John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman at the Milton and Georgia Vermont wind farm—a 10 megawatt, four turbine, generation project that was placed in service in December of 2012 and has since become the highest performing wind farm in Vermont. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.

John Zimmerman at the Milton and Georgia Vermont wind farm—a 10 megawatt, four turbine, generation project that was placed in service in December of 2012 and has since become the highest performing wind farm in Vermont. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.

Founder and President, Vermont Environmental Research Associates, Inc

Exciting improvements to our electric, transportation, and home heating power systems in the coming decades will most assuredly evolve from societal pressures to integrate these sectors and improve their carbon footprint to improve air quality. Implementing these changes will inevitably be a bumpy ride as they affect all sectors of the energy industry; power generation, transmission and delivery, and importantly, consumers. In the electric sector this evolutionary trend is rapidly accelerating as new smaller and local generation sources are more frequently added to our electric system at the same time as new load is added by the electrification of the transportation and space heating sectors.

Substantial new investment in sustainable renewable generation sources is needed to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction objectives. If we set our clean air goals carefully and implement them pragmatically these changes will occur naturally, albeit at a slower pace than many would like.

Much of the work in my career has been focused on participating actively in this evolution by supporting the commercial scale renewable energy development. Because local renewable generation systems are usually visible features in the community, we can expect our working landscape will continue to evolve as the transition to clean energy expands along with the public dialogue as to need and societal benefits.

As in centuries past, communities will be able to see and identify with where there power is made. It will be on our rooftops, in our fields, and on our hilltops. The transition is underway now and will continue for generations. I can’t wait!