Jesse Morris is a Principal in the electricity and transportation practices of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Within electricity, Jesse is primarily involved in RMI’s disruptor program where he works with his team to help expand distributed energy resource deployment across the globe. For the past five years Jesse has worked with solar companies to reduce solar balance of system costs through integrative design and new approaches to solar finance. Jesse’s background in electricity also feeds into RMI’s current work with the Caribbean islands as RMI, the Carbon War Room, and communities throughout the Caribbean attempt to develop efficient, 100% renewable microgrids and transportation systems on the islands.
Currently, Jesse is working with energy storage companies, smart control providers, utilities, and the regulatory community to help distributed energy resources of all shapes and sizes become an integral, widely-accessible part of the global electricity system. More specifically, Jesse and the disruptor team are working to reduce the cost of behind-the-meter energy storage systems and enable these same devices to provide a wide variety of services to the grid through regulatory change or new business models. Jesse is also working with his team to explore the value proposition behind more flexible residential and commercial building loads that result from different combinations of solar PV, smart controls, variable speed devices, thermal storage, and electrical storage.
Within Transportation, Jesse recently conducted policy research and analysis to help shape California’s ongoing transition to a cleaner, more efficient transportation system powered by public transit and efficient vehicles. Jesse also participated in RMI’s Reinventing Fire research initiative where he analyzed the potential for whole-system design to improve the U.S. transportation system by investigating exactly where, when, why, and how we use our vehicles. Jesse is heavily focused on changing urban design paradigms, improving public transportation systems, supporting the creation of innovative transportation policies, and developing new business models that enable more efficient ways of moving people and goods. He also researches freight system efficiency and heavy truck design and operations.
Jesse Morris graduated from Colorado College with a degree in International Environmental Policy. At Colorado College, Jesse was deeply involved with academic research groups with a variety of focuses, ranging from commercial oil sands development in Alberta, Canada to climate change in the Arctic Circle and its implications on international environmental laws and norms. Before joining RMI, Jesse worked in the private sector and pursued his interest in alternative energy and efficiency with PV Powered (now Advanced Energy), a grid-tied photovoltaic inverter manufacturer.
Prior to this work, Jesse also worked with a private consulting firm and several nonprofit organizations where he performed business development, provided analytical support, and coordinated research efforts. Within RMI’s Reinventing Fire initiative, Jesse analyzed the impact of fleet vehicle purchases on advanced vehicle adoption in the U.S. He also developed a national VMT-reduction strategy and analyzed techno-economic potential for efficiency within the U.S. freight system.
- Bachelor of Arts, International Environmental Policy, Magna Cum Laude, Colorado College, 2009
- Cole Wheeler, Jesse Morris, and Kate Gordon. No Californian Left Behind: Clean and Affordable Transportation Options for All through Vehicle Replacement. Next Generation, February 2014.
- Morris et al. No Californian Left Behind Part II: Capturing climate and cost saving co-benefits through vehicle retirement and replacement. Next Generation, June 2014.
- Morris et al. Reducing Solar PV Soft Costs: A Focus on Installation Labor. Rocky Mountain Institute, 2013.
- Kristen Ardani, Daniel Seif, Jesse Morris et al. Non-Hardware ("Soft") Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013—2020. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, August 2013.
- Jesse Morris. Developing Solar Friendly Communities: Permitting, Interconnection, and Net Metering: An Overview of Model Standards and Policy Design Criteria. Rocky Mountain Institute, 2012.
- Lovins et al. Reinventing Fire. Chelsea Green Publishing, October 2011.