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Jesse Morris

Principal

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  • Disruptive Technologies
  • eLab

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.

BACKGROUND

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.

EDUCATION

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

LOCATION

Basalt, CO

TWITTER HANDLE

@ja_morris

Authored Blog Posts

Blockchain in Energy: Powered by EWF

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is proud to announce the release of our organization’s open-source blockchain. Blockchains are distributed public databases that securely record digital transactions without a central clearinghouse, and are best known from digital currencies like Bitcoin. The code and client for Tobalaba, EWF’s test network, were published…

The Energy Web Foundation: Bringing Blockchain Technology to the Grid

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…

Report Release: Renewable Microgrids

For island communities, the costs and risks associated with oil dependence paired with cost reductions in solar, wind, and energy storage technologies suggest that an alternative to the fully oil-based electricity systems of the past is now a viable option for communities across the globe: affordable renewable energy.

Hawaii just ended net metering for solar. Now what?

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…

Tesla Hitting the Battery Accelerator

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.

Rick Perry to the Rescue?

A few months ago, Tesla announced its intent to build a “gigafactory” capable of doubling current global production of lithium-ion batteries, and Texas is fighting hard to bring the factory home.

No Californian Left Behind: Clean and Affordable Transportation for All

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.

The New Build Solar Opportunity

Originally published on Greenbiz.com. As many Americans who bought a home in the mid 2000s might remember, it was generally very good business to buy and live in a home, “flip it,” move, and get a predictable double-digit return on investment.

Transforming the U.S. Electricity System, One HOA at a Time Unfortunately

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.

Solar Investing Goes Mainstream

Thousands of Americans log in to online trading accounts every day to manage personal stock portfolios. Now, there’s a new option for individual investors.

Obama’s Renewable-Energy Plan: Let’s Raise the Roof

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.

RMI Solar Program Live Chat: Questions and Answers

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.

Join Us for a Live Chat 1/19 at 11AM MST: Transforming the U.S. Solar Market

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.

Solar Marches On

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.

Largest U.S. solar rooftop project secures $1.4 billion DoE loan guarantee

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.

Financial Innovation in the Solar Sector

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.

Size Matters

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.