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Deadline for ‘Energy Execs’ Applications Extended to April 6

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has extended the application window for the 2012 Executive Energy Leadership Academy.

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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has extended the application window for the 2012 Executive Energy Leadership Academy. “Energy Execs” is a leadership program focused on educating business, community, and government leaders about achieving clean energy solutions using energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

“Energy Execs is very valuable for anyone who is interested in learning everything they can about renewable energy and energy efficiency along with how to drive change in their own organization,” said Mark Buschenfeldt, senior specialist for site selection at Vestas. “Vestas has a large portfolio of real estate globally, and the Energy Execs program helped me better understand the various opportunities to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy within our own footprint. On a personal level, the program also gave me the knowledge and confidence to be an ambassador for a new energy future in my daily life.”

This year, Energy Execs is offering two learning opportunities: the Leadership Program and the accelerated Leadership Institute. Both programs are designed to provide executive decision-makers with information and tools to guide their organizations and communities in energy-related planning.

“While I have a lot of passion for renewable energy, when I came into my current role I didn’t have a ton of experience in that arena,” said Steve Skarda, renewable energy leader for P&G. “This is an important focus area for P&G, and I was looking to get up to speed quickly and I came across the Energy Execs program, it was a perfect fit. The program is a fantastic combination of time in the classroom getting to know the nitty-gritty details of how technologies work combined with time in the field, seeing the technology in action.”

Representatives from 120 industry, government, and non-profit organizations have completed the program since 2007. Participants are selected from a national pool of candidates and all complete a final project with the goal to have a direct impact on their organization.

2011 Energy Execs graduate Isaac Kos-Read’s goal was to advance the Port Energy Innovation Initiative he had been developing for the Port of Oakland, Calif., which oversees the fifth busiest container seaport in the country, the second busiest airport in the San Francisco Bay area, along with nearly 20 miles of waterfront real estate. It is one of only six ports in the country that has both a seaport and airport. It also has its own utility.

The Energy Innovation Initiative will help the Port comply with California's environmental, climate, and renewable energy regulations — in addition to achieving its strategic mission of growing business and innovative sustainability. Since his graduation from the Energy Execs program, Kos-Read has advanced the initiative, built an internal team and organizational alignment, defined the scope of the initiative, and brought additional support with partner agencies.

"There are few common threads across all of our business lines — they have different customers, different regulations to follow, and different market pressures. One of the few unifying challenges they all face is energy costs,” Director of External Affairs Kos-Read said. “Whether jet fuel for airlines, bunker fuel for ships, or building efficiency, as our customers deal with costs, the energy equation is central to their consideration. Energy Execs helped me understand this equation and develop the knowledge, vocabulary, and contacts to advance our Port Energy Innovation Initiative in partnership with our business, government, and community partners."

The program also is a tool for professionals dealing with entrepreneurs and finance. “Energy Execs really opens the door for understanding the broader spectrum of renewables and various cutting-edge technologies,” said Sanjeeva Senanayake, vice president, energy, with HSH Nordbank, and a 2010 Energy Execs graduate. “I would recommend it for anyone, but especially those in finance, because thinking about the future and how to commercialize these innovations, you need financiers who can understand the emerging technologies.”

Applications for the 2012 Energy Execs program are accepted online for the Leadership Program and Leadership Institute, or by fax or mail. The application deadline has been extended to April 6.

“The opportunity to learn about the diverse range of renewable energy and energy efficiency issues from NREL and industry experts was an invaluable experience,” added Carrie Atiyeh with ZeaChem Inc. “As director of Public Affairs at ZeaChem, a producer of advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals, the knowledge I gained about the broader renewable industry through Energy Execs has made me a more well-rounded professional.”

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.