Rally, Toasting, Job Hunt

2011 May 12

Solar Rally

On May 10, I attended a rally in support of incentives for solar energy at the state capitol building in Salem, Oregon. Mac McDowell of solarflareblog.com organized a carpool from Portland. Andy Kerr, an early adopter who has had panels on his house since 2001, was kind enough to give me a ride down to Portland. Philip Krain, a financial analyst interested in renewables, also came down with us.

Matthew Lind of Advanced Energy Systems did a great job organizing the event. As everyone gathered on the steps, the sun decided to show its support, too.

There was great energy at the event. But, I would have liked to see more people - regular consumers in addition to the solar contractors and environmental advocates.

Andy and I discussed the future of the solar industry on the way back to Portland. On the one hand, the industry needs all the support it can get from the government. On the other, unlike China and Germany, where there's enough political will to effect expansion, federal and state governments' positions change with administrations and business cycles. And there is perhaps no foreseeable end in sight. Perhaps that is an indication that the industry needs to figure out a way to expand without the government's support. Is that crazy?

Job Hunt

I've been networking and learning electricity and solar technologies in full force for one month. Of course, I've still got a lot to learn. My main missing links now are AC electricity and pretty much everything about photovoltaics (want to take the NABCEP course).

Though I've met many great people and learned a great deal, I haven't found many real job opportunities in solar. I will continue to educate myself about solar and participate in as many events as possible, but now have to expand my job search options to encompass other industries. Show me the money!


Yesterday I became a member of EcoVoices, a new toastmasters club organized by Simon Bosley, who I initially met at a Greendrinks event. I look forward to improving my public speaking and presentation skills as a member of this club. I know it'll be fun!

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