North Carolina’s entire clean energy industry is mourning the loss of Alex Hobbs, a man who played an instrumental role in creating the clean energy economy we enjoy today. Alex, who passed away on January 31, 2021, had an oversized impact on our state and the entire southeast. “Alex was one of the Board leaders who hired me as NCSEA’s first Policy Director in 2005. From buildings and efficiency to forestry and wind power, Alex had his finger on the pulse of North Carolina and how people would find interest in being sustainable. As one of my first clean energy mentors, through his good humor he gave me invaluable guidance on navigating both North Carolina’s energy landscape and the best of eastern barbeque,” said Ivan Urlaub, Chief of Strategy and Innovation for NCSEA. “I am sure countless others join in appreciation of Alex’s lifetime of impact. Many early sustainable energy entrepreneurs and consumers realized their own way to have impact thanks to Alex’s generosity and expertise.”
Ward Lenz, NCSEA’s Executive Director continued, “Alex was one of the first people I talked to when I moved to North Carolina in 2001. He provided a wealth of support and experience to this newcomer to the state’s energy landscape. Alex was truly one of the key pillars that helped build clean energy in our state.”
In addition to his support of NCSEA, Alex was an integral part of the creation of the NC GreenPower program. “Alex was a key member of the founding stakeholder group and a member of the Advisory Committee for many of the program’s early years. Alex was also a respected and dedicated member of the NC GreenPower Resource Committee. He brought a unique perspective with him, as he was educated about many emerging renewable technologies and had experience working at an electric utility,” said Bob Goodson, President and Executive Director of NC GreenPower and Advanced Energy. Alex helped NC GreenPower work through complicated issues such as metering requirements and incentive recommendations and facilitated the development of program standards for biomass and carbon offsets.
Though he has passed, Alex’s legacy will live on. He was an NCSEA board member from 2003-2006, and he was presented with the NCSEA Solar Hall of Fame / Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He served as the Director of the NCSU Solar Center from 2000-2012 and had a tremendous impact on more than solar and high-performance buildings. “Alex was so well rounded and well versed. We worked with him on solar energy, biomass, electric vehicles, wind power, and pretty much anything related to energy and sustainability in our state,” said Lenz. This is a huge loss for all of us and our thoughts and prayers go to Alex’s family, as well as to all the others positively influenced by him.