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Expert Voices: AES CEO Andrés Gluski

May 13, 2022
Photo illustration of Andres Gluski with abstract patterns of solar panels.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo courtesy of AES

Today we're talking with Andrés Gluski, CEO of Fortune 500 energy-generation company AES.

Why he matters: As Axios previously reported, tech giants are increasingly turning to AES to help meet net-zero goals through its renewables network that provides carbon-free power in a continuous manner. It most recently announced a deal with Amazon to provide 675 megawatts of renewable energy to the e-commerce behemoth.

In your view, what was this week’s big energy story?

  • In my view, the big story of the week comes from Hawaii. For the first time ever, Kauai’s electric rates are the lowest in the state. This is a direct result of their aggressive pursuit of low-cost, fixed-price renewable energy projects, especially solar plus battery energy storage.
  • The vision they had way back in 2008 — to wean themselves off oil and all the risks that come with it — has been realized and helps insulate their ratepayers from rising oil prices. Perhaps not the week’s most headline-grabbing energy story, but certainly an important milestone and case study of how long-term policy on clean energy can pay off.

What do you feel is being under-covered or under-noticed?

  • A small U.S. solar manufacturer — less than 1% of U.S. supply — is asking the Department of Commerce to apply cost prohibitive tariffs of up to 250% on solar products imported from four allied trading partners in Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Eighty percent of solar panels are sourced from these four countries. These solar panels are vital to supporting the 230,000 American solar jobs that exist today, including tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs.
  • Data from solar developers shows that over 24 gigawatts, or two-thirds of solar projects, are at risk for cancellation or delay across 2022-2023.
  • This would mean that more solar was installed in 2020 than in 2022 or 2023.

What issue are you following most closely?

  • The Commerce solar tariff case. It could have significant impacts on the country’s clean energy transition and impact tens of thousands of jobs.

In three words, what one change would you make to accelerate investment in sustainable energy/climate tech?

  • Long-term policy certainty.
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