Letter from Stephanie Guzman

Before coming to Stanford as an undergrad, I read Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller (2007). Out of everything covered in this guide to understanding the universe, an anecdote about solar power has stuck with me. Muller recounts a discussion on the future of solar power between one of his students, Liz, and a physicist. The physicist claimed, “If you want enough power just for California, you’d have to plaster the whole state with solar cells!” But Liz astutely noted, “There is a gigawatt in a square kilometer of sunlight… about the same as a nuclear power plant.”
Stunned, the physicist realized Liz was right. Her observation testifies to the power of solar, one I more fully understand now in my research for Stanford’s IRIS Design Lab: looking into the journey homeowners take when they install solar panel systems. This research incorporates qualitative and quantitative methods to create predictions for how and why certain homeowners decide to install solar systems.
If you are a California homeowner with a solar panel system, we need your help. Your demographic is crucial to further understanding where logistical and design improvements can be made to improve the process. Find the survey here: http://tinyurl.com/homeowner-solarsurvey.