As investors, we know that climate risk is real—and that we cannot achieve real climate action without a material shift to renewable energy sources. So, as we think about driving toward a lower carbon economy, we want to understand different opportunities and perspectives across the energy landscape. In this episode we are diving into renewables, and specifically into solar power. Brown Advisory's Erika Pagel sits down with Raghu Belur, the Co-founder and Chief Products Officer of Enphase Energy, which has revolutionized the solar industry with its microinverter-based technology. Erika and Raghu explore solar—in terms of economics, job creation, energy security and climate action.
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I’m recording this as tens of thousands of people and more than 100 heads of state are gathering in Egypt for the COP27 climate summit – the United Nations “conference of the parties.” In his opening remarks at COP27, the UN Secretary General framed the fight against global warming as a battle for human survival; he said “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator…… Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish.”
I’m Erika Pagel. I’m the Chief Investment Officer for Sustainable Investing and a portfolio manager at Brown Advisory. As investors, we know that climate risk is real. And we know that we cannot achieve real climate action without a material shift to renewable energy sources. So, as we think about driving toward a lower carbon economy during this NOW series on the energy transition, we want to understand different opportunities and different perspectives across the energy landscape. In this episode we are diving into renewable infrastructure – as it stands today, as well as the opportunities going forward – in the US, in Europe, and in developing economies.
Among renewables, solar power is growing rapidly. In the US, solar is expected to account for almost half of new electric generating capacity this year. Meanwhile, the Inflation Reduction Act is expected to create significant job growth to build out solar and other renewable infrastructure.
Against this backdrop, I sat down with Raghu Belur, the Co-founder and Chief Products Officer of Enphase Energy.
Enphase is the world’s leading supplier of microinverter-based solar and battery systems. The company revolutionized the solar industry with its microinverter-based technology and builds all-in-one solar, battery, and software solutions. As a leader in the US residential solar market, Enphase provides home energy systems that enable homeowners to manage their own energy usage – to save money and create energy resilience.
Raghu is at heart an innovator – and as you will hear – is passionate about the opportunities that solar offers – in terms of economics, job creation, and energy security – as well as climate action. Raghu prescribes a future where solar and other renewable energy sources enable people around the world to thrive while decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Let’s dive into the conversation.
Co-founder and Chief Products Officer, Enphase
Raghu co-founded Enphase Energy with Martin Fornage in 2006. He has more than 25 years of experience in the clean energy and high technology industries, and has been at the forefront of developing Enphase’s leading integrated energy system—with solar generation, storage, monitoring, and control. Prior to Enphase, Raghu developed high-speed optical communication technology for Cerent, which was later acquired by Cisco Systems. Before Cerent, Raghu was an engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, where he played a key role in the development of an alternative energy gasification system. Raghu received an MSEE from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.
CIO of Sustainable Investing; Portfolio Manager, Brown AdvisoryErika is a partner, a member of the Executive Team, and serves as chief investment officer of sustainable investing and as a portfolio manager in the Boston office. She manages balanced accounts for private and institutional clients. Erika has worked in the investment management industry since 1996. Prior to Brown Advisory, she was an investment advisor at Silver Bridge Advisors. Erika started her career at MFS Investment Management before working in sell-side Equity Research for eight years following large cap pharmaceuticals, household products, consumer and retail sectors at Schroder & Co and then UBS Investment Bank. More recently, she was an analyst following consumer and retail companies at a hedge fund, Balyasny Asset Management. Over the past eight years, a focus of Erika’s has been researching investment options in the sustainability industry and helping clients build portfolios that are aligned with their mission and values.
- Why the Feared Wave of Solar Panel Waste May Be Smaller and Arrive Later Than We Expected, Inside Climate News, November 3, 2022
- Floating Solar Power Could Help Climate Change--Let's Get It Right, Nature, June 7, 2022
- Building a Solar-Powered Future, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, February 7, 2022
- The Grid Isn't Ready for a Renewable Revolution, WIRED, October 6, 2021
- Open Sourcing Infrastructure for Mini-Grids, CrossBoundary Energy Access
S4 | Episode 2 | The Energy Transition: What Role Should/Can/Will Traditional Energy Companies Play?October 25, 2022
In part 1 of our energy transition series, Dr. Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist of S&P Global, said, "Energy companies are really good at putting steel in the ground and building stuff." In his mind, they must be part of the solution to create a low-carbon economy. So, in part 2, Brown Advisory's Erika Pagel explores the role of traditional energy companies with Allyson Book, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Baker Hughes, an engineering and technology provider that works with many of the largest global traditional oil and gas companies. How are the companies that built their businesses on fossil fuels facilitating a transition to a more sustainable, lower-carbon future?Listen Now