Copper Industry Sustainable Energy Director to Highlight Copper’s Significance in Renewable Energy Growth and Production at Intersolar North America 2018

April 9, 2018


CDA’s Zolaikha Strong to discuss copper’s role in achieving 100 percent renewable energy

NEW YORK, NY— The Copper Development Association’s (CDA) Director of Sustainable Energy, Zolaikha Strong, will discuss copper’s impact in the operation of and electrical infrastructure required for renewable energy at Intersolar North America.

The panel presentation, titled “Regional and Local Initiatives Towards 100% Renewables,” will feature Strong, alongside energy industry experts Renee Sharp, Bay Area regional director at Grid Alternatives, and Nate Owen, chief executive officer of Ampion, who will each discuss the challenges and opportunities for companies, cities and regions to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy target. The session is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. on July 10.

In 2017, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the U.S. came from solar, ranking second only to natural gas, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s 2017 Solar Market Insight Report.

“As more businesses, governments and nations transition and expand their use of renewable energy technologies, the demand for copper will be significant as it remains a fundamental component for the operation of renewables, including solar and wind power,” said Strong.

According to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), falling capital costs and improving efficiencies for solar, wind and batteries are threatening fossil fuels in the supply of bulk generation and the availability of dispatchable generation.

Copper’s unmatched performance, durability and efficiency make it integral to the electric motors, batteries, inverters, wiring, transformers and energy storage devices that support and connect solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind turbines as well as the infrastructure that powers them. A well-designed solar PV system uses approximately 9,000 pounds of copper per megawatt of peak capacity. Depending on the design, a system can contain anywhere from 4 to 15 million pounds of copper.

The Intersolar North America conference and expo will be held July 10-12 in San Francisco, Calif. The annual event draws nearly 25,000 attendees and has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the global solar industry.


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About Zolaikha Strong

Zolaikha Strong serves as the energy expert on sustainable energy markets for the copper industry. She supports policy makers in the development of energy policies and regulations, collaborates with manufacturers on the development of new technologies, promotes the value of copper related solutions in energy efficient systems, and builds partnerships with sustainable energy advocates.


Strong is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC) and a co-chair of the Outreach and Education Sub-Committee. She is also a member of the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation Technology Roundtable, and an active participant and contributor to policy initiatives for the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, Energy Storage Association, American Copper Policy Council and the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition. Strong commissioned the industry’s seminal study on the global energy storage market: “Market Evaluation for Energy Storage in the United States,” and a five-year market analysis on growth of energy storage in the U.S. for the Energy Storage Association.


Prior to her work at the Copper Development Association, Strong was the Manager of Federal Regulatory Affairs at the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C. She also has served as an Energy Analyst with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and worked as an International Policy Fellow for the Clinton Foundation.