It’s official: the King of the energy nerds, Steven Chu, is leaving

Confirming a media report from last month, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, announced on Friday that he won’t be returning to office for President Obama’s second term. In a long letter, he detailed the accomplishments that the DOE has made over the past four years, like the ARPA-E program, and writes:

While I will always remain dedicated to the missions of the Department, I informed the President of my decision a few days after the election that Jean and I were eager to return to California. I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research, but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years.

As we wrote last month, it’s an end of an era for the Obama administration’s green dream team. Chu accomplished a good deal during his time ushering in billions of dollars in stimulus spending for clean energy, electric cars and more. At the same time, the DOE has not been without controversy with high profile bankruptcies from companies, like Solyndra, that got stimulus money.