DOE Pulse

Colorado governor honors alternative energy advocate

Chuck Kutscher

Chuck Kutscher leads
concentrating solar
power research using
NREL’s Large Payload
Solar Tracker.

When you have the opportunity to spend 30 years working in a field you love, some might be worried about losing their zeal, but  Chuck Kutscher of DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a shining example of someone who continues to find new passions along the way.

Recently Kutscher was recognized by Colorado’s Gov. Bill Ritter with the 2nd Annual Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy, Individual Award, which honors outstanding contributions to protect Colorado’s environment and provide clean power through renewable energy.

Kutscher is currently a principal engineer and group manager of the Thermal Systems Group in NREL’s Center for Electricity, Resources and Systems Integration where he is taking the lead on concentrating solar power research. However, it’s what Kutscher has been doing outside of the office that’s also earned the attention of the Governor.

“I developed a passion for the climate change issue while serving as the American Solar Energy Society chair back in 2000 and 2001,” said Kutscher.  “The more I studied the science, the more I became convinced that it is a much more serious problem than most Americans realize.”

In preparation for the 2006 National Solar Energy Conference, Kutscher brought together a cross-section of energy experts – many of them NREL colleagues who volunteered their time -  to publish a 200-page report, “Tackling Climate Change in the U.S. — Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030.”  The study shows that energy efficiency measures can halt the rise in U.S. carbon emissions and renewable technologies can provide the large cuts that will be needed.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies have tremendous capacity to reduce the U.S. carbon footprint,” Kutscher said. “Many of those technologies are ready now, while continued R&D will improve performance and lower costs, we can’t afford to wait to deploy them.” Energized by what the future holds, Kutscher has been invited to speak at numerous upcoming events, but his NREL work is foremost on his mind, “I will continue to work on applications for concentrating solar power and will continue to look for ways that energy efficiency and renewable energy can address the problem of climate change.” – Heather Lammers

Submitted by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory