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Executive Energy Leadership Academy

NREL's Executive Energy Leadership Academy, or Energy Execs, provides industry and community leaders an opportunity to learn about advanced energy technologies to guide their organizations in energy-related decisions and planning.

A group of NREL Energy Execs gather around the bottom of a wind turbine with blue skies and fields in the foreground.

Leadership Program

The Leadership Program is designed for leaders with an interest in exploring renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, applications, and issues. Participants travel to NREL's main campus in Golden, Colorado, for four multi-day sessions from June through September.

The program provides an in-depth look at solar and wind power, bioenergy and transportation, energy efficient building technologies and energy systems integration. Course content includes information on performance characteristics of the technologies, economics, and analytical tools.

Program specifics include:

  • Briefings by world-renowned researchers and engineers
  • Tours of state-of-the-art research laboratories
  • Visits to renewable energy installations
  • Classroom projects.

At the end of the program, participants demonstrate what they've learned by presenting a viable project relating to the course content. Final projects show the success of a program, which in the long run helps make advanced energy technologies accessible to more people.

Program dates for the 2018 class took place June 20–22, July 18–20, August 22–24, and September 19–21.  There is no cost to participate in the program, although those who are accepted are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. 

The application period for the 2019 program will open in mid-January. Please contact Sarah Barba for more information.

In Their Own Words

Observations from the 2017 Leadership Program participants on the impact of this experience:

"I was afforded the opportunity to leverage the network, brainpower, and creativity of my fellow classmates to continue developing solutions to meet the Airport's long-term energy solutions in ways that are low-carbon, low-cost, reliable, and resilient." - Cullen Choi, Energy Manager, Denver International Airport, Class of 2017

"Outstanding learning experience delivered by some of the brightest energy experts in the world." - Kevin Kenny, Network Engineer IV - RAN Hardware Standards, Power, Sprint, Class of 2017

"The NREL Energy Execs program was a profoundly valuable experience which exponentially enhanced my knowledge base on renewable energy and emerging technologies.  I highly recommend this program to anyone in the energy industry." - Scott Rupp, Missouri Public Service Commissioner, Class of 2017

"The Energy Execs Program was an invaluable experience.  Not only does the class benefit from exposure to cutting edge research at NREL, they also have the opportunity to build relationships with classmates of talented professionals from wide-ranging backgrounds related to Renewable Energy." - Kyle Lauter, Associate Director, Portfolio Management-Development, EDF Renewable Energy, Class of 2017

Energy Execs Alumni

Since 2007, decision-makers throughout the country have participated in Energy Execs. See the list of alumni sorted by program and year.