WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GENERATION JUNE/JULY 2018 13 NEW YORK, NY- My grandfather was a coal miner. His name was John Moran, same as mine. He was born in Ireland and started working in the coal mines in England at an age that would be illegal now. He found his way to New York City where he married, settled in the Bronx and had five sons. The damage to his lungs from working in the coal mines forced him to uproot his family and move to a tiny copper mining town in southern Arizona where he might find it easier to breathe. I never met my grandfather. He died too young of emphy- sema, most likely from his days as a coal miner. I work in the solar industry and have for over a decade. I’ve thought a lot about my grandfather over the last year as the issue of coal mining jobs in the United States became a political talking point. Coal mining jobs in the United States are on the decline and have been for quite some time. In 1920, 784,000 people worked in coal mines, by mid- 2016 coal mining jobs were down to 55,000. These jobs are not coming back despite what our President promised. The reasons are many and not easily reduced to a soundbite: tech- nological advances in mining, a shift from underground mines in Appalachia to sur- face mines in Wyoming and Montana that need a tenth of the man power, the fracking revolution and switch to cheaper natural gas, energy efficiency gains, dramatic declines in the price of wind and solar, pol- lution and climate change concerns, and the complete unwillingness of capital to invest in new coal burning power plants just to name a few. In contrast, Solar jobs in the United States are growing rapidly, with over 200,000 people employed and solar employ- ment having grown 123% between 2009 and 2015. The price of installing solar since I started in 2006 has gone from $8/watt to $1/watt. In many locations Wind and Solar are now the cheapest sources of electricity with no fuel cost for the next 25 years (the length of warranties on the equipment), and probably much longer than that since panels only degrade at a half of a percent a year. Renewables allow energy to become a domestically sourced, clean, fixed rather than variable, source of electricity. No won- der Google, Apple, Amazon Facebook etc. are signing up hundreds of megawatts a year from wind and solar farms. We should retrain our coal miners for solar and wind installation, operations and maintenance jobs. These jobs cannot be outsourced. Coal fueled the Industrial Revolution and powered the world into the modern age. The United States is deeply indebted to coal and the hard-working people, people like my grandfather, people who mined it, shipped it and burned it in steel and power plants. This is why we cannot lie to them now. We need to ensure their pensions and retrain them. We do not need to make hol- low campaign promises that are at best ill- informed and at worst lies. I hope to meet my grandchildren one day and to tell them how their great, great grandfather helped power the Industrial Revolution and how their grandfather had a small part in power- ing the Clean Energy Revolution. ABOUTTHE AUTHOR John Moran has been in the solar industry since 2006, working across various functions from physically installing residen- tial and commercial projects, to negotiating SREC and EPC contracts, to permitting and developing projects, to financial modeling and selling panels for utility scale projects. Prior to joining sPower, John was a Project Developer for enXco Development Corporation and in Utility Scale sales for Suntech. For the last 3 years, John has been a Project Manager for SPower. He’s a Notre Dame grad. PERSPECTIVE FROM COALTO SOLAR: A FAMILY AND A NATION BY JOHN MORAN residential energy storage deployments will surpass 1,000 megawatt-hours in 2020.  ABOUT U.S. ENERGY STORAGE MONITOR Delivered quarterly, the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor is the industry’s only com- prehensive research on energy storage markets, deployments, policies and financ- ing in the U.S. These in-depth reports provide energy industry professionals, policymakers, gov- ernment agencies and financiers with con- sistent, actionable insight into the burgeon- ing U.S. energy storage market.   ABOUT GTM RESEARCH GTM Research is now Wood Mackenzie, providing critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. Its coverage spans the green energy industry, including solar power, grid modernization, energy storage and wind power.  ABOUTTHE ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION The Energy Storage Association is the national trade association dedicated to ener- gy storage, working toward a more resil- ient, efficient, sustainable and affordable electricity grid – as is uniquely enabled by energy storage. With more than 160 members, ESA represents a diverse group of companies, including independent power producers, electric utilities, energy service companies, financiers, insurers, law firms, installers, manufacturers, component suppliers and integrators involved in deploying energy storage systems around the globe. WOODMAC SEES NEW HIGHS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

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