The Freeing Energy Podcast

Bill Nussey - Clean Energy CEO & TED Speaker

Hear from energy pioneers from across the globe who are accelerating the shift to clean energy by making their own electric power for their homes, offices, and communities. Join TED speaker and Solar Inventions CEO Bill Nussey and co-host Sam Easterby as they talk to the individuals who are disrupting the century-old grid monopoly and making clean, local energy a reality.

All Episodes

Listen in as author and entrepreneur Bill Nussey and his wife, Melinda, reveal the arc of the journey that is Freeing Energy.  This is the story behind what Kirkus reviews calls, “an unfailingly realistic and doggedly clear-eyed blueprint for the billion dollar opportunities that will reshape how we generate, store, and consume clean local renewable electricity.” Written for innovators, entrepreneurs, and advocates for clean energy, Freeing Energy, the book, is now available.

Dec 7

1 hr 2 min

Host Bill Nussey talks with Bryan Hassin, Co-Founder and CEO of the “rocket ship” accelerator for climate tech innovation, Third Derivative (D3). This new startup accelerator was born from a collaboration of two pioneering firms, RMI (previously Rocky Mountain Institute) and New Energy Nexus. Hassin shares how D3 is bringing startups, investors, and corporations together with regulatory and policy experts in radical new ways to increase the speed to market and long term success for climate innovation.

Nov 30

51 min

Midwest solar and storage leader and Clean Power Hour podcast host, Tim Montague, shares with host Bill Nussey how clashing titans in Illinois crafted a grand legislative bargain taking big steps toward a clean renewable energy future. Plus, Montague shares insights on how the simple economics of solar power and storage is changing minds in both boardrooms and around kitchen tables across the state.

Nov 23

34 min 57 sec

In this episode host Bill Nussey talks with Andy Klump, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based Clean Energy Associates, the leading global solar and storage supply chain management and engineering services firm. Klump walks us through how and why the economics of solar are shifting in the short term and the impact an energy crisis in China as well as backlogs in global shipping are having on US solar and battery projects. Klump shares views on when this crisis might end and the critical need for a holistic clean energy manufacturing strategy in the US.

Nov 9

34 min 11 sec

Social Entrepreneur and non-profit leader, Wendy Philleo, Executive Director of Generation 180, joins host Bill Nussey as they explore how her organization is using innovative  educational content to transform interest into action, community by community all across the US.  Wendy shares examples of their pathways to action programs, including the Solar for All Schools effort, which is saving schools millions of dollars nationwide, making the case that technology and policy changes alone are not enough to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Oct 26

32 min

A soldier, lawyer, teacher, judge, and 25 year veteran leader in the energy world as an appointed regulator, utility executive and leading clean energy thinker and advocate, our guest, Karl Rabago shares with host Bill Nussey powerful insights into a new roadmap for the lowest cost, reliable electric grid and why local solar costs less as a part of his solution. Listen too as Rabago summarily dismisses prevailing arguments by cost shifting advocates that local energy is hurting our communities.

Oct 12

50 min 29 sec

The way humans produce, distribute and consume electricity will be cleaner, cheaper, and infinitely more complex in the very near future. But how do we get there? Freeing Energy Hosts Sam Easterby and Bill Nussey catch up with leading energy industry expert Peter Kelly-Detwiler to talk about his recently published book, The Energy Swtich. Peter delves into different aspects of the transformation: how we got here, where we are going, and the implications for all of us in our daily lives.

Sep 28

53 min 37 sec

In part two of this special interview, global renewable energy leader Michael Liebreich breaks down the core elements driving the shift to a net-zero economy and how public policy and finance influence the rate of change. Plus, Liebreich shares insights on startups and what shapes his investment strategies.

Sep 14

25 min 22 sec

In this first of a two part interview,  host Bill Nussey talks with the founder, chairman and CEO of Liebreich Associates and founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Michael Liebreich.  This world-renowned thinker, investor, philanthropist and much sought after advisor, weighs in on the renewable energy solutions we should all pay attention to and why.

Aug 31

33 min 28 sec

In this episode, host Bill Nussey catches up with Heila Technology Co-Founder and CTO, Jorge Elizondo. Learn how Helia’s breakthrough technology is changing the way complex local energy systems are managed and operated, making each component smarter while making the whole system far more efficient and resilient.

Aug 17

36 min 8 sec

Host Sam Easterby talks with entrepreneur and founder of the Freeing Energy Project, Bill Nussey. Nussey tells us why the local energy approach will reshape the transition to clean renewable electricity and shares, in their words, lessons learned from some of the new breed of clean tech entrepreneurs interviewed in the past year.

Jul 20

25 min 59 sec

Host Bill Nussey talks with Loren McDonald, founder of EV Adoption and leading consultant in the electric vehicle arena. Loren and Bill take a drive through the unexpected twists and turns that EVs will face in reshaping our electric grid. With hundreds of billions being invested, the implications of electric vehicles goes so much further than cleaner transportation.

Jul 6

32 min 58 sec

Host Bill Nussey talks with Garrett Nilsen, Deputy Director of the Solar Industry Technologies Office in the US Department of Energy about the amazing and enormously practical scope and scale of DOE work across the energy landscape. Garrett explains how innovators and entrepreneurs can tap into vast resources to help vet, test, fund, pilot and even commercialize the energy technologies shaping our future. 

Jun 22

36 min 34 sec

Freeing Energy founder Bill Nussey and Dr. Jemma Green, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Australian-based Power Ledger take us on an illuminating journey into emerging peer-to-peer electricity trading business models, where P2P pilot programs are proving themselves and how distributed ledger technologies, like blockchain, are helping to securely and accurately track local energy trading.

Jun 8

37 min 33 sec

Host Bill Nussey catches up with Steph Speirs, CEO and Co-founder of community solar leader, Solstice, to learn how her team is using a game changing, door-opening mechanism to bring clean energy to people who cant get it. And, why re-defining the energy customer experience is critical to growth and a more inclusive energy future.

May 25

39 min 21 sec

Advocates, innovators and entrepreneurs, here is a discussion you don't want to miss. Listen in as Samir Ibrahim, CEO and Co-Founder of SunCulture, shares how his vision for the first affordable, widely available solar powered irrigation system in East Africa took shape, the impact that system is having on lives there and the business challenges he has faced along the way.

May 11

42 min 49 sec

In this second of a two part series, John Farrell, Director of Energy Democracy at the Institute for Local Self Reliance,  walks us through how the power and influence of investor owned utilities is trampling customers and how necessary changes in that relationship can benefit all parties.

Apr 27

37 min 37 sec

In this first of a special two part interview, John Farrell, Director of Energy Democracy with the Institute of Local Self Reliance, describes the challenges and barriers we face in shifting to clean local energy and the programs his leading think tank believes will move us toward a more equitable energy future. 

Apr 13

39 min 35 sec

Renowned journalist, editor and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow, Steve LeVine joins host Bill Nussey and shares how the dramatic recent innovations in battery technology will change your world in just five years and completely redefine entire industries.

Mar 30

31 min 49 sec

Innovators and entrepreneurs, listen up. Join in as Abby Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association takes us on an insider's tour of the policies the solar industry is advocating with the new administration, how those policies are shaped, and what a diverse solar industry needs to do to continue growing.

Mar 16

33 min 33 sec

Utilities and Consumers in California are in a pitched battle over the value of residential solar generated electricity fed back to the grid. It’s important because the money consumers are paid for their excess solar directly affects how quickly their panels pay for themselves. If the state’s utilities have their way in the upcoming “Net Metering 3.0” debates, California’s local energy market could get shut down overnight. Listen in as Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of the California Solar and Storage Association, explains net metering, California’s 2021 review process, and offers a way advocates of clean energy to lend their voice to this critical issue.

Mar 2

46 min 14 sec

Simplifying the permitting and inspections of residential PV system installation may be the perfect local opportunity for making a big change in the solar industry, but is the young industry up for the challenge? Solar industry leaders, Yann Brandt, CEO of SolarWakeup,  and Mike Casey, President and founder of Tigercomm, share why one piece of the growth puzzle is squarely in the hands of local clean energy advocates, what tools they have to work with, and the simple actions they need to begin taking now to keep growth going.

Feb 16

44 min 56 sec

Strap on your walking shoes and listen in as Michael Chanin, founder and CEO of Cherry Street Energy, takes us on a walking tour of the beautiful Emory University Campus in Atlanta GA where one of the largest and coolest deployments of on-site solar power at a higher education institution in the Southeast is being developed. From seven stories up on a high rise parking deck with its sea of solar panels back down to ground level where electrical conduit becomes a work of art, Chanin shares details with podcast Host Bill Nussey about the vision, the leadership and some deft engineering skills being used to help Emory meet aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals while providing electricity to the campus at rates lower than the local utility.

Feb 2

37 min 54 sec

Solar panels by themselves are just 10% of the cost of a residential solar system, yet US buyers are paying significantly more than homeowners in other parts of the world.  Why is this? The answer is “soft costs” -- the design, permitting, and sales costs associated with system installation in the US.  And, if this leading architect of the modern clean energy era has his way, we will see big cost savings in the near future.  Listen in as Andrew “Birchy” Birch, co-founder and CEO of Open Solar, unfolds his solution to reducing some of the most unnecessary costs of going solar.

Jan 19

40 min 3 sec

Hosts Bill Nussey and Sam Easterby offer up some of their favorite tidbits from 2020 shaping  the local renewable energy story and take a peek at what’s in store for 2021 on the technology, policy and adoption fronts.

Jan 5

31 min 30 sec

For the last few decades, rooftop solar was like Ford’s old Model T.....you could have any kind of system you wanted as long as it had black rectangles bolted to a frame on your roof. But, what if your roof could generate the electricity directly, without any panels at all? Host BIll Nussey talks with Martin DeBono, President of GAF Energy, about how and why the world’s oldest and largest roofing materials company is pioneering the shift from PV panels to PV roofs. Martin shares how the solar-specific technologies and services are woven into the GAF’s existing 5,000 roofing contractor partners and what that means to the market.

Dec 2020

39 min 51 sec

Many of us think of the US government’s role in solar innovation in terms of laboratories, deep science, and long term projects.  But, that is only part of the story. Listen in as Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office in the US Department of Energy, shares how her office’s programs are bringing innovation to market more quickly than ever before and creating greater access for all Americans to clean renewable solar energy.

Dec 2020

38 min 18 sec

Hurricanes, wildfires, and even forced outages are highlighting the shortcomings of our century-old grid. At the same time,  a growing majority of people are looking to accelerate the shift towards cleaner energy sources like solar and batteries. Microgrids sit at the center of these two huge trends and they are becoming increasingly available and affordable. FEP host Bill Nussey talks with Ryan Goodman, CEO and Co-Founder of microgrid leader Scale Microgrid Solutions. Listen in as Goodman explains how new technologies, designs, and financing solutions are reshaping the commercial and industrial electricity industry and turning our outdated grid into an energy internet. 

Nov 2020

33 min 36 sec

Rooftop solar growth is staggering. Why are so many going solar? Bill Nussey catches up with Vikram Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of EnergySage, the most popular web-based, solar marketplace and #1 source on solar information in the US for solar buyers. Vikram shares the personal story behind founding Energy Sage and the unique insights gained into the solar marketplace. Choosing the right equipment, financing, and installers are key areas to focus on. Considering solar or just interested? Listen in.

Nov 2020

43 min 21 sec

If you are even remotely interested in helping accelerate the shift to clean local renewable energy, this podcast is for you.  Why? Getting the right message out there today is tricky...but our guest today has been helping clean tech companies and renewable energy groups for some 30 years and he has some powerful ideas on how to be more effective.  Mike Casey, founder and president of Virginia-based TigerComm joins Freeing Energy Host Bill Nussey to discuss how to effectively put 21st Century Communication strategies to work in shaping our clean energy future.  Listen in and if you like what you hear, don’t forget to subscribe to the Freeing Energy Podcast and let us hear from you!

Oct 2020

38 min 10 sec

Heating and cooling the spaces we live in amounts to just over 50% of the energy consumed in the average home in the United States, according to the US Energy Information Agency. Add in water heaters and the percentage climbs to just over 60%.  That’s a lot of energy and today that energy is supplied predominantly by electricity and natural gas.  But, what if there was a local renewable resource for heating and cooling that was as clean as solar and right under our feet?  Dandelion Energy CEO Michael Sachse shares how his company is making the renewable technologies of geothermal energy more accessible and affordable to local energy champions.

Oct 2020

31 min 4 sec

Once the leader in the technology and manufacturing of solar products, the US lost that lead to China. But, if one company’s vision is realized, the US can again lead in this critical industry. FEP catches up with Charlie Gay, solar industry legend and CEO of startup Violet Power.  With a game changing approach that almost cuts the cost of generating solar energy in half, Violet Power is poised to re-establish world-class solar manufacturing leadership in the US where the technology was first born.

Sep 2020

39 min 38 sec

For homeowners, communities, or commercial users it’ s not easy jumping all the compliance hurdles when building out a solar installation:   But, how many of those hurdles are just adding cost and time and how many are really needed? Solar leader James Marlow  gives us a peek inside the challenging rules and regulations piece of the local energy puzzle and how he thinks we can make positive changes making cutting red tape and cost along the way.

Jun 2020

28 min 45 sec

If you think just knowing sunrise and sunset is enough to manage a 21st Century Solar Power generation system, think again. Having accurate weather data can make the difference between being profitable or not. Join us as Nick Engerer, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of global weather data service, Solcast, shares the role of weather data in today's world of solar energy.

Jun 2020

38 min 20 sec

Freeing Energy Podcast hosts Bill Nussey and Sam Easterby share four surprising impacts of Covid 19 on our Grid and the Renewable Energy Business.

May 2020

30 min 42 sec

Listen in as John Powers, the CEO of California-based Extensible Energy, shares how software is helping commercial solar customers boost their ROI and reduce the most expensive parts of electricity bills, all at the same time. Learn how this innovative software approach is leapfrogging slow moving utilities by adding intelligence on the edge.

May 2020

32 min 53 sec

There is a revolution in clean local energy coming fast and it’s a good bet that you’ll never even see it. Building Integrated Photovoltaics,  or BIPV, ditches the notion of black rectangular panels and instead transforms your house or building into a solar power generator. Listen in as Laura Sartore, the CEO of Italian module equipment firm, Ecoprogetti, shares how her firm is blending engineering, aesthetics, and automation for BIPV. Her firm is revolutionizing local energy, not just by making solar power beautiful and affordable at the same time, but also making equipment that is designed to let companies manufacture solar panels in their own regions and countries everywhere in the world.

Apr 2020

33 min 55 sec

Join us for a fascinating dive into how data is unleashing new business models, spurring innovation and reducing risk with special guest, Joshua Rhodes from the University of Texas in Austin. This rock climbing, mountain biking academic with some serious chops in advanced mathematics, engineering, economics and architecture shares insights on how rational, thoughtful, market-based thinking is shaping a bright new energy future. 

Apr 2020

32 min 35 sec

The foundation that helped shape modern philanthropy and improve health care institutions around the world in the 20th Century is increasingly focused on energy poverty in the 21st Century.  In this eloquent overview, Ashvin Dayal, the man who heads the Rockefeller Foundation’s Power Initiative, shares his insights on the origins of the foundation’s mission, and how they are using off-grid solar+battery mini-grids to tackle energy poverty. 

Mar 2020

42 min 29 sec

In this exclusive interview, global supply chain expert Andy Klump shares his unique insights on how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting Chinese manufacturing, the impact it’s having on renewable energy projects around the world, and the steps needed to get the global system back on an even keel.  Klump’s international firm, Clean Energy Associates, is headquartered in Shanghai, China and advises manufacturers, suppliers, and users of renewable energy around the world.  

Mar 2020

31 min 3 sec

Renowned energy author, academic, and entrepreneur Peter Fox-Penner shares insights from his new book, Power After Carbon. To decarbonize the energy sector is the largest investment opportunity of all time but, as Fox-Penner notes, the moral and social imperatives are just as large. Join host Bill Nussey as they into the changes that must occur to shift our power system to a zero carbon world.

Mar 2020

33 min 53 sec

Listen along with hosts Bill Nussey and Sam Easterby as six renewable energy experts share practical tips on what you can do to help get to a clean energy future faster. Plus, in this episode we hear what inspired one retired Nike executive to help take on a giant utility and how he is helping to shape a clean energy future for Taos, New Mexico.

Feb 2020

35 min 48 sec

Hosts Bill Nussey and Sam Easterby explore the role innovation plays in the world of energy and electricity today, what holds it back and where innovation is truly making a difference.  Choice is expanding the marketplace beyond utilities and including new entrepreneurs, new technologies, and new investors for the first time in a century.

Feb 2020

49 min 14 sec

Join Host Bill Nussey and Dr. Greg Nemet, Educator and author of How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A model for low-carbon innovation (https://www.howsolargotcheap.com).  Dr. Nemet has created the single best resource on the historical drivers behind the price decline in solar energy and the impacts this will have on our energy future. Listen as he shares powerful insights into how solar energy became so cheap and what those lessons can teach us about driving down costs on other energy technologies. 

Jan 2020

43 min 24 sec

Join Hosts Sam Easterby and Bill Nussey as they dispel these and other myths around solar energy.  From land and raw material requirements to social equity, listen as the team unravels narratives fueling confusion and misinformation about solar power.

Jan 2020

33 min 44 sec

Hosts Bill Nussey and Sam Easterby are joined by some top experts in the world of renewable energy to review the biggest stories that impacted the local energy landscape in 2019 and the stories that will shape the local energy movement in 2020.  Listen in as these experts share their views on policies, technology and global dynamics that are shaping a new world of clean local energy.

Dec 2019

36 min 2 sec

Host Bill Nussey catches up with John Berger, CEO of Sunnova Energy (NOVA), a leader in the residential Solar + Battery service provider market in the United States.  John shares insights about how dramatic changes in distributed local energy are rapidly re- shaping energy markets and why the shift is so important. Listen too as John shares how the Sunnova model and focus positions the company to capitalize on that change.

Dec 2019

32 min 1 sec

In part three of this special three part series, Host Bill Nussey travels to the mountains of central Puerto Rico and talks with Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI), Ana Sophia Mifsud.  Ana Sophia shares her journey in the world of renewable energy and how by being on site she and the RMI team are helping shape the future of Puerto Rico with microgrids, one school at a time.

Nov 2019

22 min 5 sec

In this second of a special three part series, Host Bill Nussey travels to Puerto Rico and talks with Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI), Roy Torbert. Listen as Roy tells us how the RMI team fostered powerful partnerships to craft long-term, resilient, community based electricity solutions using solar microgrids for schools in remote parts of the island.

Nov 2019

27 min 10 sec

In this first of a special three part series, Host Bill Nussey travels to Puerto Rico to visit with community leaders, teachers, and a team of energy specialists who banded together to bring more reslileint power to schools in the island’s remote mountain towns using an innovative local energy solution, solar microgrids, making electricity more resilient against future mega-storms as well as the all too frequent shorter outages.

Nov 2019

24 min 28 sec