I'll be flying out to Detroit for the ACI National Home Performance Conference next Monday, but before get to Detroit and that great conference, I thought I'd share one more special moment from Energy Out West.

On Thursday afternoon last week, just after lunch, John Tooley, Anthony Cox, and Joseph Lstiburek sat at a table together in front of the participants at Energy Out West talking about the future. (Thanks, Tiger Adolf for the photo.) When you see him, ask Anthony about his new wrist watch! Here is a sampling of comments. I'll let you connect the statement with the speaker.

Solar is dead. Nobody trusts it anymore.

There are some cool new gadgets out there.

The future looks good because of scientific breakthroughs happening right now.

Cellulose is the future.

Efficiency wins, efficiency wins, efficiency wins!

Here is that special moment I mentioned above: John Tooley says to Joe Lstiburek, I agree with about 80% of what you said. But with some things, you are full of %$$##@#@!.

But that's not the actual special moment. That happened just after John spoke, when Joe reached out to John and they hugged. Not an "A-Frame" semi hug, but the real thing. The kind that sounds better in Spanish—an embrasso. I realized then that these three great men in our industry truly love and respect one another, despite their differences. That made me feel very good.

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Comment by Jim Gunshinan on May 1, 2014 at 9:58am

You nailed in Todd, it was Joe L. who said no one trusts solar. I don't remember him sharing his analysis of the solar economy, but I'm sure he has his reasons. I too think that new battery technology and other energy storage will be a huge benefit for solar and wind energy—when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine.

Comment by Todd Hoener on May 1, 2014 at 8:28am

That must have been Lstiburek's comment ("Solar is dead. Nobody trusts it anymore"). I missed that. The numbers and activity (at least on residential) don't seem to support this statement, specifically the "Nobody" part. Was he referring to the increased efforts by utilities to put up barriers to solar (i.e., charges for grid tie-in), or reliability issues? Many of the state rebates and credits still make solar pretty affordable for houses. However on a large utility-scale, wind generation is much greater; few install wind generation on a residential scale. Naturally we are all in agreement about efficiency; it does win. However, I think advanced technological improvements in energy storage -- residential or utility-scale -- is the next big thing to watch.

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