Before an audience of Manhattan attorneys, Ken Zweibel delivered the keynote address at an event hosted by the New York City Bar Association. The event, "Solar Power in New York: Law and Policy," featured a panel of New York state energy experts who discussed the technical and legal environment for solar energy in the state. Zweibel's keynote introduced the audience to solar and covered the major questions facing the energy resource. View the presentation
The Department of Energy's Minh Le, and a host of other solar energy luminaries, delivered insightful presentations on the latest in solar energy manufacturing, public policy, trade, and competition with natural gas at the Solar Institute's Fourth Annual Symposium. Watch all the video and presentations from the event, including a keynote address from California Public Utility Commissioner Timothy Simon on the Symposium page.
On July 26, 2011, the Weather Channel aired "Changing Planet: Clean Energy, Green Jobs, and Global Competition." The town hall discussion, featuring Solar Institute Director Ken Zweibel, focused on the potential of renewable energy, especially wind and solar, to reduce the impact of fossil fuels and avoid the worst aspects of climate change. The event was moderated by NBC News Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson, and is the second in a three-part series produced by NBC News, the National Science Foundation, and Discover Magazine.
The Solar Institute's participation in this event is in keeping with its mission to raise awareness of the realistic potential of solar energy.
Full video of the broadcast can be viewed on the NBC Learn website, an educational project of NBC News.
The Third Annual GW Solar Institute Symposium, hosted on April 26, 2011 at the GW Jack morton Auditorium, succesfully brought together many of the nation's leading solar companies and energy experts to address the future of solar energy. With over 200 attendees in person and online, the dialogue between speakers and attendees was as much a part of the event as the presentations. Download the presentations and keynote address.
Boston radio station, WERS interviewed Ken Zweibel as part of a special episode of the series "You are Here" focused on solar energy. In the interview, Zweibel discussed the feasability of powering a significant portion of the nation with solar energy and what it would require to attain that goal.
On February 14, 2011, Ken Zweibel presented "Sustainability – A Solar Social Contract" to an organization wide meeting of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The presentation examined why the "social contract" with solar energy remains an important motivator of large-scale solar deployment.
Abstract: Solar energy is not yet cost-effective, yet billions of watts of it are deployed worldwide. Why? Because solar meets other societal needs, best summarized as sustainability. This sustainability is multidimensional: not just the environment (air, water, land, CO2), but regional economic well-being and long-term fuel price stability. The development of solar takes place under this implied social contract. The solar social contract was recently invoked by President Obama when he called for 85% clean energy in 2035 - with solar as a major part of it. View the presentation.
Ken Zweibel spoke about solar energy and the role of the government in its development and use in panel discussion at the White House-GW sponsored GreenGov Symposium, which focused on the performance goals set by President Obama in his Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance signed on October 5, 2009. The panel discussion was moderated by Elaine Ulrich, Senior Legislative Aide for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08).
Ken Zweibel spoke about the dream "green-team" of solar, wind, and electric vehicles at the 25th European PV Solar Energy Conference in Valencia, Spain on Wednesday, September 8. The talk focused on three aspects of PV that are little appreciated but important to its future: its long life, leading to a low levelized cost of electricity; its potential use as infrastructure, a kind of energy back bone for the United States; and the low interest rates appropriate to it due to its minimal market, operational, or regulatory risks. Each has a profound potential to favorably affect PV's economics.
Ken Zweibel was interviewed by Steve Barnett, of the Progressive Radio Network, for an episode of Barnett's interview series, Paradise Parking Lot on June 28, 2010. Barnett asked Zweibel about solar scalability, variability and other perceived obstacles for large-scale solar deployment.
The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research held its 2010 workshop, “Reliability and Economics of 100% Renewable Electricity Systems,” June 22-27, 2010. GW Solar Institute director, Ken Zweibel, provided an introduction to solar energy emphasizing the properties of sunlight, conversion to electricity, basic economics, issues, challenges, and a plan for dialing down CO2 and dependence on foreign oil. A highlight of the presentation was the finding that only one third of the electricity we now generate would be sufficient to displace all light-duty vehicles in the US (250 million cars and trucks) if they were electrified, and this amount would only require 0.23% of US land area if supplied with solar. Siting issues were examined for large systems in the US Southwest.
The Science Policy Institute, which supports the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other arms of the Federal government, hosted a talk by the Ken Zweibel on June 17. Zweibel presented “Siting Large Solar Systems in the US,” an examination of the various challenges and opportunities in solar siting. Zweibel emphasized that the delays inherent in the current siting barriers are substantial and costly, on a per kWh basis about four times more costly than those for baseload electricity like coal or nuclear due to the fewer kWh per year produced by solar. We are thus underestimating the substantial harm that such delays can have on deployment, even to the point of losing as much as 5-10 years on the deployment of large systems. As discussed in the SolarReview.org blog, large systems in sunny places a re about one third the cost per kWh of small systems in typical or sub-par sunlight.
The US Embassy in Rome invited Ken Zweibel to speak at an Energy Festival they are co-sponsoring in Lecce, southern Italy, the week of May 20th. Ken delivered a presentation on the environmental advantages of solar, the infrastructure needed to support regional energy, and how the US could dial down oil imports and CO2 with solar, wind, electric vehicles and natural gas.
View Ken Zweibel's latest presentation on the long-term affordability of solar energy and all the other presentations from the 2nd Annual Solar Institute Symposium. Also read a full summary of the Symposium and highlights from key speakers here.
The GW Law School hosted a two-day conference on February 18-19 entitled Next Generation Energy and the Law, at which Ken Zweibel delivered a presentation on large-scale solar facilities. The presentation highlighted the current costs, land use characteristics and long-life potential for large-scale solar systems in the US Southwest. The impact of "soft costs" - Federal and state regulatory hurdles - was also discussed.
The American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) co-hosted a webinar on February 17, 2010 entitled "Solar: The Future King of Renewables?" The event was streamed at dozens of law firms across the country and by over 300 individuals. Ken Zweibel discussed the special characteristics of large-scale solar PV and CSP systems, and insights into their technical and economic challenges as they impact US siting.