As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, NREL’s Cecile Warner is retiring at the end of April. And just last week, I learned that Sue Gouchoe, Policy Program Manager for the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University, while not retiring, is leaving DSIRE to work on other projects, including some work with Clean Power Research.
For the past decade, Sue’s work has focused on analyzing and sending information about government and utility incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Sue’s been on dozens of committees, including Chair of the Policy, Advocacy & Marketing Committee for the ASES SOLAR 2010 conference.
I’ve had the great good fortune to work with her; she’s thorough, solid, unflappable. She’s a brilliant researcher. With a decade of experience, I wondered about the changes she’s seen, especially to the DSIRE database.
“The most dramatic changes to DSIRE database involve not only the sheer number of programs but also the scope of the project,” she said. “ DSIRE has, of course, grown as the number of policies adopted at all levels of government in the utility sector has increased over the last decade, but we’ve also expanded the scope. Ten years ago, DSIRE contained about 250 state government and utility renewable energy programs and policies. We then added local government policies and federal policies. A few years ago, we expanded the database to include energy efficiency and green building policies. The result is a 10-fold increase in the number of programs we’ve captured in DSIRE. “
I asked Rusty Haynes, DSIRE’s current project manager, what it was like to work with Sue. He wasn’t shy with the accolades.
“Sue’s leadership in the renewables policy arena over the last 10 year has been indispensable,” said Haynes. “More than any other person, she helped build DSIRE into an extremely useful and user-friendly resource, which is now used by a quarter of a million people each month. On top of that, her karate skills are reportedly unnerving. We’ll miss her deeply, but we’re extremely fortunate to have worked with such a positive, able and thoughtful person for so long.”
Sue deflects the praise.
“The most significant change for the project as a whole, though, is the role DSIRE now plays as the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource on these topics. The DSIRE staff is similarly looked to for their expertise on policy trends and best practices.”
This I know; I receive several DSIRE Google Alerts each day.
And what, I wondered, would she miss the most?
“Reading those 100-page PUC orders,” she laughed. “Certainly, I will miss my colleagues. We have a great bunch of dedicated and talented people working in the policy group. DSIRE is in great hands. I‘ve also enjoyed getting to know so many committed, fun people in the renewable energy field over the years.”
We’ll miss you Sue, but as she reminded me, ASES 2011 is in Raleigh.
You can reach Sue at 919.475.5585