Energy generation and distribution are experiencing the kind of disruption that transformed many other industries over the past 20 years. But the electric grid is a stubbornly rigid physical infrastructure that will require vast investments to modernize. Dr. Tim Lieuwen, Regents’ Professor and executive director of the Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech, joins the conversation to discuss accelerating the pace of electrification of transportation and modernization of the electric grid to support renewable energy generation and distribution. The changes that will follow the reorganization of the grid will also transform our relationship to energy as fundamentally as the introduction of electricity and power distribution lines in the late 1800s. It will be a challenging, fascinating, and sometimes terrifying time for energy companies, investors, and consumers.

Dr. Tim Lieuwen, executive director, Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech
Dr. Tim Lieuwen, executive director, Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

Dr. Lieuwen is the author of four books on the physics of combustion and gas turbine engines, as well as a member of governing or advisory boards for Oak Ridge National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab, and the National Renewable Energy Lab, among others. Discover how the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contribute to rapid progress in renewable power and electrification of the economy. We also explore how long fossil fuels will stay in the energy mix and the lessons of Texas’ 2021 winter storm power outages. You can learn more about Dr. Lieuwen at

Originally published on Apr 21, 2023

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.