I’ve spent my entire career as an analyst and writer covering the clean energy transition. Starting with non-profit environmental advocacy and a subsequent graduate education in energy policy and business at Columbia University, I went on to map out the impacts of Obama-era energy policies for Fortune 500 companies as well as startups as a consultant before making my own transition to the world of marketing, where I’ve helped clean energy innovators of every size tell their stories.
I’ve collected some of my recent writing below, covering solar, batteries, smart grid, emissions monitoring, and more for GTM Creative Strategies and other renewable energy and climate tech clients. It’s been a wild ride, and I can't wait to see where this industry and my work go next.
I’m always open to taking on interesting new projects, reach out: j.f.atkinson -at- gmail.com.
GTM Creative Strategies
Leveraging the Cloud for a Resilient, Secure, and Customer-Centric Utility
Excerpt: "Utilities are being asked to innovate at speeds never seen before. For some, that means embracing new models to account for a new mix of resources whose capabilities and costs are changing rapidly. It also means adaptation in the face of climate change, which is one driver of extreme weather and natural events such as intense storms and wildfires. The decarbonized, distributed grid offers its own unique set of challenges, but it also offers new solutions to all of these challenges. In addition to integrating intermittent renewables at everhigher penetrations, utilities must also be poised to incorporate thousands and potentially millions of behind-the-meter assets, including batteries, electric vehicles, and “smart” homes and businesses, on a near-real-time basis.."
The Future of String Inverters for Energy Storage
Client: LS Energy
Excerpt: "The need for more reliable, intelligent and flexible storage inverter solutions will only grow as energy storage technology costs continue to decline, applications proliferate, and policymakers in jurisdictions around the world continue to encourage clean, distributed power generation. LS Energy Solutions sees autonomous string-inverter architecture as the most versatile and scalable approach to meeting those needs."
Building a Secure Domestic Supply Chain for Energy Storage
Client: KORE Power
Excerpt: "The growth of the energy storage market is no longer linked to just a few states. The majority of U.S. states have energy storage projects in construction or already in operation. California leads the pack, but the momentum is also being carried forward by Texas, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, all of which have multiple gigawatts’ worth of front-of-the-meter storage installations under development, in addition to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Battery storage has cemented its role as an essential technology for cost-effectively operating an efficient, modern electricity grid, regardless of the generation mix."
Other Renewable Energy & Climate Tech Clients
Why Timber Buildings Are Catching On
Excerpt: "The main draw for policymakers, however, is sustainability. Producing concrete and steel is highly carbon-intensive, together accounting for nearly 10% of global emissions. By contrast, trees capture and store carbon dioxide as they grow — around one ton per cubic meter — making mass timber a much more climate-friendly building material.
Because these materials can be made from panels of fast-growing trees like spruce, they can be produced without harvesting old-growth forests. While there is debate over the exact emissions profile of mass timber when its full production lifecycle is accounted for (like including diesel-fueled logging equipment), it is estimated to be about a third less than a comparably-sized concrete and steel building."
How Tech is Making Cooling More Sustainable
Excerpt: "Greenhouse gas emissions have driven an increase in global temperatures of 1 degree Celsius since the industrial revolution, and the IPCC projects that temperatures could increase by another half degree by 2040. This would result in dramatic increases in cooling demand for many cities, with London’s climate expected to resemble Barcelona, and Seattle as warm as San Francisco.
Innovations in air conditioning technology could be part of breaking this cycle. While the scale of the problem is daunting, there has been progress across several areas, such as more efficient system components, smart building controls, and alternative refrigerants."
PowerSwitch ZERO: A Breakthrough in Solar Financing for Unprecedented Times
Excerpt: "Solar can play a major role in our response to COVID-19. Homeowners are spending more time at home and seeing their electricity use increase as a result, making the energy bill savings of solar – and, in many cases, the added resilience of battery storage – more appealing than ever. Solar has also been one of the biggest job creators in America over the past decade, and a rebound of our industry could help power a broader economic recovery. The emergence of home solar financing options helped drive the solar boom of the 2010s, and we think continued financing innovation will be a key to helping solar companies bounce back from the challenges of 2020."
Whether “Net Zero” or “100% Clean Energy,” Energy Efficiency is Essential
Excerpt: "At Mosaic, our vision of 100% clean energy for all led us to build an industry-leading platform for home solar financing – and now we’re going beyond that to connect homeowners with financing for modern, energy-efficient home improvements. That combination of solar and energy efficiency is also at the heart of what the Department of Energy calls “Zero Energy Buildings,”, defined as “an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.”
Growing Your Solar Business With Financing
Excerpt: "The ability to offer your customers loans, leases, and other financing options transforms solar from a big hit to their household budget into a smart investment that will have them in the black from day one.
That kind of value proposition is a lot more likely to turn into a sale. In fact, the vast majority of homeowners going solar utilize some form of financing. But integrating a full range of these financing options into your business isn’t easy – and neither is understanding which option will be the best fit for a given homeowner’s particular circumstance, let alone explaining it all to your customers."
Why Satellites Could Unlock The Future Of Natural Gas
Client: Bluefield Technologies
Excerpt: "So, while government satellites have measured global and regional-scale emissions for years, “Space 2.0” promises emissions tracking at lower cost and at the granular scale required by industry to actually pinpoint and fix leaks. And just as Planet (formerly Planet Labs) now operates a constellation of small satellites capable of photographing every inch of the Earth’s surface every single day, this paradigm offers the possibility of providing oil and gas companies the ability to detect and measure their methane emissions on a daily basis for less than what they currently pay for annual surveys."
A Plan to Repower Australia, Ch. 3: Get Off Gas
Client: Repower Australia Coalition
Excerpt: "Switching away from gas is an increasingly smart investment. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), it is cost-effective to replace gas space heaters with highly efficient reverse cycle air conditioner (RCAC) units – also known as heat pumps – in every state in Australia. In fact, Melbourne Energy Institute research indicates that there are already up to a million households in Australia that already have RCACs installed but are using them only for cooling – and missing out on an average of $658 a year in savings on heating compared to gas! Increasing awareness of this latent gas-free heating resource lying dormant in many homes is perhaps the lowest of low-hanging fruit in reducing Australian gas use."
Working primarily at the intersection of energy, policy, and the environment, I've helped innovative companies and organizations articulate groundbreaking value propositions in white papers, blogs, social media, and website copy. I bring exceptional writing skills and a broad base of expertise to any project, and have worked with clients ranging from startups to non-profits to Fortune 100 multinationals to governments.