Solar Spotlight with Yann Brandt of SolarWakeup
Updated: Oct 20
In this episode of GreenLancer's Solar Spotlight, Nick Schlueter speaks with Yann Brandt who is the Founder and CEO of SolarWakeup.
Yann has made it his life's work to transition the world to clean energy by providing the industries front lines with high-quality news and information. In this episode of the Solar Spotlight, Yann talks about how is roots in solar date back to Al Gore's speech at his college commencement ceremony. You don't want to miss this one!
Nick: Joining me today is one of the most respected individuals in the solar industry Yann Brandt spends countless hours every year researching renewable energy trends technology and legislation to provide SolarWakeup subscribers with the best possible news that the solar industry has to offer. Yann, thanks for joining us today!
Yann: Great to be here, Nick!
Nick: Wonderful, so I have to ask you why solar? And the reason I ask that is it’s still such a young industry and I’m always curious to hear why people got involved in it. Was this something that you wanted to be in when you were a child? Or did it happened later in life? Please tell us!
Yann: Why solar? Well the short answer would be because Al Gore was my commencement speaker in 2005, but you know if that’s not the the motive it really comes down to an accidental meeting with an architect shortly thereafter.
Nick: Okay, so now I am really interested! So, Al Gore was your speaker in 2005. Was this high school? College? Tell us a little bit about the speech and what piqued your interest.
Yann: Yeah, it was college and for those that heard Al Gore give his speeches back in in the middle of the decade, he was talking about climate change. There’s a story about a Shoney's in Tennessee, you know real skilled politician speech, but he was talking about climate change in a way that most college seniors really weren’t interested in. But, he stuck with it and this is right when his first documentary "Inconvenient Truth" that he won the Oscar for was coming out.
You know, that in itself didn’t really spark any firm interest in (solar), until I went back to Florida after college (which is where I am from) and I was working for a roofing company that had - well Florida had just gone through two massive hurricanes in 2005. One of them was hurricane Katrina, and a good friend of mine was running a roofing contracting company where I was an engineer, and the two things kind of matched up, and that’s why I went to work (in solar). So my first job out of college was actually solving the effects or mitigating the damage caused by climate change to those two hurricanes.
Nick: Okay, so this was right around the time that the Inconvenient Truth documentary came out?
Yann: Yeah, absolutely and he did win an Oscar!
Nick: So, you’re doing cleanup in the wake of the hurricanes coming through and you you kind of stumbled into it? That’s super cool! Well, how about we fast forward a little bit? We’re all big fans of the SolarWakeup, after you got your feet wet in the solar industry, why why did you start the SolarWakeup?
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