David Crane is a global thought leader in the push towards a clean energy economy and sustainable development. Mr. Crane recently joined Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm with a principal focus on sustainability investing, as Senior Operating Executive. Mr. Crane previously served for 12 years as President and CEO of NRG Energy, one of the largest competitive energy providers in the U.S.
Under his leadership, Mr. Crane committed NRG, with about 52 GW of generating assets (47 of which were fossil fueled), to reduce their carbon emissions by 90% from 2014 levels (including an interim goal of 50% by 2030). This commitment is roughly in line with what all emitters need to achieve in order to keep global temperatures from rising above 2° C. NRG became one of the country’s largest developers of renewable energy, both in utility-scale and distributed generation.
During Mr. Crane’s tenure, NRG and Mr. Crane personally won numerous industry, community, and environmental awards. David Crane was named Energy Industry “CEO of the Year” by EnergyBiz in 2010, top CEO in the electric utility sector by Institutional Investor in 2011 and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young in 2010. Mr. Crane was also awarded the Corporate Environmental Leadership award by GlobalGreen in 2014 and The C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership in 2015. Vote Solar also recognized Mr. Crane in 2015 as a Solar Champion, an award that honors outstanding efforts to make solar power a mainstream American energy resource.
Kate Gordon is Vice Chair of Climate and Sustainable Urbanization at the Paulson Institute, where she provides overall strategy and coordination for the Institute’s climate change, air quality, and sustainable urbanization programs both in the US and China. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper’s “Energy Experts.”
Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Before joining the Paulson Institute, she was Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy at Next Generation, a non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco, where she worked on California policy development as well as large-scale national communications and research projects. While at Next Generation, she helped launch and lead the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change.
Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, where helped develop and author policy recommendations related to the Congressional cap-and-trade negotiations, Gulf oil spill, and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act implementation. Prior to CAP, Gordon was the Co-Director of the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance). She still serves on the Apollo Alliance board, as well as on the board of Vote Solar.
Gordon earned a law degree and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Danny Kennedy is a pioneer in clean energy investment and innovation, managing director of the California Clean Energy Fund, and president of CalCharge, a membership consortium that drives breakthroughs in energy storage technology. In 2007, Mr. Kennedy co-founded Sungevity, Inc., the country’s largest privately held solar company. He also co-founded Powerhouse, the only incubator and accelerator focusing solely on supporting solar entrepreneurs. Mr. Kennedy serves on the boards of Vote Solar, the Solar Foundation in Washington, D.C., and several solar startups, including Powerhive in Kenya and Sunergise in Fiji. He is the author of the clean energy manifesto Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy—and the Planet—From Dirty Energy. Working in collaboration with other groups, he spearheaded Sungevity’s Solar on the White House campaign, which resulted in the Obama administration’s decision to place solar panels on the First Family’s residence.
Kris Mayes serves as the Director of the Utility of the Future Center and the Energy Policy Innovation Council at Arizona State University, where she is also a professor of utility law and policy at the Global Institute of Sustainability and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. The UFC and EPIC are working to design the regulatory structures and utility business models that will be needed to assist the utility industry and its ratepayers through the coming transition to a more decentralized energy system.
Mayes served as a Republican member of the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2003 to 2010, where she helped co-author the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard, which requires that by 2025, utilities must generate 15 percent of their overall energy portfolio from renewable sources, like wind solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal and other technologies. Mayes also helped establish one of the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation, requiring utilities to sell 22 percent less energy by 2020 than they would have under current forecasts, and helped craft the state’s solar net metering standard.
Mayes currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation, the Vote Solar, and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). She also serves on NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility Technical Advisory Board and the ARPA-E Braintrust in Washington, DC. She is frequently asked to speak across the country on topics ranging from the utility of the future, to the design of energy law and policy, in particular around energy efficiency and renewables.
Sheridan Pauker is Regulatory Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where her practice focuses on distributed solar, energy storage, microgrids, and energy efficiency regulation, incentives, and financing. She represents clients before the California Public Utilities Commission and other state PUCs and agencies and counsels businesses and investors on the evolving nature of energy regulations and incentives. Sheridan also advises clients on energy and consumer law applicable to customer-facing distributed energy agreements, including PPAs, leases, and community solar arrangements.
Sheridan has been proudly working with Vote Solar since 2008, when she led a team of summer associates in analyzing PACE background authority in 16 states and then helped us draft PACE legislation around the country. She continues to advocate for strong PACE policies and advises clients on PACE programs, legislation and transactions.
Sanjay J. Wagle Sanjay has over 15 years of experience in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He serves as an investor and advisor in clean energy and resources companies. Currently, Sanjay serves as Senior Advisor at Diamond Foundry, a technology company making beautiful gem-quality diamonds in an ethical and sustainable manner, and Operating Advisor at Broadscale Group, advising corporate clients including GE, Johnson Controls, Duke Energy, and National Grid, on opportunities in distributed energy. Sanjay also serves on the Advisory Boards of several cleantech companies. Recently, Sanjay co-led the development and launch of SunMax, a new worldwide solar business within Ubiquiti Networks (Nasdaq: UBNT), a publicly listed global technology company selling wireless internet hardware.
Before Ubiquiti, Sanjay served as SVP for Corporate Development at Soligent, the largest US solar distributor ($200 million in revenues), where he led the acquisition and integration of Soligent’s #2 competitor, SunWize ($70 million in revenues). Sanjay also served as an investor and Senior Advisor for Corporate Development at Solazyme (Nasdaq: SZYM), an industrial biotechnology company converting plant-based feedstocks into tailored, sustainable foods, chemicals and fuels. From early 2009 through 2011, Sanjay served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the Office of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. At DOE, Sanjay helped oversee the implementation of $15 billion in Recovery Act programs for clean energy, including grant programs supporting renewable energy, electric vehicles, and battery manufacturing, as well as tax credit programs for renewable energy (Section 1603) and energy manufacturing (Section 48C). Sanjay also helped in the formation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency –
Energy (ARPA-E) and served as the agency’s Associate Director for Commercialization, founding and running a “technology to-market” program to commercialize high-risk, high reward energy technologies funded by the agency.
Sanjay holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.