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Erik Ness

Project Leader - Clean Energy Policy & Island Sustainability


Erik Ness is a project leader in NREL's Integrated Applications Center, where his work focuses on expanding the use of renewable and energy efficiency technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. He has a background in policy analysis, business development, finance and technology analysis.

Erik currently manages Clean Energy Solutions Center (CESC) activities funded by the Australian government. CESC provides no-cost expert assistance and other resources to help government agencies design and adopt policies and programs that support the deployment of clean energy technologies.

Since 2012, Erik has worked with island nations to develop strategies to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels. He has worked on wind and waste-to-energy studies in Haiti and has consulted with several Pacific island countries and territories to develop strategic energy plans and policy implementation strategies.

Erik has also had an interest in promoting tribal energy development since the 1990s, when he worked for a consortium of tribes with fossil fuel and uranium resources. He worked with DOE's Tribal Energy Program from 2004 to 2012. In 2011, he worked with DOE's Office of Indian Energy to develop a training curriculum in energy project development and finance.

From 2010 to 2011, Erik co-managed the U.S. Department of Treasury's "1603 Program" (part of the American Recovery Act), which provided stop-gap financing for renewable energy projects and was credited with keeping the U.S. solar and wind industry from collapsing during the early years of the U.S. economic recession.


B.Sc. (Hons) Economics of Industry and Trade, London School of Economics, England

U.S. Department of the Interior, Project Management Certification

AIESEC Project Management Training, Továrny Strojírenské Techniky, Czech Republic

NREL Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Program

Featured Work

Haiti: Feasibility of Waste-to-Energy Options at the Trutier Waste Site (coauthor, 2014) An analysis of opportunities for power generation at Haiti's largest waste site.

Guam Energy Action Plan (coauthor, 2013) A step-by-step plan to reduce Guam's fossil energy use.

Demand-Side Management: Renewable & Distributed Energy Technologies (author, 2012) A 95-page handbook on the full range of renewable and natural-gas-fueled generating technologies and energy storage systems, written for Western Area Power Administration field engineers.

Scenarios of U.S. Carbon Reductions: Potential Impacts of Energy Technologies by 2010 and Beyond (coauthor, 1997) This interlaboratory report was commissioned by the Clinton Administration to provide the scientific foundation for its stance on climate change policy at the Kyoto climate talks.

Gaia Atlas of Planet Management (coauthor, 1985)  This was the first comprehensive analysis of humanity's impact on the global ecology and was the top-selling environmental book of the 1980s. It was published in 15 countries and 13 languages, and was endorsed by the Secretary General of the United Nations.