Text Size AAA Bookmark and Share

Jesse Morris

Manager (Transportation and Electricity)


Jesse Morris is a Manager in the electricity and transportation practices of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Within electricity, Jesse is primarily involved in RMI’s solar program where he works with his team to help expand PV solar deployment across the U.S. Jesse works closely with industry to identify and capture balance-of-system cost reduction opportunities in addition to exploring new financing opportunities within the solar industry. 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. He also researches freight system efficiency and heavy truck design and operations.

Select RMI Projects

  • Solar PV Finance — Along with his colleagues in the Next Generation Electricity initiative and RMI's solar program, Jesse is collaborating with lending banks, rating agencies, the solar industry, and the real estate community to help attract low cost capital from public financial markets to the distributed PV space. This work focuses on data collection efforts (regarding both PV system performance and customer lease performance), analyzing and helping to publicize innovative "rollup" projects like Project Amp and SolarStrong, and investigating the opportunity for bundled PV and energy efficiency projects on commercial and residential properties.
  • Developing Solar Friendly Communities — In partnership with the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association and several local governments in Colorado, Jesse is part of a Department of Energy–funded project dedicated to improving market conditions for rooftop solar PV in Colorado communities. This work revolves around deep collaboration with local governments and, with COSEIA, the development of a program analogous to LEED or Bicycle Friendly Communities that will recognize "Solar Friendly Communities" across the country for their leadership in creating robust markets for rooftop solar.
  • Solar 3.0 — Jesse is part of an industry-led group funded by the Department Energy whose goal is to reduce photovoltaic non-hardware balance of system costs related to permitting and interconnection processes by 30%. As a member of the Solar 3.0 team, Jesse analyzes best practices in permitting and interconnection in order to estimate their actual impact on PV costs throughout the U.S. upon adoption.
  • Reinventing Fire: Transportation — While working on Reinventing Fire, Jesse focused on applying whole-system design to U.S. transportation by focusing on where, when, why, and how we use our vehicles. He also researched freight system efficiency and improved heavy truck design and operations.
  • Domestic Freight Efficiency — Jesse has contributed to a variety of freight efficiency projects with other nonprofits and trade associations, including work with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.


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 functions, 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. Education


Bachelor of Arts, International Environmental Policy, Magna Cum Laude, Colorado College, 2009

Professional Associations/Affiliations

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Authored Blog Posts

March 26 Charging on the Cheap: Making Electric Vehicles Mainstream Transportation
February 27 No Californian Left Behind: Clean and Affordable Transportation for All Transportation
December 5 Can the Cost of Solar in the U.S. Compete with Germany? Electricity
November 11 The Road to Solar’s Future? Getting Mean and Lean Electricity
October 1 German Market Evolution Electricity
September 26 Lowering the Cost of Solar PV: Soft Costs with Hard Challenges (Part 2 of 2) Electricity
September 25 Lowering the Cost of Solar PV: Soft Costs with Hard Challenges (Part 1 of 2) Electricity
June 5 How Real Estate Investment Trusts Can Change the Clean Energy Industry Electricity
April 2 The Land Down Under Shines: Australia No Longer a Solar Underdog Electricity
March 28 Safety in Numbers: Just How Risky Are Crowdsourced Investments in Renewables? Electricity
March 6 Other People’s Money: How Crowdfunding Lowers the Cost of Solar Energy Electricity
October 24 The New Build Solar Opportunity General
August 6 RMI Answers Your Questions from July 25th Solar Customer Acquisition Hangout General
July 25 Solar Issues of the Day: Customer Acquisition (Rescheduled Google Hangout July 25, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. MDT) General
July 13 Transforming the U.S. Electricity System, One HOA at a Time Unfortunately General
May 4 Solar Investing Goes Mainstream General
April 10 New York Times Invitation to Dialogue: Our Addiction to Cars General
March 27 Renewable Energy-Backed Securities: Coming Soon to a Solar System Near You General
March 9 Live from the Solar Leadership Summit: Follow the Leader General
January 27 Obama’s Renewable-Energy Plan: Let’s Raise the Roof General
January 27 RMI Solar Program Live Chat: Questions and Answers General
January 13 Join Us for a Live Chat 1/19 at 11AM MST: Transforming the U.S. Solar Market General
December 28 Solar Horizon for 2012 Shows Shadows, Bright Spots General
November 14 A Five-Step Program for Ending Our Oil Addiction General
November 8 Solar Marches On General
August 10 Landmark emissions standards highlight efficiency potential in the domestic freight sector General
June 30 Largest U.S. solar rooftop project secures $1.4 billion DoE loan guarantee General
June 22 Financial Innovation in the Solar Sector General
May 9 Size Matters General
April 7 Easing the Pain at the Pump General