Solar energy topic for Center for Environment speaker

Published 3:43 pm Monday, November 12, 2018

Catawba College

Sustainable energy leader Ivan Urlaub will discuss the future of solar power Thursday at the Center for the Environment at Catawba College.

Urlaub is executive director at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, a nonprofit organization that seeks to create opportunities for sustainable energy jobs and industry. During his presentation, Urlaub will map out the historical impacts of state policy on the solar industry, as well as the industry’s future in North Carolina.

“Ivan has been and continues to be a strong force for clean energy,” said John Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment. “His passionate and innovative approach has been a critical factor to making North Carolina a leader in solar energy in the Southeast. One pillar to his approach is to cultivate collaboration across industry, including those with like-minded or opposing opinions.”

As executive director at the Sustainable Energy Association, Urlaub helps grow solar and sustainable energy sources in North Carolina by building partnerships, tweaking business models, and helping the market develop.

“Urlaub’s presence at our Center for the Environment is another reminder of the importance of community support for a brighter future,” Wear said. “Our Center for the Environment at Catawba College is a prime example of how individuals from all walks of life, from students to entrepreneurs, can take a common dream and turn it into a reality. We can do the same with clean energy and share the benefits for generations to come.”

Urlaub received undergraduate degrees in political science and environmental studies from George Washington University. He holds two master’s degrees from Duke University — on in public policy and one in environmental management. He is also a board member for Earth Share N.C. and founder of the N.C. Clean Energy Business Alliance. He serves on the Three Zeros Advisory Board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an original lab team member of the Rocky Mountain Institutes’ National Electricity Innovations Laboratory. He was recognized by Charlotte Business Journal as a 2015 Energy Leader for North Carolina and received the North Carolina Business Council’s 2017 Visionary Leadership in Climate Change Award.

Urlaub’s speech is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. in Room 300 of the Center for the Environment. Admission is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register, visit or call 704-637-4791.