Other than our central goal of displacing fossil fuel consumption whenever possible, SEP does not promote any specific technology – our work is based on the assumption that those who create, test, manufacture, and refine new technologies are well funded, and capable of readying their product for market. Our focus, instead, is to ready the market for the technologies. We will focus on implementation and adoption. Implementation encompasses the political and regulatory factors that may either facilitate or impede a user’s ability to use, or a manufacturer’s ability to supply a new technology (e.g. regulations). Adoption encompasses the information and other factors that either facilitate or impede a user’s decision to ultimately employ the new technology (e.g. misinformation regarding cost or reliability). Without non-utility research, technology demonstrations, and education programs to provide objective and unbiased alternatives to the information disseminated by utilities and energy companies, the market penetration of otherwise viable technologies, and the public’s enjoyment of their environmental and economic benefits may be delayed by decades.
SEP will conduct objective research, technology application demonstrations, and education programs aimed at helping manage change and enabling the transformation from today’s central-utility paradigm, to tomorrow’s less centralized utility paradigm. This transformation will include extensive use of sustainable energy systems at the neighborhood and customer level. In planning our own research, demonstration, and information programs, SEP’s efforts will include, 1) identifying major trends in the sustainable energy field, 2) assessing the probable barriers and challenges they will provoke (political, technical, and regulatory - mostly spearheaded by utilities and other service providers who believe they are threatened by technological change), and 3) facilitating an objective, fact and research-driven dialogue to asses impacts and mitigate conflicts and barriers to entry.