PhD Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Institute for Data Systems and Society
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
Jesse Jenkins harnesses optimization methods and empirical data to improve planning, operations, regulation, and policy in the rapidly evolving electricity sector. He focuses in particular on two important trends: the transition to zero-carbon power systems and the proliferation of distributed energy resources.
Jesse will earn his PhD in engineering systems at MIT's Institute for Data Systems and Society this summer. His dissertation focuses on the economics of distributed energy resources and their role in power system operations and planning. Specifically, his work explores tradeoffs between economies of unit scale and locational value that determine the economically optimal location and scale for distributed resources such as energy storage or solar photovoltaics and demonstrates new methods to incorporate these tradeoffs into power system planning models. He previously earned an SM in technology and policy at MIT in 2014 and worked as a research assistant at the MIT Energy Initiative, where he was a lead author of the 2016 Utility of the Future study and a member of the Electric Power Systems Center. Prior to his graduate studies, Jesse directed the Energy and Climate Program at the Breakthrough Institute, a public policy think tank, and worked on renewable energy policy at Renewable Northwest.
As an Environment Fellow, Jesse worked with Professor William Hogan on electricity market design challenges posed by the increasing importance of both variable renewable resources and energy sources with zero (or near-zero) marginal costs. Jesse worked to clarify and quantify the nature of these impending challenges and offer recommendations to ensure electricity markets continue to deliver reliable, affordable electricity in a decarbonizing world.
William Hogan, Harvard Kennedy School