Jigar Shah leaves his audience gasping.
“If the storage industry is dependent on backing up solar, it’s hopeless. You should quit your job today,” Shah, a co-partner in Generate Capital, a San Francisco–based renewables financing firm, tells them.
There are many more ways for companies in the storage world to revolutionize the grid, he says.
Solar “is not your lowest hanging fruit. Some of the other applications are way, way higher value,” he says.
It was not the only comment in Shah’s “reality check” to cause a stir at the Energy Storage Association conference in Dallas, May 27–29.
The former chief executive officer of SunEdison, speaking to a ballroom filled with hundreds of government and trade body representatives from the Department of Energy, the Electric Power Research Institute, and California Energy Storage Alliance, suggested that the ESA change its name, or at least the name of its conference.