Jim Pierobon, clean energy champion in the southeast, will be missed

By Zach Schalk on September 10, 2018
Jim Pierobon was a true champion for renewable energy in Virginia and beyond.
Jim Pierobon was a true champion for renewable energy in Virginia and beyond.

Virginia lost a true champion for renewable energy with the passing of Jim Pierobon in August 2018. Jim was a passionate advocate for expanding renewable energy technology such as solar and a deeply knowledgeable policy expert with decades of experience as a reporter, marketer, and consultant in the field. His mix of passion, knowledge, and experience helped inform the ongoing transition to a cleaner and fairer energy market in Virginia and throughout the region.

Jim’s career spanned several decades, and the impact of his work will continue to be felt for several more. After starting out as an energy reporter with the Houston Chronicle, Jim would go on to co-found and serve as principal reporter at Southeast Energy News, a platform he used to educate policymakers, fellow industry experts, and the public about the challenges and opportunities of creating a clean energy system. He also maintained his personal blog Energy Fix, and published work for national outlets like The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

“We’ll all miss Jim for the principles he embodied as a journalist and a person,” said Solar United Neighbors of Virginia Program Director Aaron Sutch. “His laser focus on clean energy in Virginia and the broader region helped elevate the conversation around and about our ongoing transition to renewables. He asked tough questions about every part of the issue, and got the answers more often than not.”

Jim built his deep well of knowledge over a varied career that spanned several aspects of the industry. While he’s best known as a journalist, Jim also spent years working in public relations with both for profit and nonprofit clean energy organizations. His experiences both inside and outside the industry gave him unique insights that he deployed to help strengthen the community of solar supporters throughout the south and beyond.

“Jim was instrumental to our work and our expansion as an organization and community,” said Solar United Neighbors Executive Director Anya Schoolman. “As Solar United Neighbors expanded and began to connect our growing solar community across state lines, Jim was a friend and a tremendous resource in our efforts to build an educated base of solar supporters.”

After his hard-fought battle with Pancreatic Cancer, Jim leaves behind his wife, children, and an extended family.

In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family has asked for donations to two causes close to Jim’s heart: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Nieman Lab, an organization that examines the role of media in the internet age.

Special thanks to Kimberly Davis for help in compiling information.