Why Solar Will Change the Way We Power the Planet

(21. mar. 2016)

Dr. Tom Buttgenbach from 8minutenergy Renewables explains why photovoltaic (PV) power plants are becoming mainstream, and what economic and technological factors are driving this growth.

Some of the important points in the speech by Dr. Buttgenbach:

  • Solar power is not volatile in price like gas, coal and oil.
  • The cost of producing solar energy is low and most of all fixed low for the next 20 – 30 years.
  • He mentions a contract where they sell solar energy for fixed 5.2 US-cents per kW/h for the next 30 years. Adjusted for inflation: 3.5 US-cent per kW/h in today’s Dollars. Nobody in the gas, coal or oil business can do that.
  • Data centers for instance, use a lot of energy, and they like the 20 – 30 years visibility in the costs.

Tom Buttgenbach, Ph.D., is president and co­‐founder of 8minutenergy. He brings over 20 years of executive management experience in large-scale solar PV, land entitlement, project development, M&A, and capital structuring and origination. Tom has led transactions totaling over $5 billion involving over 15,000 acres of land development, and closed over 1,400MW in power purchase agreements.

Prior to co-­founding 8minutenergy, he was a successful entrepreneur and fund manager working on Wall Street with Alliance Bernstein, a $500 billion fund, leading the investment banking group of RCLCO, where he has transacted and developed large scale real estate development projects in the US and Mexico, and as a project manager for McKinsey & Company in Europe and the US. He earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the California Institute of Technology.