“I remember a home in Tibet where the walls were black with soot from the flame they burned for their light. The main lighting source was kerosene, which is really terrible for indoor air quality. It was powerful to think about the potential for solar and renewable energy to improve quality of life.
“When it comes to innovation, you can’t always predict where it’s going to come from. It’s amazing how often aggressive milestones are hit, things that people don’t think are really possible. Just a decade ago, solar was four to five times more expensive than conventional resources. Today solar is the cheapest source of new generation in many parts of the country and in the world.
“DOE is funding research on a number of different levels, from supporting microgrids to concentrating solar thermal technologies. We can change the way that we produce and use energy, especially at the local level.
“We’re used to having backup energy generation sources on the grid, but not used to having the potential to have so much of our electricity needs produced so close to load. That offers opportunities for people who want more control over where they get their energy supply. That offers opportunities for resilience. It offers opportunities for lower cost. Local energy changes the game.”
Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, is one of the 320 people that author Bill Nussey interviewed for the forthcoming book Freeing Energy: How innovators are using local-scale solar and batteries to disrupt the global energy industry from the outside in.
Learn more about Dr. Jones-Albertus from his Freeing Energy podcast with Bill Nussey.
You can see all the heroes (so far) and their stories here.
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