Until recently, Rachel Tronstein served as the Deputy Director of the SunShot Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy. SunShot is a presidential level initiative focused on making R&D investments that will drive down the installed cost of solar so that it is cost competitive with traditional forms of electricity by the end of the decade.  Rachel currently works for First Energy Finance, working to transform the way that electricity is generated for homes and businesses throughout the world by providing products and services to accelerate the growth of renewable energy generating projects.

She recently spoke at Ann Arbor SPARK‘s Michigan Energy Forum about the DOE’s SunShot program and the best things happening in the U.S. solar industry.  She gave a special shout-out to the state of Vermont for their progressive, 1-page solar PV permitting process.

Here’s the full presentation

I think innovation requires a willingness to forget everything you know about something, and just focus completely on the simplest solution.  Rachel’s explanation of Vermont’s permitting process is so simple – I wanted to hold that up so we can all see it and bask in it’s simple glow for a few minutes.