Solar is a Disruptive Technology and Key to Economic Infrastructure

An Interview with Mr. Jeremy Rifkin

Jeremy Rifkin has an uncanny ability to analyze the past, understand the present and see into the future.

He is the bestselling author of twenty books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books, which include The Third Industrial Revolution, have been translated into more than twenty languages and are used in hundreds of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world. Furthermore, Mr. Rifkin advises world leaders, including the European Union and China, as they transition to a sustainable, post-carbon economy.

In anticipation of Mr. Rifkin’s talk at Solar Canada, Wes Johnston, CanSIA’s Vice President, had a conversation with Mr. Rifkin about what people can expect from his Monday morning keynote address as well as why solar is such an exciting topic right now.

One of the interesting things that came up was that this technology, solar, is a disruptive one much like computers were a disruption to the technology industry. Mr. Rifkin shared that, “Everyone around the world, in the next 25 years — from small villages to neighbourhoods — will be producing their own solar.”

When asked about what excites him about coming to speak at Solar Canada, Mr. Rifkin shared the following with us:

“Canada has been building their solar capacity and the fixed costs are going down. There is also, older cultural DNA in Canada that allows for early adoption and for the movement towards laying out the infrastructure and solar will be right at the centre of that new economic infrastructure. People are in love with nature and the outdoors in Canada. I don’t know of any country in the world that has more of a love for the natural world than that of Canada.”

We also talked to Mr. Rifkin about what makes solar an exciting topic right now. Here’s what he had to say:

“We’re in a new era. Solar and wind technology has been on an exponential curve now for years. It’s changing the energy dynamic dramatically. The game-changer is solar and wind technology and the fixed costs for both are plunging. We’re now seeing power and transmission companies buying long-term contracts for prices as low as four cents a kilowatt hour. The wind and the sun have not invoiced us in Canada — it’s marginal cost is near zero. These are game-changers.”

We also asked him to give us some early insight into what we can expect from his talk. Here are some of the highlights that he shared with us:

  • The current economic situation in the world, the economic and environmental crises (real-time climate change) and why it matters to solar
  • The new economic vision that can be deployed over the next four decades
  • The business models for utilities and examples of what others are doing around the world to get ready for this new model
  • The third industrial revolution: what it is, why it matters and how it impacts solar and other industries
  • The economic paradigm shift that needs to be brought into North America and why Canada, and the solar industry, should be at the forefront of this endeavour

Mr. Rifkin summarized his talk with this closing note, “The overall goal of the talk is to inspire a new plan that helps to create a more ecological society.” This talk is sure to be one that is engaging and inspiring.

If you aren’t registered yet for Solar Canada, there is still time. You can experience Mr. Rifkin’s talk live by being there. Register your spot here.

Visit Belnor Engineering at Booth #1114 at CanSIA’s Annual National #SolarCanada2016 Conference & Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Dec 5–6! We’ll be showcasing Onyx Solar BIPV Glass and offiicially launch Solarstem Mounting Systems in North America! Save the date!

Belnor Engineering is a proud corporate member of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)and the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC)!

Originally published at