Dan Brdar – How Renewable Energy is Impacting Your Daily Life In America

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Steve Werner

Steve Werner

Keynote Speaker, Author, 170+ Monetization, Conversion, and One to Many Sales Presentations Worldwide.

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Steve Werner: Welcome back to grow your impact income and influence the number one show for helping you reach millions of people online and change the world today, we are focusing on that change the world bit, I have a guest that has been a CEO in the energy, space for over 20 years.

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Steve Werner: Changing the world through energy now before you say what does that mean, I want you to think of Elon musk Elon musk said when he was young, he was looking for a way to change the world.

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Steve Werner: And he came up his answer was batteries he spent 20 years of his life learning how to make a better battery today we’re talking to Dan for Dar Dan welcome to the show how are you doing.

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Dan Brdar: Thanks Dave it’s great to be here appreciate it.

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Steve Werner: yeah no problem, this is going to be a super fun show, so your answer to that question was how do we make a better switch How do we make a better semi conductor, how do we make electric vehicles.

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Steve Werner: have longer range be an everyday thing that you can use, how do we improve renewable energy, so that you can use that moving forward what are some of the impacts that this is going to have on the world.

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Dan Brdar: sure you know, if you think about it, we have to macro trends happening in the world, the first is.

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Dan Brdar: The continued adoption of renewable energy, solar and wind many places they’re becoming the lowest cost source of electricity, which is great.

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Dan Brdar: The other major trend we have is this adoption of electric vehicles, there is going to be a point in time, where it’s going to be very difficult to buy a combustion based vehicle anymore, because the entire industry is moving that way.

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Dan Brdar: But, like many new technologies, they tend to be higher cost and they tend to be lower in performance early in their life cycle you think about flat screen TVs.

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Dan Brdar: When they first came out, they were crazy expensive and they look terrible well they come down an order of magnitude and cost and the performance is it’s just incredible.

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Dan Brdar: Electric vehicles and renewable energy are in that same direction, and one of the things that they need, as an enabler are better semiconductors to give them a higher level of performance.

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Dan Brdar: If you can get better semiconductors and things like electric vehicle, you can get lower cost electric vehicles, and you can get longer range out of the batteries that are in there.

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Dan Brdar: If you put better semiconductors in renewable energy, you can get lower cost for them and also more useful kilowatt hours out of the the generation from the solar pants.

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Steve Werner: Okay, so you just did a great job of making that not sound like a NASA scientist.

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Steve Werner: I want to break that out just a little bit further for listeners.

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Steve Werner: So what what Jill who’s sitting at home right now multitasking typing and listening to this podcast what does that result in for her, I mean what comes to mind for me i’ve looked at tesla’s since day one.

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Steve Werner: I like sports cars.

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Steve Werner: So the fact that they use a Lotus ELISE I was like i’m in except it only goes 50 miles, what do I want to do on a road trip so is this going to result in longer mileage is it’s going to result in faster charging what’s the what’s the takeaway from this.

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Dan Brdar: yeah the technology that we’ve developed, for example, if you were to put them into an electric vehicle batteries that are on that vehicle to get seven to 10% more range.

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Dan Brdar: From the same amount of charge, so it directly impacts, the useful range, you can get out of the vehicle.

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Dan Brdar: And that’s important because you know, one of the biggest issues that people have with electric vehicles as range anxiety it’s getting better.

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Dan Brdar: The other thing that will do is you know the charging infrastructure is going to be built out considerably globally here over the next 10 to 20 years.

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Dan Brdar: But but electric charging needs to get faster, it needs to be more convenient and our technology can help vehicles charge faster by making those electric vehicle charging stations more efficient also.

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Steve Werner: awesome I mean that’s the biggest Those are the two biggest things let’s talk about renewables for a second and how this affects the power grid so right now I live in Austin Texas, last year we lost power for four days.

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Steve Werner: On one of the first things that we looked at doing with our House was getting a tesla battery.

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Steve Werner: So, how does what you do affect that and normal everyday person.

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Dan Brdar: Well, you know you brought up a great point and that is batteries are going to be increasingly a part of our life, one of the problems with renewable energy, solar and wind is their Internet.

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Dan Brdar: You know when the sun isn’t shining they don’t the panels don’t generate as much when the wind isn’t blowing you don’t get wind energy.

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Dan Brdar: If you can couple those with batteries, you now have a reliable source of energy that will continue to produce energy, for your home or your business, regardless of what’s happening in the infrastructure.

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Dan Brdar: In part of that issue involves getting good use out of those batteries batteries are bi directional in that you have to put energy into them to charge them and then you got to discharge.

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Dan Brdar: One of the things that affects how efficient that process is is the semiconductors that control the charging and discharging the power, the power converter.

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Dan Brdar: Our technology is inherently bi directional so it can actually complete that charging and discharging cycle more efficiently than conventional semiconductors that are used for first solar installations with with energy storage.

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Steve Werner: Okay, so what i’m understanding, where you get this is a new technology that wasn’t around when did this technology come out.

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Dan Brdar: we’ve been working on for several years it was invented by our company quite a few years ago, as we really saw the need to get a better.

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Dan Brdar: More efficient bi directional semiconductor switch compared to what the industry has been using Larson because we saw this trend of batteries and a lot of applications that we’re going to need bi directional power control.

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Steve Werner: Okay, so I actually because you’ve been in the industry for so long 20 years ago, I think, if you would have heard the term electric car, you would have gotten like, no one would have ever taken you seriously.

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Steve Werner: If you would have heard even batteries in your home like.

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Steve Werner: it’s such a I don’t know probably a quarter of a percent and things have changed a lot what when you got started in this industry take us back to what things look like back then.

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Because I think all.

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Dan Brdar: Very different I mean you know 20 years ago, more than half of our generation came from coal and natural gas was, you know that sort of the clean fuel of choice.

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Dan Brdar: Nuclear was still struggling in that you know we were dealing with global incidents of you know.

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Dan Brdar: You know raptor issues and high cost and everything else and renewable energy was one of those things that people thought that that would be a really good environmentally, socially responsible thing to do, but it’s so expensive.

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Dan Brdar: And when people think of batteries, they would think well you know batteries could actually solve a lot of problems but they’re too expensive, and they would typically think of lead acid batteries like you have in your car.

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Dan Brdar: what’s happened since then, is the cost of renewable energy, both solar and wind have come down dramatically the cost of batteries have come down dramatically.

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Dan Brdar: which has made them really competitive, in fact, the more attractive choice, I mean you’re you’re in Texas.

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Dan Brdar: in Texas solar power is getting put in at the utility scale at three to four cents a kilowatt hour.

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Dan Brdar: You can’t even use the fuel for a natural gas plant for three to four cents a kilowatt hour, let alone paying for the cost of the plant itself so.

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Dan Brdar: Renewable energy has become very cost effective on the challenge that it still has his intermittency know Texas saw an issue of several years ago where.

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Dan Brdar: The wind stopped, and you know, a huge number of megawatts of generation disappeared.

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Dan Brdar: batteries are the next way to really solve that to make the solar and the wind, more reliable and you know there whenever you need it.

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Dan Brdar: So the industry has changed dramatically your sources of fuel have changed the technologies that we’re using.

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Dan Brdar: And I think that it’s not just now about doing things because it’s the environmentally responsible thing to do, and a lot of cases solar and wind, are the lowest cost source of generation.

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Steve Werner: So I have, I have two things I want to ask around this The first one is it’s it’s kind of a personal question how did you get into this um I know like.

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Steve Werner: How did you just wake up, one day, and you said, I want to be involved with renewable energy, where did your path in this start, because I think you’re.

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Steve Werner: You had some vision, which I think a lot of people didn’t have, which is why your CEO right you’re paid to look around corners and see the vision, how did you get into this and, like what what started because coming from a place where it was cold.

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Steve Werner: To look forward and see this, where do you what’s your journey been.

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Dan Brdar: Well, you know i’m an engineer by training um I actually spent the early part of my career at one of the US Department of Energy national labs.

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Dan Brdar: That was really focused on power generation research of all kinds, you know gas turbines fuel cells combustion systems and so forth.

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Dan Brdar: So I saw a lot of technologies very early on, long before they were commercial and I went from there to General Electric or ultimately ran the guests have been product lines and i’ve run some renewable energy company since then.

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Dan Brdar: So my interest has always been being on the leading edge of technology that’s where it’s fun that’s where the big challenges are.

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Dan Brdar: But you know personally you want to do something where you don’t want a job you don’t want to have to just go and you’re you know you’re.

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Dan Brdar: Just putting in your hours you want to know that when you think about all the time you spend over the course of your career that you’re doing something that actually makes a difference.

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Dan Brdar: And so, for me, because I was interested in energy and how energy is created and used early on, they really kind of pointed me towards with my own personal values.

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Dan Brdar: of wanting to do something that really contributes to getting clean energy out there, making it affordable, making it the the the.

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Dan Brdar: The more preferable choice than the conventional ways of doing it so it’s really been this natural progression of the evolution of clean energy and wanting to be involved in it and all sorts of forms.

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Steve Werner: got it Okay, so that actually Tees up the next question really well, one of the things that i’ve heard, and I, to be honest i’ve spent probably three or four hours researching online and I finally just through the whole thing out was so I would be interested in buying an electric car.

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Steve Werner: But the fact, people are saying is well, I should say it’s not a fact.

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Steve Werner: what people are saying is it’s actually less efficient and is damaging the planet more between the cost of building and.

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Steve Werner: Actually, the electricity ends up being more expensive and more damaging to run the car than gas I would love your insight in that because I know you have way more expertise than I do, or any of the Google articles i’ve read.

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Dan Brdar: You know, when people were initially looking at the the emissions impact from a combustion vehicle to electric vehicle it’s like Oh, this is a no brainer electric vehicles are clean, there are no emissions you’ve got a big.

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Dan Brdar: contributor fact the largest contributor to you know pollution, particularly knocks nitrous oxide our electric vehicles or combustion vehicles.

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Dan Brdar: But then people started to take a step back and say wait a minute, how are all these things getting made, how is the mining being done for the lithium that goes into the batteries, you know they really.

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Dan Brdar: Looked at the complete life lifecycle costs and it turns out that there are more emissions associated with electric vehicles.

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Dan Brdar: When you start to look at that entire supply chain in that entire cycle.

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Dan Brdar: But that’s a good thing, because when you shine a spotlight on that that’s when the need to do things that are more responsible just works its way up the supply chain, so that.

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Dan Brdar: The miners are doing things that are environmentally responsible in terms of the energy they use i’m seeing projects, all the time, where.

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Dan Brdar: You know, remote mining facilities, because it’s tough to get power to them they’re putting in solar with batteries, to help mine, you know.

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Dan Brdar: Give the mind some of the energy that it needs to recover the aluminum there the cover the lithium.

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Dan Brdar: So I think you know a lot of this is while it’s true that the missions and that total life cycle or greater than I think most people think of when I think of an electric vehicles.

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Dan Brdar: I think that is just one of the areas where the industry is going to continue to improve because, as you get more and more efficient.

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Dan Brdar: You know, ultimately shows up in the bottom line you get more useful product or energy as a result of using it wisely using it more efficiently, so I view that as a function more of the early stage of where electric vehicles are not where it’s going to end up.

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Steve Werner: got it, I think I mean, to use your comparison to flat screen TVs from earlier, I think everything has a growth curve right and.

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Steve Werner: As it becomes more popular.

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Steve Werner: More like it will get better things will get made better because there’s more demand for it also add to your point I think shining a spotlight directly on it and saying we need this to get better it will get better.

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Steve Werner: The I mean the naysayers to renewable energy.

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Steve Werner: A lot of them say you know, like it’s just too hard it’s never going to happen, but if you look back to the 50s I remember when I was younger we went to I think it was Disney world and they had the House of the future.

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Steve Werner: And it was made out of.

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Steve Werner: rubber made like tupperware.

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Steve Werner: indestructible you could knock on the wall just kind.

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Steve Werner: Of see through them, and this was the House of the future, obviously we don’t have those today.

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Steve Werner: And I think the same thing is here when people first heard about electric cars, they were goofy and dorky and now you look mean Ford releasing the F 150 as an electric truck.

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Steve Werner: That looks accent feels like a regular truck but has.

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Steve Werner: More towing capacity more storage and is easier to live with.

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Steve Werner: People are starting starting to see that what do you see being the next five years, because that’s The other thing that i’ve looked at Elon musk Of course I own stock in in tesla but i’ve also looked at what.

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Steve Werner: Like how we fought, I mean trump in the presidency I don’t think was a positive thing for.

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Steve Werner: Renewable energy, you might have something different to say about that.

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Dan Brdar: yeah I think we’re really in a fundamental change globally in terms of energy, where it comes from and how we use it.

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Dan Brdar: You get to the point where early on it’s always a struggle, because these new technologies they’re more expensive, they have performance issues and so forth, and renewable energy has gone through that.

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Dan Brdar: Electric vehicles are going to go through some of that but, at the end of the day, as they continue to improve.

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Dan Brdar: on things like renewable energy electric vehicles will win on their own just pure cost and performance, because as more and more.

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Dan Brdar: Technology is developed as the technologies mature, as you get more and more people saying well this really is the direction of the future.

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Dan Brdar: You bring talent to that what you find is the need for things like incentives, the need for you know special programs to stimulate buyers to to adopt the technologies disappear, and all of a sudden it’s the obvious choice.

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Steve Werner: So do you think.

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Steve Werner: Right now, in solar there across probably 5050 states, probably like 30 States there are incentives for solar panels, there are some states that are giving incentives for electric cars, what do you see and how like in the next couple years, do you see incentives.

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Steve Werner: Getting a greater I don’t think we’ve even.

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Steve Werner: I think we’ve just started to see the wave of renewable energy, I think we’re going to see more batteries I think we’re going to see more solar I think we’re definitely going to see more electric cars, I know there’s.

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Steve Werner: I think I heard like there’s incentives.

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Steve Werner: Directive sorry for car companies to go 100% electric by 2030.

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Dan Brdar: yeah I mean if you think about it, you know solar’s had incentives for quite a few years it’s had things like investment tax credit and other things that help reduce its cost.

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Dan Brdar: I think for solar at some point, those incentives are going to go away the industry is not going to want to get them up, because they help make it more attractive, but they will go away.

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Dan Brdar: energy storage is earlier in that cycle, I think it will continue to get some incentives, because the impact of energy storage in terms of some of the problems that it can solve is really big.

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Dan Brdar: So I think there’s going to be a lot of desire to do that.

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Dan Brdar: But you know part of it is you also have to recognize, there are a lot of incentives that take different forms in the fossil fuel industry.

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Dan Brdar: They aren’t quite as easily identifiable as line items in the budget, like solar energy investment tax credit, but they are there.

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Dan Brdar: So they are a part of the way the energy infrastructure works, because it is so critical to the economy and national security and other issues so.

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Dan Brdar: I think the incentives in one form or another, going to be around for all forms of energy for for quite some time, at the end of the day, the market is going to.

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Dan Brdar: I think inevitably transition more and more to renewable energy, because it’s just going to be the the more efficient lower cost approach to go for for pretty much most applications.

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Steve Werner: Is there speaking of incentives, you probably have some unique insight to this, do you think that there’s an incentive that the mass public will respond really well to that.

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Steve Werner: has not been offered yet that’s like it’s a very insightful question but i’d love to hear like what do you think would really trigger people to start moving forward into this people who are being holdouts or people that are turned off to it.

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Dan Brdar: Well, you know it.

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Dan Brdar: What actually drives people to make some of these changes are not so much the incentives, because for the individual, most of these things are going to be.

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Dan Brdar: marginally impactful what drives them are things like what you went through where suddenly energy that for us, has always been cheap and readily available, all of a sudden, you don’t have it for four days you know and it’s 32 degrees outside.

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Dan Brdar: it’s those personal experiences that actually drive people to do that i’m I actually you know i’m in Austin Texas also so we experienced it.

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Dan Brdar: But part of why we came to Texas was we went through to eight day outages and Connecticut a few years ago, where we said, this is crazy, I mean.

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Dan Brdar: we’re in a modern world and we’re going literally a week, at a time, with no power.

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Dan Brdar: let’s get out of this where their skill cold and snow and the power goes out for a long period of time, is it, those are the kind of life, events that cause people to make changes to say either you know what.

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Dan Brdar: i’m going to put in my own solar with batteries or i’m going to move to a location, has a more reliable grid.

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Dan Brdar: The economic incentives, I think, are kind of there, they are interesting they help people get over that final threshold to make a decision and or maybe make the economics neutral.

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Dan Brdar: But it’s really the things that we all experienced and they can say you know what energy is not guaranteed it’s not necessarily always going to be there when we need it so, how do we take control because it directly impacts our lives.

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Steve Werner: that’s I mean that is very that’s a good answer because I money, money does not be several reports, I mean I come from a marketing background, there are plenty of reports one done by Harvard Business School that shows that cost price is the fourth.

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Steve Werner: On the list of what determines a buying action, but I feel like right now, the biggest thing that they’re missing.

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Steve Werner: It like they’re driving on price right whether it’s solar or electric vehicles they’re driving on price they’re like let’s give price incentives which I will get some people’s attention for sure.

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Steve Werner: But I think there are a lot of things, I mean the reason that I think tesla is starting to really.

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Steve Werner: hit the growth curve is because it’s a status symbol.

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Steve Werner: People right now, that is.

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Steve Werner: A model X or a model s is going the model X, I saw going it’s going for 40% 30 to 40% over msrp because it can’t.

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Steve Werner: make them fast enough and people.

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Steve Werner: want that status symbol um I think if that’s what he’s trying to do with batteries, I mean the tesla batteries look really sexy on the wall, they look like an art piece he’s trying to push that I know we’re talking about semiconductors and switches but that’s what powers those um.

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Steve Werner: it’s a good answer the.

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Steve Werner: Though Okay, so I want to give you a platform as well, because I know my mom my mom came from you know she’s in her 70s and she’s like I will never get electric car.

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Steve Werner: I like gas.

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Steve Werner: I like going to the gas pump I like putting gas in I like having electricity that I don’t like the windmills I like I guess they work, but I just like what works.

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Steve Werner: yeah would you say to somebody that.

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Steve Werner: is like that that is a little bit resistant or just likes what they have wants to stick to the status quo.

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Dan Brdar: Well, I think you know it’s always good to have choice, but I think it’s also important to recognize.

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Dan Brdar: When you when you have new products and new technologies, you always have early adopters people that want to be on the leading edge they either want to do it because they want to be seen as somebody who.

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Dan Brdar: is very in touch with technology or they want to be someone that’s has a status symbol, or you know there’s a lot of reasons you get to that that majority when all of a sudden.

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Dan Brdar: The cost of switching to that new product or technology doesn’t have an impact associated with it, so as electric vehicles don’t cost.

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Dan Brdar: 100 grand like a model s but cost 40 grand well then, all of a sudden it’s like wait a minute, you know.

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Dan Brdar: I really need to be thinking about this, I think, part of what’s going to change this also is.

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Dan Brdar: The all the auto manufacturers the established ones that have been out there for a long time, they are moving away from combustion vehicles.

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Dan Brdar: Both wagon has indicated that they’re abandoning vehicles, all together, Mercedes is doing the same things as you get those large players.

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Dan Brdar: they’re going to have to manage their way through, how do I maintain my combustion infrastructure for service and parts and everything else but it’s going to be a cost challenge for them, but at the end of the day.

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Dan Brdar: you’re not going to have that choice because they’re going to be all in and electric vehicles and that starts to drive volume, which starts to bring the cost of those down to.

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Dan Brdar: close to or below combustion vehicles, because if you think about it, the combustion engine in a vehicle has lots and lots and lots lots of parts.

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Dan Brdar: electric vehicle doesn’t So if you start to think about where’s the cost potential the batteries are the biggest cost component in the electric vehicle, but if you don’t have all those other parts.

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Dan Brdar: To create an engine, all of a sudden things like maintenance and things like the first cost start to change the second highest cost component in the electric vehicle or the semiconductors.

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Dan Brdar: So if you get companies like ideal power who are bringing out better semiconductor devices that also enhance the range, you can get other vehicle.

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Dan Brdar: You can start to see the path where electric vehicles will actually become the preferred option, because they will be the answer that all the manufacturers moved to.

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Steve Werner: that’s I agree um you you answered it way more eloquently than I could, but I just see it as that’s going to be the wave and as they get more and more popular.

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Steve Werner: Especially.

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Steve Werner: I mean we won’t even get into the self driving discussion, but as self driving becomes more of a thing.

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Steve Werner: you’re going to have to have electric car to do it, and people are going to want that extra time they’re going to want that extra safety and they’re going to want that extra speed on.

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Steve Werner: Somewhere I read they’re going one I can’t remember, whether it was a city or state but they’re starting to make a lanes that are electric vehicle only.

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Dan Brdar: yeah.

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Steve Werner: And it’s it’s like the jovi lane it’s going to get you where you’re going faster it’s going to be regulated like there’s probably not going to be a speed limit on it, the fact that I mean, I believe that if all the cars can talk to each other they’re all going to be able to move better.

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Steve Werner: that’s a whole.

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Steve Werner: nother discussion on Dan you shared so much with us it’s been really interesting to hear your thoughts, because you, you know more about this stuff than any Google article i’ve ever.

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Steve Werner: Read um what i’d like to ask you is what is one huge misconception that a lot of people have either around switches and semiconductors or renewable energy in general.

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Steve Werner: I think we’ve touched on some, but what do you what is one that you see that you’d like to set the record straight on anything i’m doing.

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Dan Brdar: Well, you know one thing when you think about semiconductor switches it’s one of those things that most people aren’t even aware of.

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Dan Brdar: But you own hundreds of them they’re in your refrigerator there in your washer and dryer there in your microwave they’re in your vehicle whether it’s a combustion vehicle or electric vehicle they are such an integral part of anything that uses energy in any form.

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Dan Brdar: That but they just they’re there they work they do their job and people aren’t aware, but.

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Dan Brdar: there’s a lot happening in the semiconductor space that is going to continue to improve those and there’s a lot of new technologies, where you happen to be, you know, in an exciting place that we’re bringing out something that will impact.

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Dan Brdar: A couple of really big trends like electric vehicles and renewable energy, but but also you know.

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Dan Brdar: The systems that protect data centers the motor drives and so forth, so I think for most people hey just be aware that you use semiconductor Paris, which is whether you know it or not.

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Dan Brdar: Use them every day you use a lot of them and there’s a lot of new technology that’s going to make everything you do more efficient and, hopefully, in the long term, lower cost also.

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Steve Werner: awesome I I would agree, I think I think we’re just starting to see this, and I think the way that is going to change.

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Steve Werner: Lives 20 years from now, the world is going to be so vastly different from what we see right now it’s going to be really, really interesting to see Dan if people want to learn more about ideal power or yourself where should they go what’s a good place for them to connect with.

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Dan Brdar: A great place to go look at our website ideal power calm, you can see.

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Dan Brdar: Some some White Papers on there that talk a little bit about our technology.

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Dan Brdar: Really targeted to you know the non engineer out there to help them understand a little bit about our semiconductor technology and where it can be applied and the kind of impact, it can have on on some of the applications that are out there.

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Dan Brdar: And then we tend to put out press releases that talk about things that are going on in the company things that are newsworthy that the average person would want to know about so keep an eye on what we’re doing largely through our website.

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Steve Werner: awesome Dan Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing with us and being an open book it’s been super fun to chat with you to everybody else out there listening go check out ideal power.

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Steve Werner: learn more about electric vehicles about renewable energy about batteries, because it is the wave of the future, there is no way that is not going to radically change your life in the next 10 years Dan thanks so much for being on with us.

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Dan Brdar: thanks for having me Steve I appreciate it.

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Steve Werner: No problem to everybody else out there till next time remember take action change lives and make money we’ll see you soon.

 

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