Bringing Energy to the Solar Power Business
In recent years, being eco-friendly became the "in" thing. However, as most will tell you, being environmentally astute isn't a fad or even a trend for that matter. For example, the Solar Power business has been one that has seen it's good share of ups and downs just like many other industries.
One of the pioneers in the space is Gary Gerber, President of Sun Light & Power and the 2008-2010 President of California Solar Energy Industries Association.
Since 1976, Gerber has seen the industry fluctuate back and forth like a kid blowing up a balloon.
Recently, Technorati sat down with Gerber to talk about the industry's future considering how important alternative energy has become to the sustainability of our planet. Additionally, Gerber discussed some business tips to those looking to get into the industry.
TR: Tell me a bit about why you got into the solar industry?
Gerber: I've always been a long view thinker and early on realized that our planet wasn't an unlimited source of energy. When you thought about it, you quickly realized that coal, oil and other energy sources were not in abundance. These resources would be gone in a geological blink of an eye. That thinking has been deeply ingrained in my mind, which made me realize that I didn't want to spend time pursuing a dead end. We needed to move towards a better future and when the thought of solar power captured me. I wanted to spend my life moving towards a sustainable future.
I started the company back in the mid-70s with four people. We survived the gas crisis of the 70s, benefited from the tax credits of the Jimmy Carter administration and saw huge growth in the early days. But, as the popularity of the business grew, there were lots of people getting into the business to make money. We saw huge growth in the industry, but it quickly got to the point where solar power professionals were seen as used car salesmen. The industry was too immature at that point.Continued on the next page