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Meet Tim Montague, Catalyst for America's Cleantech Revolution

I was recently featured in the International Business Times so I thought I'd share an excerpt and link to the main story here on my blog.

As the conversation surrounding climate change continues to take on a more urgent tone, it is clear that there are two key battles to be fought – the battle ‘on the ground’ of decarbonization and our reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and secondly, the battle ‘of ideas’ to change the way we think about the energy transition.

To date, there are a select few who are fighting these two fronts as powerfully as clean energy expert Tim Montague, who champions the ‘cleantech revolution’ as the economic opportunity of our lifetimes, akin to the World War II (WWII) effort that the US and Allied Forces led to win the war and spur unprecedented growth in jobs and a diverse workforce.

Montague, who serves as a cleantech consultant and project developer for solar companies such as EDPR and Continental Energy Solutions, says that the clean energy transition is a "100 trillion dollar wealth transfer opportunity" that will help humanity avoid oil wars and climate chaos.

This comes at a time when energy dependence has entered the mainstream consciousness. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has presented a fork in the road - on the one hand, the fossil fuel industry advocates for boosting production as "energy independence" but the world is installing wind and solar much faster than any other new source of energy on the grid. The world still needs fossil fuels but is well on its way to a clean energy transition that will bolster job creation, climate safety, and national security.

Montague is catalyzing economic growth in solar, wind and battery storage, which together form a powerful triad for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, creating millions of jobs across the globe and creating a safer, healthier future for humanity. The energy return on investment (EROI) for wind, solar and storage is twice that of fossil fuels, notes Montague.

While he agrees that the situation in Eastern Europe highlights the importance of energy independence, Montague insists that a return to relying on fossil fuels is not progress. Instead, the way forward for him is to double the rate of growth of wind, solar and battery storage so that the world can transition to a clean economy by the year 2035. An economy that is safe from petty tyrants and full of potential for a brighter future that can avoid even the worst of climate chaos.

A vital aspect of Montague’s work is showcasing the individuals and companies that are decarbonizing the economy, through his popular podcast the ‘Clean Power Hour , ’ which has featured cleantech thought leaders like Jigar Shah, the SunEdison founder and cleantech venture capitalist; Mark Liffmann the founder of Omnidian; Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence; and Martin Pochtaruk, the President and CEO of Heliene, a customer-first provider of North American-made solar panels serving the utility-scale, commercial and residential markets.

Montague’s podcast explores topics like Lithium battery supply chain economics that are quintessential to decarbonizing the economy, while also helping to persuade consumers and industry leaders alike just how imperative this mission to speed the energy transition really is.

Montague points out that from 2000-2014, the average rate of CO2 emissions ballooned at 2.6% per year–a worryingly large increase as compared to the 1.72% yearly growth rate from 1970-2000. If we continue at this rate, Montague underlines that we’ll see significant disruptions to our way of life, regardless of our socio-economic status, in a mere matter of decades.

Montague stresses that achieving a net-zero economy is possible, but only if we keep fossil fuels in the ground and if the US steps up its decarbonization efforts. The recent joint statement issued by the US and the European Commission reiterating the intent to reduce fossil fuel reliance, seems to be a step in the right direction.

Serving as a catalyst for the clean economy well hinges on to the confluence of people, technology and sustainability. Montague is well aware of this realization, further emphasizing that the efforts to go net-zero will result in the creation of more job opportunities, innovation, slow the climate emergency and help improve the environment. Clean energy means clean air and a brighter future for humanity that Tim Montague continues to be at the heart of.

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