Hi, my name's Gay Canough, and I am a solar installer. I run a company, we've been in business for 32 years. So I have lot of experience with installing solar energy systems. So today we're going to talk about how these systems work and why renewable energy is important for our future. The solar energy industry has grown greatly in the last 10 years. Now it is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. So first, I'm going to give you a little bit of history about the industry. The silicon solar cell, which is where the vast majority of solar panels are made of, was invented by Bell Labs in New Jersey. Also in the '60s, the people that we're building satellites started using solar cells, because before that they were stuck with using batteries and of course, you put a spacecraft up and a few months later the battery's dead, now what will you do? So very quickly, they started using solar cells to run the spacecraft, keep the to batteries charged. So basically all spacecraft have solar cells on them, including the International Space Station, which has a huge solar array. When I was in college, I was studying physics and I got a PhD in Particle Physics. I was a big fan of nuclear fission reactors, but over time I have learned that there are some issues with those. Not only that, hey, the sun, it is a nuclear reactor and it's a safe 93 million miles away produces lots of free energy that falls on us all the time. The company I started, I started that in 1988 and it's called Extraterrestrial Materials, we call it ETM for short. It started out as an aerospace consulting company, as you might expect from the name. We got involved in doing space solar power work for NASA in the early '90s. During that time I learned that, well, it's a cool idea to go do some solar power in space, but there's plenty of physical space on Earth to do solar. So in the early days, all solar energy systems had batteries, but once we can do pure grid-ties, then we did not need have batteries for every system. That was important because batteries are maintenance item and pure grid-ties were much lower maintenance and less expensive. The grid-ties really did start to take off. About mid-2000s, the industry started growing rapidly and the cost started to rapidly fall, the cost of solar cells. Like everything that you manufacture, the cost of the thing will go down when you start mass producing it. In fact, there's even a formula for it. If you double the production, the cost will go down 20 percent, and that is true for almost anything that you mass produce, whether it's spoons or solar cells, it doesn't matter, and it works. Of course, the mass production was ramping up, but in the mid-2000s, it really took off. Primarily because China got involved. China, they're the masters manufacturing these days, that lower the cost a lot. So the solar industry has expanded in part because of that. By the end of the decade, utilities has started putting a huge solar power plants of hundreds of megawatts. So when you're thinking about the cost of solar, what's happened now is that the cost of a solar power plant is, to build the power plant size thing, which is several 100 megawatts, is cheaper than any other kind of power plant. Because the costs of solar cell's drop so low, is the best hope for widespread use of renewable energy. We have strong goal in New York. The governor has set a goal of, I think it is 70 percent by 2030. So we have a long way to go. Last time I heard to install a nuclear power plant costs somewhere between $7 and $9 per watt to install it. Whereas the cost of installing a solar power plant is less than a dollar a watt. I want to give you a little bit of why going to renewable energy is so important. Now we have the issue of climate change, they were putting mass quantities of CO_2 in the air every single day, as well as other stronger gases like methane. So we have to stop that and move to something else. We're in luck. We have an enormous solar resource. The solar resource is hot, so big, it's hard to get a handle on the numbers of how big it is. So every single year we have about 200,000 trillion kilowatt hours. So write this down, get out a piece of paper and I want you to write that number down with all the zeros on it. 201,480 trillion kilowatt hours per year of sunlight falling on the land area of Earth. So it's only the land area of Earth. We're not even counting the oceans. Of course, the oceans are the most of surface of the Earth. Huge solar resource, compare that to the yearly world energy consumption and that yearly resource is something like 1,400 times bigger than the consumption of energy for your entire civilization. By comparison, our fossil fuel supply is a forever supply, it's down there, you got to dig it up and it is way smaller than that. So here we are awash in this amazing amount of energy that is falling on us for free from this fusion reactor in the sky.