This is Mauricio. He became a solar advocate to grow the clean energy economy and reduce society’s reliance on fossil fuels. We chatted with him to hear what keeps his passion for solar alive.
How did you learn about solar?
I first became interested in solar after learning about it in an environmental science class in high school. In 2012 I got some hands on experience working with Blue Energy, a sustainable development NGO that does solar and clean water projects for rural areas on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. I see solar as a way to help people help themselves – installing solar on a school, for example, allows classes to be taught at night and it’s a great way for people to empower themselves.
How did you learn about Sungevity?
I was filming a video for Earthjustice at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and I ran into my friend Danny, who works at Sungevity. When he mentioned to me that in the last 10 months he had helped offset somewhere around a million pounds of carbon, I said, “Sign me up!”
What makes you excited about solar?
The momentum solar is generating is very exciting. The research shows that we can power the state, the country, and the world with 100% renewable energy – and save money by doing so. We are at the forefront of an economic transformation: as a growing number of business, institutions and individuals transition their investments into renewables like solar, we foster innovation in technology, finance and community development. That paves the way for a just transition to a new economy.
When you’re talking about solar, what messages resonate with people?
I think it just makes sense to people to power their lives with the sun, rather than with energy sources that degrade our environment and public health. We now have the ability to create an economy that is based in regeneration, not extraction and scarcity. The more renewable energy scales, the cheaper it becomes – whereas the more we scale fossil fuels, the more expensive it becomes. It took 30 years for solar to become 1% of this country’s energy mix, and with that 1% solar is already employing more Americans than coal – that’s a really exciting concept for people to learn.
What sparks your solar conversations?
I’m lucky that a lot of my friends and peers are dedicated to the same goals I am. After writing my college thesis on carbon feedback loops, I realized that the actions or inactions of the following decade or two will determine the fate of humanity. Solar is a solution that enables us to democratize our energy infrastructure, create jobs across all sectors of the economy, and create a more livable world for present and future generations.
How do you show your Sungevity pride?
I think the Generate Positive tagline encompasses what Sungevity is doing as a company and what people are doing in their own lives – spreading solar, helping people and mitigating climate change are all examples of generating positive.
Mauricio has been a solar advocate since the summer of 2014. Click here to learn more about Sungevity’s Advocates program.