Ernestine Fu (Class 17) is the co-author of Renewed Energy: Insights for Clean Energy’s Future, a recently published book that sheds light on the history of clean energy from the recession of 2008-2009 through the years that followed. What went wrong? What went well? In Renewed Energy, Fu and her co-authors focus on what policy initiatives were proposed, what energy startup investments went sideways, and what business deals worked.
“If there was ever a call for energy innovation, Renewed Energy reminds us that we must act now.”
– Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission
Published by Kauffman Fellows Press, and co-authored by John Weyant, Ernestine Fu (Class 17), and Justin Bowersock, Renewed Energy explores the cleantech sector within the context of the 2009 recession and the four years following it. The work shares critical, first-hand perspectives from the industry’s leading policymakers, tech investors, and energy experts. In light of the current presidential administration’s position on environmental matters, the authors believe that the cleaner energy discussion is more important now than ever, and that the insights revealed by the experiences recounted in the book are key to moving US energy technology and policy forward.
The authors spoke with several prominent cleantech people to get their critical reflections on the history and future of the sector, including the following:
- John Holdren, Former Assistant to the President for Science & Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
- Steven Chu, 12th US Secretary of Energy
- Arun Majumdar, Former Director, ARPA-E, US Department of Energy
- Cathy Zoi, Former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), US Department of Energy
- Jeff Bingaman, Former US Senator & Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
- William Perry, 19th US Secretary of Defense
- Susan Preston, Founder, CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund
- John Woolard, Former CEO, Brightsource Energy
- Tom Baruch, Founder, CMEA Capital
- Artur Runge-Metzger, Director of International and Climate Strategy, European Commission
The book has been reviewed and recommended by Robert Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission; Ellen Williams, Former Director, ARPA-E; Dian Grueneich, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission; Kenneth Davies, Director of Renewable Energy, Microsoft; Varun Sivaram, Council of Foreign Relations and Author of Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet; Jiong Ma, Kauffman Fellow and Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures; Hemai Parthasarathy, Chief Science Officer & Partner, Breakout Ventures; and Praveen Sahay, Kauffman Fellow and Managing Director, WAVE Equity Partners.
In classic fashion, Renewed Energy had its start in an excited conversation over coffee in Silicon Valley. Ernestine first met co-author John Weyant as an undergraduate student at Stanford when enrolled in his class on climate change. She met Justin Bowersock, Renewed Energy’s third co-author, through her work at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Efficiency, where Justin was a research director and Ernestine was working on an energy report with former Senator Jeff Bingaman. In 2012, the three soon-to-be co-authors met to talk shop over coffee, but didn’t know at the time their ideas would take shape in book form.
As they compared notes, it became clear that the real answers to the lack of progress within the clean energy sector came from viewing problems of policy, investing, and technological advancement as three interrelated parts of a whole system. What’s more, the trio realized, their work suggested that they were in a singular position to investigate and talk about the parts of the clean energy sector in a bid to improve the whole.
We are proud to announce this latest book from Kauffman Fellows Press, which shares bold (and well researched) new ideas from members of the KF Network. One interviewee for Clean Energy was Tom Baruch, a KF board member who has been a tech investor for over 40 years. Once the manuscript was complete, many Fellows provided feedback, including Jiong Ma (Class 9 – Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures) and Praveen Sahay (Class 8 – Managing Director, WAVE Equity Partners). The results offer insights and guidance for anyone interested in developing, investing, or guiding the future of clean energy in the United States. But don’t take our word for it—grab a copy and read for yourself.
The coauthors of Renewed Energy: John Weyant, Ernestine Fu, and Justin Bowersock
More About the Authors
The youngest person to complete the Kauffman Fellows program to date, co-author Ernestine Fu earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering at Stanford University, where she was awarded the David M. Kennedy Prize for the top thesis in engineering and natural sciences, and also inducted into the Tau Beta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. While a student at Stanford, Ernestine started working at the venture capital firm Alsop Louie Partners, where she completed the Kauffman fellowship under the firm’s founders Stewart Alsop and Gilman Louie. As a venture investor at Alsop Louie Partners, she led her first investment within two months of joining the firm; since then, she has worked on investments in cybersecurity, big data, and frontier technologies, like 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.
Despite her full-time commitments in the for-profit world, Ernestine has remained devoted to public service. After starting a nonprofit, Ernestine wrote the book Civic Work, Civic Lessons (University Press of America, 2013) with former Stanford Law School dean Thomas Ehrlich, which discusses how and why people of all ages should engage in public service. She has also been a champion of issues such as immigration reform, patent reform, and climate change.
John Weyant is a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, and has been honored as a major contributor to the Nobel Peace prize awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. He has been an important voice in the US debate on climate change policy through the Department of State, Department of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency. John’s long-term involvement in energy policy at the federal and state levels also includes the roles of Member of the California Air Resources Board’s Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC), which is charged with making recommendations for technology policies to help implement AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; Director of the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) and Deputy Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency at Stanford; and Founder and chairman of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC), a five-year-old collaboratory with 53 member institutions from around the world.
Justin Bowersock has 17 years of experience in the energy sector, working closely with multiple energy companies and utilities. He is the founder and principal of Rockhill Advisors, an independent fiduciary that provides tailored wealth management and financial planning services to high net worth clients. As a Research Director at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy, Policy, and Finance, Justin’s research includes leading a project funded by the Electric Power Research Institute to help tackle the commercialization funding problem for new electric power generation technologies, developing a proposal to use market competition to set limits on subsidy costs in collaboration with the Department of Energy and private investors, and advising Stanford on its buying strategy for $300 million of wholesale electricity.