Energy Fellows Institute (EFI)

Energy Fellows Institute (EFI) is an executive immersion program providing a platform for the exchange of ideas, opportunity, skills and community, in order to develop leaders ready to succeed in world-changing advanced energy business. The six-day deep dive into Colorado’s clean energy and clean technology ecosystem is held annually. The 10th annual Energy Fellows Institute will be held in May 2021.

Through a competitive process, up to 12 Fellows will be chosen to join a growing list of exceptional cleantech executive alumni. The deadline to apply for the 2020 program has passed. Email Mary for more information.

New in 2020 – Student Fellows

This year, current and recently graduated students were invited to apply to take part of EFI as a Student Fellow. Applications for the Student Fellows program are now closed. Find out more.

2020 Energy Fellows Institute Commitment

The 10th annual Energy Fellows Institute program will be held in May 2021.

The Institute is a tuition-based program and includes most meals, some transportation and on-site materials. The cost of the program is $2,000 per person. Tuition includes a free year of individual membership to CCIA ($500 value).

Energy Fellows Institute

What We Do

In addition to taking experienced entrepreneurs and executives on a deep dive into industry sectors of the advanced energy and cleantech ecosystems, the Energy Fellows Institute provides interactions with the local and national advanced energy network; exposure to investors active in the sector; and a chance to learn about the latest energy innovations gaining market adoption. Fellows selected for the program are educated in clean energy technologies, markets, business models, funding opportunities and policy matters. They are introduced to the network of experts and resources required to be successful in the advanced energy industry, and connected to early-stage ventures and laboratories where new energy approaches are being developed. The Institute provides site visits to national labs, local research centers, energy companies and installations.

“By combining roundtables, case studies, lab visits and site visits, the curriculum is not a lecture series, but a highly interactive discussion and dialogue.”

The 2020 Summer Program Featured:

  • 50+ programming hours
  • 40+ speakers
  • Daily tours

How We Do It

Our Curriculum

This is not standard executive education and the curriculum is not a traditional lecture series. Instead, our curriculum creates the opportunity for a discussion dialogue with executives from industry, leading technology experts, and key ecosystem players. The program is extremely interactive and combines seminars, lectures, case studies, lab visits, webinars and site visits.

During our 2020 intensive six-day sprint program, we will focus on the following concentrations: Energy Efficiency and Building Technologies, Energy Generation and Delivery, Energy Storage, Transportation, Air and Water technologies.

In addition, we will weave foundational industry elements throughout the technology sectors. Foundational elements to be examined include: energy policy, finance and investment, commercialization, international opportunities and challenges.

“Six full days is roughly equivalent to a semester-long college course.”

Richard Robertson

2018 Fellow

“The Energy Fellows program allowed exposure to a whole new set of tools for approaching clean energy deployment through local, technology-based disruption. The relationships I forged and the knowledge I gained gave me the courage to take the very big step from the corporate environment to the start-up word.”

Cassie Quaintance

2014 Fellow


Energy Generation & Delivery

Supported by private innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as critical public sector support in the form of tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees, many advanced energy technologies have grown robustly over this period while making significant progress in terms of price and performance.

  • Advanced energy technology 101
  • Creating a path to subsidy independence
  • Integrating renewables onto the grid
  • Advanced materials for clean energy generation
  • The financial bottom line
  • The future of funding

Energy Storage

Scientific advances are driving down the cost and increasing energy density of energy storage solutions with the promise of accelerating adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy generation in the electric grid. The Energy Storage program provides an in-depth review of the current electrical storage landscape and the performance and cost targets for adoption.

  • Storage state of the art
  • Grid storage technologies/markets
  • Battery management
  • Opportunities and limitations of existing technologies and potential advances
  • Market opportunities
  • Applications for the automotive industry
  • Applications for bulk energy storage

Advanced Transportation

Increases in all modes of travel globally are inevitable. Larger numbers of people will be driving passenger vehicles. On road delivery of goods and services will continue into the foreseeable future. Light commercial, helicopter and commercial airlines are projected to see continued growth over the next 20 years. Transit and mobility demands of all types are growing by necessity in densely populated areas across the globe. We will examine advanced transportation technologies that may provide solutions to our transit, emissions and infrastructure challenges. The Advanced Transportation track will discuss the following:

  • Alternative fuels
  • Advanced vehicle propulsion
  • Energy efficient freight solutions
  • Transit
  • Personal mobility

Energy & Building Efficiency

Buildings consume 40% of total U.S. energy and 70% of electricity generation at an annual expense of $400 billion. Approximately 30% of this energy is wasted. We will survey sustainable and energy efficient technologies, processes, and trends for lighting, heating, and cooling residential, commercial and institutional buildings – in existing and new built environments. We also explore business models enabling building owners and power utilities to cooperatively curtail electric loads.

  • Energy efficiency value chain and ecosystem
  • Buildings as systems
  • Energy efficiency drivers and opportunities for commercial building markets
  • The residential market for energy efficiency
  • Home energy management
  • Next generation lighting and HVAC solutions
  • Green buildings and integrated design

New Tech – New Horizons

The world of cleantech is rapidly expanding to include new technologies and disruptive innovations. From smart cities to blockchain to the circular economy, the world of the future is a world of cleantech. Get up to date on the latest trends in clean energy and technology with a variety of sessions on topics that we may not even know about yet. Sessions may include:

  • Ag-tech: New ways of delivering food to the masses
  • Blockchain for disrupting energy distribution systems
  • Colorado’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040
  • Smart cities and incorporating the Internet of Things into energy generation and distribution
  • Circular economy supply chains
  • You name it!

Waste & Waste Water Cleanup

If you live in the west, you know the saying – “he who controls the water controls the world.” The Energy Fellows Institute will be examining the critically important issues of water and waste water. We will touch on the global outlook for water availability but focus our attention on the technologies and innovative solutions being introduced to manage, monitor and clean the world’s water. Topics may include:

  • Sustainable industrial water practices
  • Water and energy generation
  • Technologies to clean the world’s water
  • Water management
  • Irrigation, agriculture and technology

Speakers and Tours

Fellows can expect thought leaders, game changers and industry experts from a wide variety of advanced energy technology sectors. Speakers are drawn from the nation’s advanced energy ecosystem and represent the many facets of energy, finance, technology, policy, and research and development.

Visiting research laboratories, advanced energy installations, private industry and federal R&D facilities is an essential component of the Energy Fellows Institute. While many of our curriculum hours are spent in classroom discussion, we don’t miss an opportunity to tour as many of Colorado’s advanced energy facilities and installations as possible.

Become a Fellow

Fellows should be proven leaders with a strong interest in expanding their career into the advanced energy industry. Executives and entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Fellowship should have 10+ years of proven leadership experience in the technology or business communities, with success leading an organization in a resource-limited and time sensitive environment. The final deadline to apply for the 2020 program has passed.

New in 2020

Student Fellows

EFI is announcing a new program for two current or recently graduated students to gain access to the full program via work exchange. Through a competitive application process, two Student Fellows (SFs) will be chosen to act as program associates in exchange for involvement in the program. SFs gain full and exclusive access to 50+ executives and researchers in the Colorado clean energy ecosystem, in addition to participation in tours and social events. The SF program provides a small stipend as well as travel expenses and meals.

Ambitious and highly organized students will be able to fit the program into their regular school schedule. SFs can expect 2-4 hours of weekly program time beginning the first week in April, and are expected to commit full time to the program dates in early May. Applications for the student program are now closed.


What criteria must a Fellows candidate have to apply?

We encourage candidates from all industries to apply to the Energy Fellows Institute. High-level criteria include:

  • Successful executive or entrepreneurial leader
  • Demonstrated success at building a business
  • A passion for cleantech and advanced energy opportunities
  • Broad business and technology experience
  • Ability to commit six days split over two weeks, approximately 55 hours, during the course of the program
What are the dates of the 2020 program?

The program runs for six days August 12-14 and 17-19, with a mandatory opening event the evening of Tuesday, August 11.

How much does the program cost?

Tuition is $2,000 per person.

Who pays for travel and how much travel is required?

Travel expenses are largely the responsibility of each individual Fellow. We encourage and support carpooling and may provide some travel during the program. We do not anticipate any travel outside of Colorado and all in-state travel is limited to the front range.

How many Fellows will be admitted to the program?

 A maximum of 12 Fellows will be admitted to the program.

How competitive is the program?

We generally accept about 50% of the applicants.

Where can I see a more detailed description of the curriculum?
How do I apply?

Applications are now closed for the August 2020 program. Return next year or email Mary for more information.

What is a Student Fellow?

The Student Fellow (SF) program was designed to give access to the program for current or recently graduated students. In exchange for limited program associate work, SFs get to join the 2020 Energy Fellows Institute group, and receive a stipend and travel expenses, as well. Student Fellows applications are closed for 2020.

Additional questions?

Please reach out to Mary Austin.

Energy Fellows Institute Alumni

Since 2012, the Energy Fellows Institute has seen 61 alumni complete the program. Their professional experience is comprised of a unique range of fields, in business, technology, policy, investing and more, providing a comprehensive array of perspectives on the clean energy industry.

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