Stronger Together Town Hall
Stronger Together Town Hall forges new collaborations across like-minded renewable energy, environmental, government, business, and activist groups in order to accelerate the global renewable energy transformation movement. Panelists describe their approaches to the transformation and discuss ways that we can be stronger together particularly during these times of great disruption due to the pandemic.
Moderator Scott Sklar joins with these leaders during this action-oriented start to SOLAR 20/20:
Kelly Lynch, Sierra Club
Becca Jones-Albertus, DOE
Larry Sherwood, IREC
TBD, Environmental Defense Fund
Gregory Wetstone, ACORE
Ari Bortman, Fossil Free Penn
Emma Searson, Environment America
Ari BortmanCampus Organizer and Inter-Campus Coordinator for Fossil Free Penn
Ari is a campus organizer for Fossil Free Penn, pushing the University of Pennsylvania to divest its endowment from from the fossil fuel industry. He is also a national organizer for the fossil fuel divestment movement, and in February helped to organize an international day of action and escalation, demanding divestment at over 50 campuses across the globe. He has worked with divestment campaigns in the United States, Canada, Africa and Australia. Ari is now part of an effort to coordinate and unify campus divestment campaigns with other student activist groups, called the College Climate Coalition. He often volunteers with the Sunrise Movement and the Youth Climate Strikes in Philadelphia. He studies Mechanical Engineering, and Energy and Sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania.
Becca Jones-AlbertusSolar Energy Technologies Office Director
Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she leads a team that supports early-stage research and development in the technology areas of photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal power, and systems integration with the goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid.
Dr. Jones-Albertus has spent her career advancing solar technology, from fundamental research and development to manufacturing. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Dr. Jones-Albertus was at Solar Junction, where she led efforts developing the company’s two-time world record solar cells and transitioning the technology to manufacturing.
Dr. Jones-Albertus graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S. in electrical engineering, and also holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She has more than 10 patents and 40 technical publications.
Emma SearsonDirector of 100% Renewable Campaign
Emma oversees Environment America’s national campaign for 100 percent renewable energy, working to deliver a bold vision for a future powered by clean energy one state at a time. Since joining the team at Environment America, Emma has led campaigns building and mobilizing public support for renewable energy and climate action in cities and states across the nation. She has authored reports on energy efficiency, solar energy and other renewable energy policy areas. Originally from North Carolina, Emma now lives in Boston, where she enjoys running, cooking and exploring the great outdoors in her free time.
Gregory WetstonePresident & Chief Executive Officer at ACORE
Gregory Wetstone is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a national nonprofit organization that unites finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. Since assuming this role in January of 2016, he has led the way to dramatic improvements in ACORE’s organizational health, prominence and effectiveness in pursuit of its mission. Greg oversees ACORE’s strategic planning and core activities, including government affairs, communications, research and analysis, executive programs, market expansion priorities, signature events and fundraising.
Prior to joining ACORE, Greg served as Vice President for Terra-Gen Power LLC, a renewable energy company with utility-scale wind, solar and geothermal energy facilities. Prior to his six-year term with Terra-Gen, he served as Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association and Director of Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he founded the legislative program. Earlier in his career, Greg was Senior Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and played an important role in crafting a number of important laws, including the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Prior to joining the Committee staff, Greg was Director of the Air and Water Pollution Program at the Environmental Law Institute. Greg is a forceful advocate for the policies and financial structures essential to renewable energy growth, and has been widely published and quoted on energy and environmental issues over the span of his career. He has a Juris Doctor degree from the Duke University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida State University.
Kelly LynchSenior Campaign Representative
Kelly serves as Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Ready For 100 campaign. She supports cities moving to 100% clean energy for everyone. Kelly is an expert in clean energy business development, policy and community organizing. Kelly led a 130 person outreach team at Next Step Living, enrolling 1700 residents per month in solar and energy efficiency services in three states. She co-led the viral marketing campaign that vaulted Van Jones’ Green Collar Economy to #12 on the New York Times Bestsellers List. As co-founder of Power Shift Network, the first national student alliance on clean energy, Kelly coordinated the national mobilization that got Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth screened on 500 college campuses, unlocking a vast global audience for the film. Kelly is a mom, a runner, and a mediocre dancer.
Larry Sherwood.President and CEO at Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Larry Sherwood is the President and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Prior to becoming President/CEO, he was IREC’s Vice President/COO, the author of IREC’s U.S. Solar Market Trends report and editor of IREC’s Small Wind Newsletter. With more than 35 years of experience in renewable energy, Larry has served as President of Sherwood Associates, Project Administrator for the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards and Executive Director for a number of renewable energy organizations including the Small Wind Certification Council, American Solar Energy Society and Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.