance to interview Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch, which was a great privilege and honor given Sungevity’s longtime and ongoing leadership in the solar industry. Obviously, I think you should read my full CleanTechnica article on that interview. However, right after writing that up I also saw a good interview with Birch on Bloomberg TV. It’s embedded below, followed by highlights in a bullet-point list:
- Sungevity is moving into Europe (it’s based in the US but is also already in Australia), and it is starting in the Netherlands (a country very special to my heart) because of the very high electricity prices there (27 cents per kWh on average, compared to about 12 cents, on average, in the US). Electricity prices in this and nearby markets have also been increasing rapidly.
- The Netherlands also doesn’t have any subsidies for solar, so there is no concern that subsidies will go away and crash the market.
- A recent study showed that solar power was at “socket parity” (cost-competitive with retail electricity) in 8 of the 11 European markets studied (with no subsidies).
- Sungevity is teaming up with energy giant E.ON, which has ~26 million customers, to enter the Netherlands and other European markets.
- Rooftop solar power doesn’t compete with wind power, nuclear power, or coal power — it competes with retail electricity.
- Across the world, solar power has just penetrated about 0.5% of roofs, but Sungevity sees solar becoming as common as appliances like washing machines or consumer electronics like mobile phones.
- Disruptive technologies, which solar power clearly is, don’t develop with linear growth but with “S curve” growth.
- Sungevity is primed to do very well in this expanding solar power market thanks to its iQuote system that allows people to get a solar quote virtually without a site visit.
Solar power is going to be huge. And it already is huge for the millions of homeowners who are saving massive money from their solar power systems.