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S2 E2: The CleanTech Career Ladder We are back with episode 2 of the second season of the ‘Clean Fuels Podcast’ hosted by Alex Horne of Piper Maddox. In this series, we will explore the dynamic CleanTech sector, where we are joined by industry leaders to delve deep into the evolving landscape across North America. Specifically, we focus on Clean Fuels, Hydrogen, and Sustainability markets. This episode is a deep dive into the different steps of someone’s potential career in the CleanTech space. Claire Broido Johnson, Co-Founder and Operating Advisor and Board Member at Sunrock Distributed Generation gives terrific insight into ways to best stand out as a junior person, and what intangibles she and other leaders most look for – and delves into the best resources and tips for executives and potential founders in the space. We give some color into what the sentiment is in the market, and how to best stand out on a resume and interview as well.. ABOUT CLAIRE:Claire is career Leader, Founder, and Advisor in the Renewable Energy and CleanTech industry, currently serving on several boards and supporting dozens of startups in the space with how own consultancy CBJ Energy. She is the founder of SunEdison, who at one point was the largest solar energy services provider in North America; at its height, the company had an asset value of over $10 billion and more than 7,000 employees. She’s also spent time with the Department of Energy, as an advisor to their energy efficiency vertical. Claire has dedicated much of her career now to helping others in the Climate space grow their careers and reach their potential. USEFUL RESOURCES:https://careers.powerhouse.fund/companieshttps://wrisenergy.org/https://www.womeninrenewables.org/https://newiee.org/ To get in touch with Alex, get in touch at email@example.com. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPV Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222 Youtube > https://youtu.be/a0pSDK3inEA?si=bAxwCnoufYvt8qnq
S2 E1: The Green Shift; Fueling the future Welcome to the first episode of the second season of the ‘Clean Fuels Podcast’ hosted by Alex Horne of Piper Maddox. In this series, we will explore the dynamic CleanTech sector, where we are joined by industry leaders to delve deep into the evolving landscape across North America. Specifically, we focus on Clean Fuels, Hydrogen, and Sustainability markets. Our discussions center on the latest technologies, trends, and the visionary individuals driving change, with a particular emphasis on hiring trends and the influential figures shaping the future of our planet. In this episode, we are thrilled to have Eric Planey, the CEO at SolaBlock, joining us. Together, we delve into the anticipated trends across the CleanTech industry in 2024, particularly from an investment and growth perspective, focusing on hiring and talent trends. Eric provides an incredible perspective on ways to transition into the CleanTech space from other sectors – and what soft skills are most in need when growing your career in the space. We talk through expectations and hopes for the year, and provide some resources for people looking to kickstart their career in the space. Eric is a career finance and commercial leader – who made the transition to CleanTech to head up SolaBlock; a startup creating solar capturing building blocks and materials. A cross section between CleanTech and the ConstructionTech space, he’s had a unique journey in building relationships in the space. From the Rust Belt of Ohio, he’s been passionate about creating a more sustainable future for our planet, and has hosted a podcast in the past about topics in the space. Check it out! “Pirates of CleanTech” You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPV Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222 Youtube > https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6AFhp_PmPf_FBMqW0F3GGJ-5HjJk4tfO&si=TLnsS7MNXFdQRKk9
Why was 2022 an important year for renewable energy? There is no doubt that 2022 was an important year for renewable energy. Despite delayed supply chain turbulences and skyrocketing raw material costs caused by the lingering coronavirus pandemic, the renewable energy industry maintained its upward growth trajectory over the past year, with the global renewable net capacity increasing by a groundbreaking 295 Gigawatts . We can attribute these positive trends primarily to the largest global power players – notably China, the United States, the European Union, and India – and their commitment to market reforms and new renewable energy policy implementations. The most influential of these policies; China’s “Five-Year Plan” and Europe’s “REPowerEU”, have played an integral role in marking this year as the beginning of the green transition ,. On the American side of things, no law has been more integral to Biden’s presidency and contributed more to clean energy investment than the ‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’. In addition to combatting the national inflation crisis and reducing prescription drug prices, the US IRA aims to inject 369 billion dollars into the renewable energy industry, “lower overall energy costs, increase cleaner production, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030” . What markets are likely to benefit most from IRA? Being only a few months into IRA, it is challenging at this stage to discern IRA’s direct impacts on the industry and how successful it will be in the long term. That said, its presence has certainly created quite a buzz in several renewable energy markets. Assuming the IRA forecasts are correct, and this past decade’s growth trend is maintained, the markets that are likely to benefit the most from IRA lie in solar. This, of course, is probably not very shocking to most industry leaders; although hydropower and wind remain the largest source of global renewable energy capacity, solar PV has contributed to over 60% of capacity growth in 2021 and is expected to be “the most installed power capacity worldwide by 2027, surpassing coal, natural gas, and hydropower” . As it currently stands, the solar cell market continues to be dominated by crystalline silicon - the leading material in photovoltaic energy harvesting technology. This has been the case since 1954, when Bell Labs modeled the first silicon cell to have an energy efficiency of over 6 percent . 70 years later, most of the solar panels available for commercial use have an efficiency that fluctuates between 15 - 22 percent . Although this progress is substantial, silicon-based solar projects are still relatively inefficient for how much they cost to manufacture and upkeep. Some even argue that the processes and materials involved in the production of solar panels are not environmentally friendly, casting even more uncertainty on solar as a potential long-term renewable energy source. What will most likely increase scientific research? The good news? Laws like the Inflation Reduction Act will most certainly increase scientific research in solar efficiency, both in silicon technology and in other materials whose efficiency potentials have yet to be fully recorded. Perovskite technology has been on the radar for many researchers and industry leaders, primarily due to its remarkable efficiency levels, low production costs, and commercial viability. We must note however, that a lot of work needs to be done before we can expect to see perovskite cells take over our suburbs. Its primary limitation is its durability; perovskite cells have continuously demonstrated short life lengths and a tendency to decompose when interacting with moisture and oxygen (two things that are somewhat common on this planet) . That said, compared to silicon, progress in perovskite solar cell technology has been much faster; efficiency levels that were first reported at 3% back in 2009 are now standing at 25% today, making its durability issue slightly less concerning . In addition to its competitive power conversion efficiencies (PCE), perovskite technology has received a lot of attention for its small size and low production time, cost, and complexity. As such, it seems that from both a business and scientific perspective, its commercial viability is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
The last time I wrote a post about moving offices was back in September 2020 (three years ago to the day). At that time, with the support of LHi, I made the decision to move from our New York office to Austin to establish our Piper Maddox division. This week, I find myself reflecting on the past three years as our LHi Austin office makes the transition from our shared workspace to our brand-new office in downtown Austin. This new space has the capacity for up to 60 consultants. The saying "blink, and you'll miss it" couldn't be more relevant in this situation. These past three years have been some of the best of my life, but they've flown by. There have been plenty of exhilarating highs and a few rough patches to navigate. All in all, I wouldn't change a thing. When I first moved to Austin, I had a small team of two, and we faced the enormous task of building a market and client base from scratch. The Relocation. My move coincided with the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, making things even more challenging. I'm a determined person, but this experience pushed me far outside my comfort zone and truly tested my resilience. After many long days (and nights), we managed to grow our pipeline of clients and began expanding our team. As things stand now, we have an Energy Storage division led by Lauren Fotta, a Business Development/Delivery team led by Lauren Jones, a Solar team (currently in the process of hiring a manager for this unit), and a Hydrogen/Clean Fuels division led by Oliver Buck. I'm incredibly proud of this team and how far we've come together. I can't wait to see us scale from 12 to 24 people! Piper Maddox experienced impressive growth, with a 53% year-on-year increase in 2022, and we've had an outstanding start to 2023, achieving over 162% of our target. We have strong plans to finish the year on a high note. What I'm even prouder of is what Austin represents within LHi Group across our leadership group and anyone who has visited the office and spent time with us. The feedback has always been that Austin feels like a real family, where everyone cares about each other's successes and offers support during tougher times. Jack Eldridge (our fearless leader), Ross Lewis (Head of Lawrence Harvey), Michael Tobin (Head of Harper Harrison), and I have worked incredibly hard to hire individuals who embody our LHi philosophy of 'family,' and you can genuinely feel it when you spend time here. Our office values. Our office values are incredibly important to us: Empowering, World Class Basics, Passionate, And genuine. We all believe in the simple principle of being good people, working incredibly hard with great customers, going above and beyond to help solve problems, and providing exceptional service. We've also implemented a minimum two-dog policy in the office, which means we have furry friends roaming around at all times. We even have a fish named Piper as a new addition to the family. We plan to add Maddox shortly, but Jack got two male Betta fish, which apparently have a tendency to fight. On a personal note, my life has undergone significant changes in the last three years. I convinced my boyfriend, Anthony, to move from New York to Austin and even pursue a career in recruitment (though not with Piper Maddox, unfortunately). I even managed to teach his English Bulldog to swim, which is no small feat but necessary for survival in the Austin heat. Honestly, I could go on, but I think you get the idea! If the next three years are anything like the last, we are in for one hell of a ride, and I can't wait to see what challenges are thrown at me. I intend to stay outside of my comfort zone. Bring it on.
Piper Maddox, a leading recruitment brand in the clean energy industry, is thrilled to announce the opening of its new office location in Miami, Florida coming soon in October 2023. This expansion marks an exciting milestone for the company as it extends its reach into a thriving market and positions itself for significant growth in the region. Miami, with its proactive approach to renewable energy and a strong commitment to sustainability, presents a prime opportunity for Piper Maddox to further its mission of connecting top talent with leading organizations at the forefront of the clean energy industry. By establishing a physical presence in Miami, Piper Maddox is ready to tap into the incredible opportunities the market has to offer. The company is committed to making a meaningful impact, acting as a catalyst for sustainable change, and driving economic growth. The new office will be more than just a place to find extraordinary talent; it'll be a vibrant hub where we shape partnerships with clean energy companies, governmental organizations, and educational establishments. Together, we aim to drive the clean energy sector to new heights and provide tailored solutions to meet the evolving demands of clients and candidates alike. “Florida is among the top three states in the country for solar power generation and home to over 450 solar companies,” said Alex Cohen, Senior Director at Piper Maddox “It’s also the perfect regional hub to build an even deeper footprint across the entire Southeast, where more and more solar, electric vehicles and battery companies are investing billions in building out R&D and manufacturing facilities in what many are now calling the ‘Battery Belt’”. Cohen adds “Miami is also a vibrant, diverse, and growing city where we feel confident, we can build an amazing team of wonderful humans to help support our clients that are changing the world and have fun while doing it.” Piper Maddox prides itself on its ability to identify and attract top talent, placing highly skilled individuals in key positions within the clean energy industry. With its expansion to Miami, this marks a significant milestone in Piper Maddox's ongoing commitment to expanding its global footprint. With existing offices in several major cities across the globe, this expansion reaffirms the company's dedication to driving positive change on a regional and global scale, supporting the transition to a greener, more sustainable future.
Piper Maddox is excited to announce the release of the Battery Storage Salary Survey. This is the initial year that Piper Maddox has conducted a salary survey for the battery storage community across the USA. The release of our battery storage salary survey marks a significant milestone in understanding the compensation trends and career growth opportunities within this dynamic industry. We invite you to download the survey report today and unlock the valuable insights that will shape the future of your career or organization in battery storage. How did Piper Maddox coduct the Salary Survey? Battery storage leaders were asked to share their views across a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, what attracts battery storage professionals to their organizations, what are the most difficult skill sets to recruit for, and the challenges of recruiting in the battery storage space. This information led Piper Maddox to create a survey focusing on the North American battery storage market where over 350 battery storage professionals located across the USA were surveyed and sourced from Piper Maddox’s professional network. As well as analyzing compensation trends, the research uncovers trends in areas such as, background and working preferences for candidates, insight into organizations' battery storage programs, and some of the key hiring challenges for organizations. 76% of people list an increase in compensation as a major motivator for seeking new opportunities and over 65% of individuals are looking for new job opportunities in 2023. Download our Battery Storage Salary Survey here.
As education has not yet caught up to the speed at which energy technology is advancing, recruiting niche talent in the energy industries can be very challenging, and a high-octane, proactive approach is required. These are rapidly growing fields with a high demand for skilled professionals and the competition for skilled talent is fierce. Recruitment methods need to evolve. Companies need to be strategic in their approach to attracting and hiring the best candidates in the industry. In this blog post, we'll explore some key points for talent attraction, talent development, and successful talent acquisition in this candidate-controlled market. Invest in Employee Development. The best employees in the energy industries are often highly motivated by opportunities for professional development and openings for career advancement. Companies can use this to their advantage by investing in employee development programs, such as training, internships, and financial support programs for higher education. This not only attracts top talent, but also helps to retain employees over the long-term. For example, internship programs that provide industry experience in tandem with academic coursework, expose young professionals to real world experiences early in their career. As they continue to develop and then (hopefully) convert to a full-time position post-graduation, you will not only have an individual trained on what needs to be done, but someone who appreciates what your company has offered them so far, and someone who wants to do good work for you. Often, there’s been times when we’ve seen former interns that are two to three years into their professional career in various energy companies provide just as much value as someone with five to six years’ experience. Networking and Employee Referral Programs. Networking is a crucial aspect of talent acquisition in the energy industries. Companies should encourage their employees to network and attend industry events, as this can be an effective way to build relationships with potential candidates. Companies can also host their own events like company sponsored after hour events (weekend brunches, happy hours, etc.). Additionally, companies should consider offering employee referral programs, which incentivize employees to refer their friends and colleagues to the company. These programs can prove to be a very effective source of great talent, as these referrals often come with personal in-house recommendations and can be a great cultural fit. Culture. Many think unlimited PTO, flexible hours, dog-friendly offices and remote setups are the answer to this, but these are rapidly becoming industry standard. Investing heavily in people, taking D&I initiatives very seriously, and hiring mission-driven people aligned to your company’s goal is the way to get ahead of your competition. Think of a company that has such a specific purpose in which those who join are completely motivated by the mission. Your employees will talk to their network putting the message of “how great it is to work here” out there, and by word of mouth, you will eventually see an influx of individuals looking to work for you. It is very difficult to architect a culture that is truthfully mission driven, but the companies who do it successfully will have great employees for a very long time. Speed of the Interview Process. Time is of the essence in the recruitment process, and quick action often makes the difference in securing top talent. Companies should aim to move quickly from the initial resume screening to in-person or virtual interviews, and to make a job offer as soon as possible. Candidates in these industries are often highly sought after, and it's important to move quickly to avoid losing them to another company. At the onset of opening a position, the hiring team should meet to define exactly what the interview process is. An interview process that lasts more than three rounds frequently causes candidates to lose interest due to disorganization and gives candidates more time to see what else is out there. Incorporating panel interviews to cut additional stages out of the process is a very effective means of ensuring your company does not lose out on candidates solely due to timing. Compensation and Offer Negotiations. Attracting the best talent in the energy industries requires a competitive compensation package. The saying “you get what you pay for” certainly applies, so for the sake of efficiency, early salary discussions about what candidates are targeting are crucial in making sure both the company and the candidate are on the same page. The candidate should understand the total compensation package, including equity, bonus, benefits, salary, PTO, etc. It is never wise to offer a candidate under their ask at the tail end of a process, especially in such tight talent market conditions where they are likely evaluating several offers at once. Companies should consider offering competitive salaries, as well as benefits and other incentives, such as stock options, short/long term incentive plans (STIP/LTIP) or flexible work arrangements. It's important to understand the candidate's priorities, such as work-life balance, opportunities for professional development, cash compensation versus equity, PTO, etc. After considering this information, companies will be in a position to understand what factors have the most weight, which ultimately positions the company to make the best offer possible per each candidate’s individual priorities. Utilizing Specialist Agencies. Recruitment agencies can be a valuable resource in the search for niche talent, as they have access to a wider pool of candidates, and through the power of their brand and network, are able to source candidates that may not be accessible through traditional mediums. Agencies often solely network in one industry, which provides a deep understanding of market conditions, relevant compensation, and a genuine understanding of where to find qualified candidates. Collectively, this gives agencies a unique advantage in being able to source high caliber talent faster than traditional internal methods. Although there is a fee involved with such service, companies need to evaluate the cost of hiring a great candidate quicker versus the cost of leaving this position unfilled for several months while waiting for the right candidate to come across their desk. Furthermore, for companies that have other priorities and can’t commit several hours per day to sourcing candidates and dealing with process logistics, agencies can keep the entire process organized through one point of contact saving countless administrative hours. What does this mean for recruiting within the energy efficiency industries? Recruiting niche talent in the energy efficiency industries requires a strategic and proactive approach. Companies should consider partnering with recruitment agencies with niche networks, developing talent and network development programs, enhancing interview process efficiency, and should treat offer negotiations as an open discussion. By following these strategies, companies can differentiate themselves from their recruitment competition and will have a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring the best talent the industry has to offer.
S1 Ep4: Decarbonizing Aviation Welcome to the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies, and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits, and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In Episode 4 of the Clean Fuels Podcast, we’re thrilled to sit down with Tim Cesarek, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at Gevo to discuss low-carbon fuels and decarbonizing aviation. We break down the current state of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels market, and a wide variety of topics including demand drivers, government incentives, and market challenges. Tim Cesarek is the Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at Gevo – a next-generation low-carbon fuels company focused on the development and commercialization of renewable fuels. Prior to his current 5-year tenure at Gevo, he worked for notable businesses such as Enerkem as Vice President of Business Development, Waste Management, and Koch Industries as Managing Director. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
The battery storage industry has gained significant momentum in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for renewable energy and the transition towards a more sustainable future. As this sector expands, it is natural to wonder about the salary prospects within the battery storage industry. While salaries can vary depending on several factors, including job role, experience, and geographical location, this article will delve into the trends and factors behind these variations to provide a better understanding of salary and compensation expectations in this dynamic field. We will also offer exclusive insight into up-to-date data from our extensive 2023 Battery Storage Salary Survey. Experience and Expertise Experience plays a crucial role in determining salary levels. Professionals with several years of relevant experience in the battery storage industry are likely to earn higher salaries compared to entry-level candidates, which is a noteworthy trend that we observed in our 2023 Battery Storage Salary Survey. In our analysis, we broadened our examination to include not only base salary, but also bonuses, which are a crucial component of overall compensation, and found that in particular, C-Suite bonuses were nearly double those of VP-level candidates, whilst salaries exhibited a steady upward trajectory as titles grew more senior. Furthermore, individuals with expertise in emerging technologies, such as advanced battery chemistries or grid-scale energy storage, may enjoy greater demand and better compensation. When analyzing compensation data based on years of experience in the US battery industry, it comes as no surprise that there is a steady upward trend. However, what is interesting to note is the widening delta between low and high cash compensation as experience increases. Our data indicates that after the 11-15-year mark, there is a significant increase in average annual bonuses, doubling for those in the 16+ years category. Geographical Location Salaries in the battery storage industry can vary significantly based on the location of the job. Factors such as cost of living, local market conditions, and government incentives can influence salary ranges significantly. For example, regions with a strong focus on renewable energy, such as California in the United States, may offer higher average salaries compared to other areas. We have analyzed the compensation data across the United States, focusing on the three major states with a significant concentration of battery talent, including California, Michigan, and Massachusetts, and compared them to the average compensation rates across the rest of the country. Our findings reveal that California’s cost of living is 42.2% above the national average, Massachusetts is 35% above the average, and Michigan is approximately 9% below the average. To gain more insight into these figures, click here to download our 2023 Battery Storage Salary Survey. Future Outlook As the battery storage industry gains increasing momentum, our observations from battery storage leaders shed light on the challenges they face, particularly in recruiting within this sector. However, it is important to note that these challenges are expected to gradually resolve over time. Currently, managers face a formidable challenge when it comes to team growth: sourcing suitable candidates is the foremost obstacle, primarily due to a scarcity of qualified individuals especially, compared to sectors that have had the advantage of extensive development over the years. Nevertheless, the battery storage industry is expected to continue its rapid growth as renewable energy integration and grid reliability becomes increasingly important. As technology matures and economies of scale are realized, it is likely that salaries in the industry will continue to rise. Moreover, advancements in energy storage technologies and the potential for widespread adoption will create new job opportunities and potentially drive higher salaries. Gain more insight. To gain a further understanding of the compensation trends and career growth opportunities within this dynamic industry, download here the 2023 Battery Storage Salary Survey report today and unlock the valuable insights that will shape the future of your career or organization in battery storage. The battery storage industry offers a promising career path for individuals interested in renewable energy and sustainable solutions. To find out more contact Matt at M.Anders@pipermaddox.com
A microgrid is a group of distributed energy resources and interconnected loads that act as a self-sufficient energy system. Microgrids operate autonomously and can connect and disconnect from the main grid; they provide resilience to grid disturbances and promote energy efficiency. Microgrids have been proven to promote infrastructure reliably in real-world situations. What is a microgrid? A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and DERs (distributed energy resources) that behaves as an autonomous system. Individually, microgrids can power houses, hospitals, facilities, universities, etc. However, individual microgrids can be linked together to power larger regions. (1) The U.S. Office of Electricity defines a microgrid as “… localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously. Because they are able to operate while the main grid is down, microgrids can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances as well as function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery. Microgrids support a flexible and efficient electric grid by enabling the integration of growing deployments of distributed energy resources such as renewables like solar. In addition, the use of local sources of energy to serve local loads helps reduce energy losses in transmission and distribution, further increasing the efficiency of the electric delivery system.”(2) Some examples of DERs that comprise these grids are generators, wind, storage, and solar. Since microgrids are not a new concept, they have historically been run using 'dirty energy'. However, in the movement towards a clean future, microgrids that run primarily on renewable energy can provide a beneficial alternative. Currently, microgrids are important to critical services such as hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, and communication towers. However, climate change will pose a major threat to the main grid. Extreme temperature anomalies (cold or heat) and natural disasters can cause the grid to malfunction – both predicted facets of a warmer world. In the present time, blackouts are growing more and more frequent.(3) Microgrids will play a big role in allowing the world to stay on during major extreme weather events. How do they promote energy efficiency and clean energy? In order to understand how microgrids promote energy efficiency, we need to understand the qualms of the main power grid. Currently, electricity production in the main power system is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.(4) Along with fossil fuel production, there are some other major environmental risks that the traditional grid produces: Vegetation and natural habitat loss from power lines Downstream water and land pollution by-products Over-consumption of water from cooling/steam methods Solid waste production Microgrids could be the clean answer to distributing energy more efficiently. For starters, it is important to note that 5-6% of energy is lost through transmission lines in the U.S. Since microgrids produce energy near where it is consumed, there would be little to no energy lost in the system and there would be less energy produced for the same energy needed. The use of transmission lines also can destroy vegetation and natural habitats. Thus, the use of fewer transmission lines in this system could encourage the regeneration of biodiversity. Furthermore, when electricity is generated, it produces heat. In a microgrid scenario, this heat would be unused. However, microgrids can utilize this heat energy in a variety of ways. For example, the heat can be used to power homes or warm up water. (5) When microgrids disconnect from the main grid (islanding), they can provide resilience to end users during natural disasters or extreme weather events. Microgrids can also help “reboot” the main grid in the event of outages or malfunctions. (6) One of the main ways a microgrid can promote clean energy to users is by utilizing methods of renewable energy production. A microgrid can deploy a large range of clean energy production technologies such as wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel. Coupled with traditional energy production, a microgrid can switch between various energy production methods to be the most efficient. Smart microgrids can be programmed to hit different carbon emission and energy efficiency goals. When have the capabilities of microgrids been tested in real-world scenarios? There have been numerous examples of microgrids saving communities from blackouts to natural disasters. The most recent example was during the Rio Dell, California earthquake that occurred on December 24th, 2022. This 6.4 magnitude earthquake created massive havoc with 72,000 businesses and homes estimated to have lost power. During the incident, the Blue Lake Rancheria – a Native American reservation – remained an emergency resource service due to its microgrid. During the outage, the microgrid served 8% of the region’s population and provided aid to 10,000 people. (7) The microgrid was powered by solar panels and batteries. This is not the first time that the Blue Lake Rancheria has been credited with aiding the community during a grid outage. In 2019, California was taken over by wildfires and many residents were faced with extended outages and a lack of medical equipment. The microgrid at the rancheria remained fully functioning and around 10,000 people were served with medical and electrical needs. It is estimated that four lives were saved by the microgrid and the assistance from the native people.(8) The Blue Lake Rancheria is not the only microgrid that has withstood natural disasters. Some other notable examples include the numerous microgrids in Puerto Rico that helped the community stay on the grid during Hurricane Fiona, a solar microgrid in Malawi that helps children receive life-changing education, and the solar and natural gas microgrid at Pittsburgh International Airport that saved $1 million dollars in energy costs.