About a year ago the CEO of power company NRG Energy, David Crane, said he thought that the future of the green technology industry would rest on consumers, and a big part of that would be how consumers embrace electric vehicles. But fast forward a year of very slow electric car adoption rates, and Crane has changed his tune slightly. At the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York on Tuesday, Crane said that he is less bullish on the impact that electric cars will have on consumers given the slow roll-out, and he now thinks that the greentech and consumer game changer could be solar rooftops.
NRG is one of the most aggressive power companies in the solar space in the U.S., and was the single largest recipient of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, largely through its solar projects. But Crane specifically thinks that distributed solar panels on rooftops could be the breakthrough technology, because of the rapidly dropping price of solar panels — “solar has dropped like a stone,” said Crane — and the fact that distributed solar doesn’t need high voltage transmission lines, the way that solar thermal plants in the deserts do.
Solar is so cheap today that unless you tell me that you did a solar analysis yesterday, not last year or last month, then your analysis is out of date, said Crane. “We’ve put all of our renewable eggs in one solar basket,” said Crane.