First Place Finish for Outstanding Reporting on the Environment

SEJ-Awards-logo_1Time to toot my horn. The Society of Environmental Journalists has honoured my work in their 2015 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. I took first place in Outstanding Beat Reporting, Large Market, for “History, Technology, Politics and Impact of Solar Power” — a series of articles published in MIT Technology Review and IEEE Spectrum magazines:

Can Japan Recapture Its Solar Power?
Topaz Turns On 9 Million Solar Panels
Hawaii’s Solar Push Strains the Grid
How Rooftop Solar Can Stabilize the Grid

In their comments accompanying the award the judges recognize the difficult balance between depth, accuracy, and accessibility that keeps me pounding away at the keys and fighting to get it right by the deadlines:

In his Large Market Beat Coverage of solar power, journalist Peter Fairley goes wherever he needs to go to best illustrate his stories. He takes us to the Atsumi Peninsula in Japan, where post-Fukushima renewable energy is needed to make up for the loss of the country’s nuclear reactors. He acquaints readers with the island of Kauai, Hawaii, where they’re tackling solar power’s biggest challenge—its intermittent nature. And we’re shown around California’s Carrizo Plain, where the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant has the potential to generate more energy than the grid demands. This is satisfying journalism. With anecdotes, scenes and knowledgeable sources, Fairley keeps us interested as we’re reading, and he leaves us feeling fulfilled when we’re finished. The stories are in-depth but readable, technical but understandable. It’s refreshingly clear and compelling journalism around a topic that easily could be either too esoteric or too superficial.

My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who have encouraged me by following and sharing my reporting, and for your belief in my work to empower intelligent and informed action towards a more sustainable and safer world.

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