After researching climate change at Oxford University, I worked for a solar energy company in Cambridge, UK. I was part of progressive change, where people were saving money and the planet. The UK is now a global leader with 10% of their power coming from solar energy systems. Two years ago, I moved back to my hometown of Vancouver to complete a Masters of Clean Energy Engineering. It enabled me to vastly improve my engineering and design skills. During my Masters, I partnered with EcoSmart on the Tŝilhqot’in First Nation 1.25 MW Solar Farm. This is the largest solar energy system in BC and is in construction right now. After the Engineering Program, I spent time working with BC clean energy experts. Our solar industry is in its infancy and it has a lot of room to grow. This growth has occurred in other countries around the world with similar political, economic, and climate environments. With that said, I believe solar can become a regular source of energy and we can transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future.
My initiative is my Vancouver-based residential solar energy business called Solar Connect Company. Solar Connect helps its customers reduce their carbon footprint by switching from traditional sources of energy to solar energy. The people Solar Connect tends to install solar energy projects for are single and multi-family home owners and First Nations communities. They all have the same goals in common, which are to generate their own energy, become energy efficient, and save money on utility bills. Based on how much energy their home uses throughout the year, Solar Connect determines how many solar panels they will need to match it and become net zero carbon. After the initial phase of designing the system, and acquiring building and electrical permits from their local municipality, we order and install the customer’s solar energy materials. The entire process is 12 steps, takes 4 to 6 weeks, and results in a solar energy system generating energy that feeds directly into a home.
With each system that I install, each customer saves 50,000 kg-CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Over the next 3 years our GHG emission reduction potential is 6.5 million kg-CO2 for the projects we aim to install. That is only a small contribution to Canada’s GHG reduction target of 220 billion kg-CO2 by 2030. But if everyone in Canada switched to solar, we’d save 1 trillion kg-CO2 from entering our atmosphere and completely shatter Canada’s GHG target.