Skip to main content

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.

  • Erik Kuhn, Research Operations Manager, provides a tour the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility Pilot Plant.

    Erik Kuhn, Research Operations Manager, provides a tour the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility Pilot Plant.

  • Bethany Sparn, NREL Systems Engineering Researcher, gives a tour of the Smart Power Laboratory in the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

    Bethany Sparn, NREL Systems Engineering Researcher, gives a tour of the Smart Power Laboratory in the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

  • Participants in the Energy Execs program get a first-hand look at the Visualization Laboratory at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

    Participants in the Energy Execs program get a first-hand look at the Visualization Laboratory at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

  • Participants in the Energy Execs program get a first-hand look at the Visualization Laboratory at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

    Participants in the Energy Execs program get a first-hand look at the Visualization Laboratory at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

  • Martin Keller, NREL Laboratory Directory, speaks to participants in the Energy Execs program during the event at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

    Martin Keller, NREL Laboratory Directory, speaks to participants in the Energy Execs program during the event at the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

  • Chris Deline, Staff Engineer, National Center for Photovoltaics leads a tour of the Outdoor Test Facility.

    Chris Deline, Staff Engineer, National Center for Photovoltaics leads a tour of the Outdoor Test Facility.

  • Joseph Berry, Senior Research Scientist and Team Lead, Perovskite and Hybrid Solar Cells and David Moore, Director's Fellow, lead a tour of the Process Development and Integration Laboratory in the Science and Technology Facility.

    Joseph Berry, Senior Research Scientist and Team Lead, Perovskite and Hybrid Solar Cells and David Moore, Director's Fellow, lead a tour of the Process Development and Integration Laboratory in the Science and Technology Facility.

  • Energy Execs participating in networking activities.

    Energy Execs participating in networking activities.

  • Keith Wipke, Laboratory Program Manager, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies, leads an in-depth discussion at the Hydrogen Fueling Facility.

    Keith Wipke, Laboratory Program Manager, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies, leads an in-depth discussion at the Hydrogen Fueling Facility.

  • Todd Vinzant, Scientist in the Biosciences Center, speaks to attendees during a tour of the Field Test Laboratory Building.

    Todd Vinzant, Scientist in the Biosciences Center, speaks to attendees during a tour of the Field Test Laboratory Building.

  • Katie Gaston, Chemical Engineer, speaks to attendees during a tour of the Field Test Laboratory Building.

    Katie Gaston, Chemical Engineer, speaks to attendees during a tour of the Field Test Laboratory Building.

  • Energy Execs tour the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory.

    Energy Execs tour the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory.

  • Energy Execs tour the Research Test Field at the National Wind Technology Center.

    Energy Execs tour the Research Test Field at the National Wind Technology Center.

  • Graduation ceremony for the 2018 Energy Execs participants.

    Graduation ceremony for the 2018 Energy Execs participants.

  • Alumni and new graduates of the Executive Energy Leadership Program mingle during a conference session for the group.

    Alumni and new graduates of the Executive Energy Leadership Program mingle during a conference session for the group.

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.

Due to the global pandemic, the 2020 class has been postponed to 2021 (dates TBD), and we do not anticipate opening the program to additional applicants for the 2021 class. There is no cost to participate in the program, although those who are accepted are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. Learn more in the program’s frequently asked questions.

Text version

Applications for the 2020/2021 class are now closed.

Questions about a future class? Email us at eexecs@nrel.gov.

In Their Own Words

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

"NREL Energy Execs is easily one of the best professional development opportunities I've been able to participate in. I came away with a more thorough understanding of not just my area of work in the energy space, but of the next big frontiers across all of NREL's research areas. I now have the benefit of integrating that knowledge and systems thinking in my work. Energy Execs is a no-brainer for anyone working in energy." - John Jameson, senior energy and sustainability analyst, ICF (Energy Execs, Class of 2019)

"The Energy Execs Leadership Academy was instrumental for my role as a State Energy Office director. Thank you, NREL!" - Michelle Gransee, state energy office director, Minnesota State Energy Office (Energy Execs, Class of 2019)

"The NREL Energy Executives program was a fantastic experience that gave me a very deep appreciation for all aspects of the clean, low carbon, energy challenge. Solar, wind, energy efficiency, and a myriad of related topics were covered by some of the best experts in the nation. This program is highly recommended for those that are engaged in sustainability and renewable energy issues in any capacity."  - John Gavan, commissioner, Colorado Public Utilities Commission (Energy Execs, Class of 2018)

"I found the NREL Energy Executives to be one of the most beneficial professional development and networking opportunities in which I have participated in many years. The cohort model and the group dynamic, accelerated by concentrated time away from our day-to-day work lives, greatly enhanced the deep study of next-gen energy technologies and has elevated my understanding of energy systems in ways that will pay dividends throughout my career." - Anna Siefken, LEED AP Building Design + Construction, executive director, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships lead, The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University (Energy Execs, Class of 2018)

"Outstanding learning experience delivered by some of the brightest energy experts in the world." - Kevin Kenny, network engineer IV - Radio Access Network Hardware Standards, Power, Sprint (Energy Execs, Class of 2017)

Energy Execs Graduates

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

Are you an Energy Execs alumni? Send your updated contact information to us at eexecsalumni@nrel.gov.