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    Acting Director of U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, Garrett Nilsen, Joins the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast to Discuss Solar Futures Study & the Grid of Tomorrow

    September 30, 2021 - Energy Central


      This week, the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast featured a conversation with Garrett Nilsen, the Acting Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). On the heel's of DOE's recent publication of the Solar Futures Study which made headlines for its assessment of how the U.S. electric power sector could reach nearly 50% energy generation from solar power, Garrett provided a deep dive into what role utilities can play in this transition and what the future of decarbonized grid looks like.

      From motivating entrepreneurs to enter this clean energy space to encouraging U.S. solar manufacturing to enacting the right types of public policies, Garrett is approaching this challenge with the type of full court press it deserves, and he highlights the challenges and opportunities in doing so with podcast host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester:

      It's a little cliche, but I just want to say that, I think the biggest thing to understand is that we're in a period of rapid change in the energy sector. And now we need to be ready to take steps along this transition as they present themselves. Of course, utilities and grid operators, have to ensure the lights stay on, and at the lowest cost energy can be delivered to their customers, reliably and securely. However, that does not have to be in conflict with modernizing and decarbonizing the electric grid, and deploying massive knots in solar wind and other assets. The main point that I really want to make, is not for anyone to rule out a new technology or business model. I mean that in the sense, that everything is evolving very rapidly. Yesterday's state-of-the-art is not today's state-of-the-art, and today's state-of-the-art is not going to be tomorrow state-of-the-art.

      This entry into the podcast, like all of the series episodes, can be found on all major podcast outlets, including iTunes and Spotify, or it can be listened to directly on the Energy Central platform. Give it a listen and share your reaction in the comments.

      Episode #43: 'Shining a Light on the Solar Grid of Tomorrow' with Garrett Nilsen, Acting Director of U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

      About Energy Central Podcast Series:

      The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

      The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit to register for free and join over 200,000 of your peers working in the power industry.

      The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason Price, Community Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.

      If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We'll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you'd like to hear about in more detail, feel free to send us a note to nominate them. To contact us, email Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility. We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors.


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