You probably haven’t heard of Hayes Barnard, but his work could help save the planet. A former executive at SolarCity, the solar panel firm purchased by Elon Musk’s electric car firm Tesla in 2016, Barnard has now turned his attention to making solar energy installations more accessible and affordable, fueling the transition onto sustainable energy.
“Climate change is a trillion dollar problem,” Barnard, former chief revenue officer of SolarCity, tells Inverse. “So how do we how do we employ as much capital as possible in this space, to help a lot of people go solar?”
As the price of solar has dropped, the market is now starting to focus on what comes next in the quest to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Barnard, who has witnessed a dramatic transformation of the industry in his 10 years of experience, sees three key trends for the next stage of solar. First, companies will make installations easy to buy. Second, governments will begin legislating to mandate solar on new houses. Third, solar firms will attract their existing customers to smart home tools and other means of saving energy. By Barnard’s estimation, we’re somewhere in between steps one and two.