5 years of EFI. 5 years of energy innovation.

Energy Futures Initiative CEO Ernest J. Moniz (left), Principal Joseph S. Hezir (second from left), and Principal Melanie A. Kenderdine (right).

The Energy Futures Initiative’s (EFI’s) story began five years ago…

In 2017, Ernest J. Moniz and his colleagues, Melanie Kenderdine and Joseph Hezir, departed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) resolved to continue their work of tackling the climate crisis through energy innovation. They envisioned a small organization dedicated to harnessing the power of technology and policy innovation to facilitate the clean energy transition.

EFI surpassed this vision in our short history: we have a team of more than 20 professionals, more than 40 published reports, and strong partnerships with organizations like the AFL-CIO (through the Labor Energy Partnership) and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). In only five years, our organization has become a preeminent thought leader in the clean energy space.

With so many accomplishments, we could not miss the chance to celebrate!

More than 300 people from EFI’s expansive network joined us on September 28, 2022, to celebrate EFI’s fifth anniversary with an evening of food and live music. Attendees were friends, family, and colleagues who have supported EFI since its inception. These included members of Congress: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (New Mexico), and Rep. Paul Tonko (New York). Varun Sivaram (senior advisor to U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry), and Sally Benson (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy), also joined in the excitement.

Rep. Stansbury gave congratulatory remarks during the celebration. “[With EFI] we have the best minds on the case, whether that’s tackling our biggest energy crisis, tackling our global climate crisis, or addressing how do we get game-changing energy opportunities into our communities,” Stansbury said.

EFI’s extensive record of science-based analysis and thought leadership supports Rep. Stansbury’s comments. With each year in its 5-year history, EFI has broken new ground…

2017: We published our first report, The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler. The report stressed the importance of nuclear energy for electricity and national security; as the only zero-emissions electricity source, EFI still perceives nuclear energy as imperative for reaching national and international decarbonization goals.

2018: EFI assumed production of the U.S. Energy & Employment Report from 2018 to 2020 when the Trump administration halted its production. EFI partnered with NASEO to track labor trends in key energy sectors because we believe the energy transition must prioritize equity and inclusivity.

2019: EFI’s focus on pragmatic and effective policy recommendations led us to produce the Green Real Deal. Formulated in response to the Green New Deal, the Green Real Deal offers a realistic framework for achieving economywide decarbonization. EFI also produced influential, landmark reports on the clean energy innovation landscape, decarbonization in California, and carbon dioxide removal.

2020: EFI partnered with the AFL-CIO to unite climate and labor priorities through the Labor Energy Partnership (LEP). LEP conducts policy-relevant research and policy recommendations to build a clean energy future with the 7.5 million U.S. energy sector workers at its center. Despite the COVID-related economic crisis, EFI also experienced a period of staff growth during this time.

2021: EFI received frequent media coverage, held many workshops, and published reports amidst the transition to a new administration. EFI held workshops on hydrogen, the future of natural gas, offshore wind power, and energy jobs. In addition, our 2021 Building to Net-Zero report outlines a policy blueprint for gigaton-scale CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.

2022: EFI continues to reach new milestones in our fifth year. Congress’ passage of three monumental pieces of energy and climate legislation culminates EFI’s five years of engagement with lawmakers and partners. We have been executing both virtual and in-person events and workshops on hydrogen, offshore wind, natural gas, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

EFI is grateful to have wide-ranging support from people dedicated to a low-carbon future. While we reflect on the past five years, we look forward to the climate and energy solutions of the future—led by EFI and other energy changemakers.

Watch an overview of our celebration on Twitter and LinkedIn to reminisce with us!

Jaycee Scanlon, Communications Fellow

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