Green Light Distrikt is about entrepreneurship focused on the cleantech sector. GLD U provides cleantech courses . Edited by Chris Williams with frequent guest posts from friends, experts and industry insiders from clusters across the globe. Our goal is to provide a place where cleantech entrepreneurs in various clusters across the globe can learn from one another. Green Light Distrikt is creating the "Hitchikers Guide to Clentech" to provide a resource for cleantech entrepreneurs. Read more
- The Worst Metric in Renewables: ‘Payback Period’
- "Solar, Inc." and the Balance of Values
- Top 10 Boston Clean Tech Companies Killing It on Twitter
- Good News For Job Seekers! Mass Solar Industry to Grow 30% per year
- VOTE: Boston's Top 26
- What’s your Opinion? Green Tech VS. Clean Tech VS. ‘EnerTech’?
- What’s Better? Climate Change OR Climate Disruption
- BICEP (3)
- Business Insights (14)
- CleanTech Events (16)
- CleanTech Guide (8)
- CleanTech Kingpins (9)
- EnergyBar (2)
- Entrepreneurship (28)
- For College Students (1)
- GLD U (1)
- Government Policy (39)
- Green Building (8)
- Hitch Hikers Guide to Cleantech (1)
- Industry Insiders (5)
$100 Discounts for Basic Technical TrainingBasic technical training is key for anyone interested in the renewable energy industry. Use the code "GLD" to get discounts from any of the below trainings.
- NABCEP Solar Training Boston This training course is made for people who are new to solar. You’ll learn how to design a solar PV array from a to z, how to quote a project, the installation process, and solar code.
- Solar Sales Training Learn how to sell solar from an expert, Keith Cronin. Keith build and sold his solar company to SunEdison. Keith knows how to sell jobs profitably.
- IGSHPA Geothermal Training The IGSHPA certification is the standard in the industry. In this training, you’ll learn how to design and quote residential and light commercial projects by 1) determining building loading 2) sizing equipment 3) sizing the group loop 4) sizing the distribution system and controls 5) and what sort of equipment so spec in each of the prior steps.
- NABCEP Solar Thermal Training Boot Camp: The solar thermal boot camp is similar to the PV boot camp, but just that it’s based on solar thermal systems.
- Selling Clean Energy to the Government The federal government, and specifically the military, has become the largest single renewable energy customer in the US with a goal of 3GW of installed capacity, among various technologies, by 202.
Other Free ResourcesFree NABCEP Study Guide If you’re studying for the NABCEP Solar PV installer or just want an in-depth review of solar basics this will be a good resource for you. If you want to buy the full guide, you can find it here NABCEP Study Guide.
Solar Reading List 101 A useful list of free article on solar sales, marketing, design, installation, policy and finance.
Geothermal Reading List 101 A useful life of free articles on solar sales, marketing, design, installation of projects.
Click here to learn what is NABCEP and wether or not you should need to get the certification. If you're serious about the solar industry and you want to get the NABCEP Certification, but you need to understand how exactly to apply, you can read more about getting the NABCEP Certification here.
January 28th, 2012NEW YORK -
In last month’s post “How to Grow Electric Vehicle Sales”, I discussed the importance of understanding your target customers so you can successfully market your new clean tech product or service. For instance, the people who bought the early Toyota Prius - typically middle aged, upper middle class, highly educated, environmentalists – were willing to prioritize environmental benefits at the expense of performance and cost more than others. How can you find out if you are reaching your target customers? Data.
As data analysis tools have become increasingly sophisticated, business leaders have been challenged to put to work the immense amount of data they have with which to understand their existing customers (online shipping, online surveys, even in-store shopping using rewards cards) and potential customers (website visitors, newsletter subscribers, social media followers). Let’s walk through the three keys to leveraging data to evaluate if your current marketing strategy is reaching your target customers.
Read more past the break and join the Green Light Distrikt Facebook group for updates on events, blog posts and more.
December 6th, 2011NEW YORK -
Electric vehicles are one of the sexiest new entrants to the clean technology space, highlighted by interesting initiatives such as EVroadside assistance developed by AAA and Green Charge Networks, all-electric commercial fleet vehicles by Smith Electric Vehicles, and of course battery swapping by Better Place. But what I found most intriguing at last week’s “EVs in NYC” event (watch the video online) hosted by SolarOne was a sidenote by Anatol Feygin of Loews Corporation.
“The first few phases of adoption are going to be relatively simple. The EV industry is trying too hard to address issues of range anxiety and others that the early adopters will be relatively comfortable with. There will be people who are early adopters of other technologies who are comfortable with those initial hiccups.”
Anatol reminds us that it’s essential that these companies optimize their marketing resources and target the audience that will be most likely to purchase electric vehicles regardless of their existing limitations.
Let’s consider the history of hybrid electric vehicle sales as a proxy for the growing electric vehicle market. Read past the break for the full story and join the Green Light Distrikt Facebook group for updates on new events, blog posts and more. + Continue Reading
August 23rd, 2011BOSTON -
Last Thursday, August 18th through Saturday August 20th – City Hall Plaza hosted the 3rd Boston GreenFest. Having gone in the past, I wanted to return to this popular event to learn about new green solutions that companies and non-profits had to offer.
What I found was a bunch of pushy car salesmen-like reps who would speak at me with a rehearsed, un-personalized pitch. On the opposite hand there were a lot un-staffed tables or staff who were sitting and looking down at their mobile devices. I initially (and excitedly) thought was to monitor and engage with their Twitter following – but I learned that was sadly not the case. An alarming percentage of (B2C) companies I spoke with had no social media strategy (at all) apart from tweeting the ole; I’m at @BosGreenFest from 12-6 or setting up Google Alerts. Many of them had shunned their following – by not replying or even following them. I also saw a lot of overflowing trash and unsanitary food prep. The free juice samples were nice, but the event staff could not answer how sustainable the manufacturing process was – except having all natural ingredients. Thought there was a handful of vendors who were upbeat, prepared and engaging – my overall experience was that it felt flat and not genuine.
So what would have made the event a success? How could the event organizers improve for next year? First, I’d recommend allocating resources and volunteer time to improving GreenFest’s website SEO and usability – and utilizing social media to truly connect with audience rather than just pushing out event info while helping to set example for exhibitors and sponsors. Creating an event hashtag as well as identifying digital ambassadors would allow the conversation to play out simultaneously online as well as at the event for word-of-mouth and ROI optimization. Including links to exhibitors’ websites (and their social media channels) would also help to further engage visitors and help keep this event top of mind.
As far as vendors? I would have liked to have seen more listening – and less me, me me. Again, utilizing social media to identify and connect with people who were talking online about the event/company/organization would have been an easy way to acknowledge the very people (and their following) they want as customers/members. I also noticed a ton of paper collateral and only one vendor with a QR code. I would have also liked to have seen an exhibitor develop and execute a social media campaign designed to showcase their though leadership on how their unique solution helps address an environmental concern. To that end, most companies I spoke with could also benefit from watching a recent talk by Laura Fitton (@Pistachio), titled: Social Media Bootcamp for Startups and implementing her advice to; listen, learn, care and serve…not just push-out marketing info. Because no one wants to be subjected to used-car salesman monologues, and especially not online!
How was your experience? What did you find interesting or disappointing?
July 25th, 2011-
Last week I had the pleasure to drive the Chevy Volt for the first time (and let me tell you, it’s fun to drive). The owner was an early adopter, but doesn’t have the psychographic profile that you would assume: he’s not an environmentalist, he’s not particularly concerned with escalating gas prices, and he’s not typically an early adopter. He simply hates the inconvenience of going to the gas station. In fact, he hasn’t been to the gas station in eight weeks, or 1,500 miles. Not bad considering that the Volt (MSRP $37,780 before rebates) battery can only take you 50 miles on battery-only range or 375-miles with the gas generator. In contrast, the Toyota Prius (MSRP $23,050 before rebates), the most fuel-efficient sedan available, can take you 571 miles on a tank of gas, but you eventually have to go to a gas station.
This scenario offers insight into what marketers have known forever but that businesses have generally failed to convey when selling green products and services: that consumers buy things that benefit them directly, such as cost effectiveness, convenience, health and safety. Read past the break for the full story and join the Green Light Distrikt Facebook group for updates on new events, blog posts and more. + Continue Reading
March 17th, 2011BOSTON -
It’s rare that I get angry or buy into doomsday evangelism. But following the recent news that the House of Representatives is planning to revoke the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and movement to begin granting off-shore drilling permits and lift the ban on mountaintop removal, I couldn’t prevent my blood from boiling. Whatever happened to “change we can believe in” or “Si se puede?”
These thoughts occurred after I got home last week from witnessing the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. There were two specific events that reminded me why my work so often revolves around climate change.