The past week’s ransomware saga is a potent reminder of just how vulnerable our information and data is to cyber-threats. But it’s not just our information that’s vulnerable; these threats extend into the physical world of electricity too. In fact, today’s electrical grid is incredibly insecure against cybersecurity threats; for…
- Disruptive Technologies
Jesse Morris is a Principal in the Electricity Practice of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Throughout his career in the electricity sector, Jesse has had one focus: partner with utilities, technology providers, developers, and regulatory stakeholders to help distributed energy resources become an integral, widely-accessible part of the global electricity system. Currently, Jesse leads RMI’s work with the Energy Web Foundation, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating development and deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector.
Jesse’s research, convening, and consulting work focuses on understanding the fundamental economics of distributed energy resources and their ability to provide a wide variety of services to the grid through regulatory change and new business models. Over the past several years, he and his colleagues have researched and published in detail RMI’s findings on the economics of battery storage, advanced demand response technologies, and solar plus storage systems in addition to helping large corporates build new business models focused on the grid-edge.
Jesse Morris graduated from Colorado College with a degree in International Environmental Policy. Before joining RMI, Jesse worked at the Aspen Institute where he focused on convening multi-stakeholder groups to explore climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges and opportunities. Prior to this role, Jesse pursued his interest in renewable energy and efficiency with PV Powered (now Advanced Energy), a grid-tied photovoltaic inverter manufacturer.
Bachelor of Arts, International Environmental Policy, Magna Cum Laude, Colorado College (2009)
Authored Blog Posts
Blockchain technology—the technology underpinning the Bitcoin virtual currency—is being discussed as one of the most potentially disruptive technologies since the Internet. Blockchains are a combination of information technology, cryptography, and governance principles that enables transactions to occur without the need for a third party to establish trust between…
Earlier this week, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a ruling ending net energy metering (NEM) for all new solar customers in the state. Now, new customers will have a choice to make between two new tariffs: a “grid-supply” option and a “self-supply” option. (More on their details…
No one knows for certain what lower-priced batteries means for the grid. Readily available, cheap storage is certainly capable of changing the grid as we know it, but other factors will all play an important role in the relevance of batteries moving forward.
For batteries to be truly transformative—for customers and the grid—we need to recognize the full range of values they can provide and remove barriers preventing customer-sited batteries from providing all of those values.
Balance-of-system costs today make up the majority of system prices. That’s today’s land of opportunity for further cost declines in solar. And now, battery energy storage is undergoing a similar evolution.
Electric vehicles need to be sold even faster, at lower costs, and in more places for Reinventing Fire’s vision of an oil-free transportation system by 2050 in the U.S. to become reality. For this to happen, three major challenges need to be overcome.
States and countries everywhere are experimenting with different ways to transform transportation systems and reduce reliance on oil. California especially is generally ahead of the curve, so it’s important to watch how the country’s most populous state deals with different pieces of the transportation puzzle.
REITs can often allow anyone—from real estate tycoons to retail investors—to invest in real estate and related assets. Now, this REIT financial instrument is coming to the world of clean energy.
Some criticize solar crowdfunding for exposing inexperienced investors to undue risk, but RMI consultant Jesse Morris argues it appropriately compensates crowdfunders financially for low-risk investment, while also delivering social and environmental returns.
From Forbes to Fortune, Bloomberg to the Wall Street Journal, a young company named Mosaic has been getting a lot of attention of late. Why? Because Mosaic is bringing crowd-sourced funding to the world of solar PV.
Thanks to all of you who were able to join us live at our “Solar Issues of the Day: Customer Acquisition” Google hangout …particularly if you originally intended to attend the earlier broadcast which was hijacked by technical gremlins...and to those of you who viewed the archived video later.
Solar Issues of the Day: Customer Acquisition (Rescheduled Google Hangout July 25, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. MDT)
A holy trinity of plunging photovoltaic module costs, slowly escalating electricity rates, and new solar business models have created an environment where installing a rooftop solar system now makes pure economic sense for about 5 percent of buildings in the U.S. And yet, only about 0.2 percent actually have a PV system.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve never once used an electron produced by a rooftop solar system in any house or apartment I’ve ever lived. As a big supporter of solar in my personal and professional life, my hypocrisy knows no bounds. However, I’ve recently tried to take steps to change this even without a rooftop to call my own.
Earlier this month I handed a $10 bill to a clerk at the local theater. I didn’t think about it at the time, but a portion of that bill probably didn’t go directly into the coffers of a movie production company or the theater.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama promised to use his executive authority to accelerate the construction of 10 gigawatts of renewable energy installations on public lands. But, as encouraging as this announcement was, the administration could and should go beyond public lands by focusing on public roofs.
If solar equipment, installation and other costs continue to drop, solar energy will be increasingly competitive in more markets after the scheduled end of solar tax credits in 2016, RMI experts told participants in a live web chat last week.
In the collaborative spirit of RMI’s solar program, Jesse Morris and Ned Harvey will host a live chat on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 11 AM MST. At this event we’ll give an overview of RMI’s solar program, briefly discuss several of our current solar projects, and dedicate most of the web chat to answering questions from participants.
Krugman’s endorsement of solar energy is even more compelling when renewables such as solar are juxtaposed with fossil fuel-based electricity. Under our current system, the cost of electricity to consumers, businesses and society at large is intrinsically linked to the price of fuel.
Earlier today, the federal government heeded the call of a diverse group of fleet managers, independent owner operators, and environmentalists, announcing more efficient heavy and medium-duty trucks through a new standard projected to save 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion in fuel costs over the lives of the vehicles covered.
Distributed generation was given an enormous boost last week with the Department of Energy’s decision to provide a loan guarantee for “Project Amp,” a 733 megawatt distributed solar project – the largest single project of its kind in U.S. history. According to a press release announcing the project, this initiative will create the equivalent of more than 10,000 jobs across 28 states and provide enough renewable energy to power about 100,000 homes.
Google’s recent $280 million investment in solar developer SolarCity is a win-win-win scenario. About 10,000 homeowners get cheaper, cleaner energy, Google gets a hefty tax write-off (to the tune of $80 million dollars), and the emerging preferred financing mechanism for solar installs—the power purchase agreement (PPA) —gains yet another stamp of approval from one of the clean energy sector’s most important investors.
Electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy advocates rejoice! The first mainstream EVs to hit dealerships across the U.S., the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, both received top safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As the Associated Press reported: “While both the Leaf and Volt are classified as small cars, the institute said their heavy battery packs put their weight closer to large sedans. The Volt, for example, weighs 3,760 pounds, which is close to the weight of the Chevrolet Impala. The Leaf weighs 3,370 pounds, which is similar to a Nissan Altima midsize car. That extra mass helps protect their occupants, since heavier cars are less likely to be pushed around in a crash.” [emphasis added] But there’s a problem with this last thought: weight is conflated with size.