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Eric Gimon, Physicist, Independent Technical and Policy Expert

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Dr. Gimon is a physicist who works principally in energy policy and the nonprofit sector. He holds a B.S./M.S. from Stanford University in mathematics and physics, as well as a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California in Santa Barbara. His thesis research was in theoretical physics covering topics like quantum gravity, particle physics, and string theory. After stints as a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and UC Berkeley, he shifted his interests into energy policy. He was an AAAS fellow in Washington, D.C., working in the Department of Energy, where he worked on national electricity transmission policy and pathways for a low-carbon energy future. He is currently an independent technical and policy expert working with outfits such as the Vote Solar Initiative and Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology, LLC. His broad professional interest centers on the goals, scenarios, trajectories, and methods for moving to a fossil-free electricity grid in the future. He is very interested in the long-term sustainability of our society and ecosystems.

Dr. Gimon is also active in the field of philanthropy. He serves on the board of two separate foundations: the Flora Family Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Menlo Park, CA). Dr. Gimon is also a member of the board of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, and the board of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas as well as an adviser for the Clean Coalition.

Experience at the Distribution Edge

  • Acted as technical expert for Vote Solar in CA PUC proceedings
  • AAAS Fellow with DOE in Office of Electricity and with Office of Under-Secretary: relevant knowledge in issues of transmission, ancillary services
  • Reviewer for NREL Renewable Energy Futures study
  • Grantmaking experience in energy field.
  • Obsessive reader on the subject
  • Small investor in the field

Notable Project Experience and Areas of Content Expertise

My main area of expertise is to act as a connector between policy makers, advocates, academics, regulators and practioners on topics that touch on a future with a high penetration of renewables.

Describe what you want to offer teams trying to Accelerate their projects

I think my main value comes in two ways: The first entails acting as a knowledgeable outsider and challenging teams in their assumptions about the future and what can be done to integrate the distribution edge as a resource of a high renewable energy penetration future. The second way involves listening to an expert group and helping them articulate what they want to express in a way that will make sense to a broader audience of regulators, policymakers and opinion leaders.

What personally motivates you to work on issues at the Distribution Edge? 

I strongly believe that investment and innovation at the distribution edge can allow us to have an electric grid with a high fraction of clean energy which is cheaper and better than business as usual. Realizing this potential would yield huge societal benefits, including but not limited to major climate change mitigation.

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