I sit here writing this at my dining room table, while my lovely office, only three miles away, is a forbidden zone. My daily forays outside are limited to walking around my neighborhood. I’m not complaining – only describing. It turns out that I am a natural at working from home, and overall our team has adapted nicely to this new way of interacting. At the same time, there is a feeling that we have all been sent to our individual rooms to think about what we have done (“…and don’t come out until you are ready to talk about it!!!”).
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to talk about it. This event has truly shaken the world and continues to do so. I’m ready to think about what these changes mean for the future of energy, for how we live and move in this world, and for the future of how we work with our customers.
We have collectively experienced our world turned around in a short period of time. Although the wave of closures and shelter-in-place orders came at different times for different places, most of us experienced an abrupt change in major life plans within a period of only days. Weddings and celebrations and vacations were cancelled. We were gearing up for a busy season of attending trade shows and conferences, including planning the 8th Annual HOMER International Microgrid Conference that was to be in Barcelona in the fall.
But that is not all that has happened. There are bright spots in this darkness. Pictures of previously smoggy cities, now clean, are appearing. We suddenly begin to see what the planet might look like if we stopped polluting it for a few weeks or months. Those pictures, and my own daily view out over the previously smoggy Colorado plain, have given me pause. We don’t want daily life to stop forever, but maybe we need to think about how to clean up our act when it returns.
Let’s use this time to model a renewable energy future
HOMER software has always been based on the “small is beautiful” premise, about the somewhat radical idea of localizing and democratizing energy, while making it clean and reliable at the same time. HOMER has always been a window into possibilities. Now perhaps it’s time for each of us to consider our own possibilities in a new light. How can we use this time to reflect, to learn, and to plan for life on the other side of social distancing and lockdown orders?
We want to be your partner in this time of planning and imagining. This is a time to model, to learn, to shape a future based on affordable, reliable, clean energy. Try something new and take steps into the future:
- Have you tried both versions of HOMER yet?
- Have you checked out the new proposal tool in HOMER Grid, which lets you produce a customer-ready system proposal from your results?
- How about taking HOMER training?
- If you’re an educator, it might be time to think about how you can incorporate the best tools for visualizing the future into next year’s curriculum, for planning a cleaner world tomorrow.
Meeting with many of you at our annual HOMER International Microgrid Conference is our favorite time of year. To stay connected, healthy and safe, we have decided that the only prudent action is to make the conference virtual this year. A virtual conference has some real advantages. We can certainly reach a much larger audience and truly have participation from around the world. We will stretch the event out so that you can fit it into your other obligations. We will stagger times so that everyone will have a chance to participate without “jet lag.” We are working on ways that you can connect and network with one another, at a much lower cost than at an in-person conference.
As I look for silver linings, I appreciate the gift of time. With so many projects on hold, now we can look to the future and take this time for planning. HOMER is all about planning. If you’re not already familiar with HOMER software, we offer a 21-day full-featured free trial with absolutely no strings attached. None! Look for announcements regarding new online training opportunities, new features, and how you can participate in the 8th Annual HOMER International Microgrid Conference, coming soon to a home office near you.
Stay healthy. Stay safe. And take action.