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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Bits and Watts meets Buts and Whats: NY State's Policy to Remake the Grid, Richard Kauffman

November 11, 2019 - 4:30pm to 5:20pm
NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center
Event Sponsor: 
Precourt Institute for Energy
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Bits and Watts meets Buts and Whats:  New York State's Policy to Remake the Grid

In developing the 20th century grid, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla did not design an architecture for distributed or renewable resources.  To decarbonize the grid--and to electrify transportation and heating--requires exactly that:  a remaking of the grid to accommodate these resources.  While doing so will require some new technology solutions, this seminar will explore how existing policy has inhibited innovation in the regulated power sector, and more important, will give an update on New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policy, a market-based approach to build the smart grid. 

Speaker bio:

Richard Kauffman is Chairman of the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He is also Chair of Generate Capital, a leading financier of clean energy projects.  Prior to these roles, Mr. Kauffman served in the Executive Chamber of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as New York State’s first “Energy Czar,” or Chairman of Energy and Finance.

Mr. Kauffman established and led New York State’s comprehensive energy policy, known as Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). As the State’s most senior energy official, Mr. Kauffman was New York’s lead delegate in Paris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21. In 2017 and 2018, he represented the U.S. at the invitation of the State Department on energy issues in Brazil, Nepal, and Norway. Mr. Kauffman was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s Top 25 Eco-Innovators. He has received the Solar Champion Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Smart Electric Power Alliance, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Galvin Award for environmental leadership, and the Intersolar 2017 Champion of Change Award.

Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Mr. Kauffman served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In his private sector career, he was CEO and President of Good Energies, Inc.; a partner of Goldman Sachs; and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities business and co-head of its Banking Department. In London, he served as Vice Chair of Morgan Stanley International.

As a corporate board member, Mr. Kauffman served as Chairman of the Board of Levi Strauss & Co.; as board member of Q-Cells, a German manufacturer of solar cells; and Cofra, a Swiss holding company for the Brenninkmeijer family business. He currently serves on the board of Altaba, the successor company of Yahoo.

As a non-profit board member, he currently serves on the board of the Wallace Foundation and on the advisory board of the Precourt Energy Institute at Stanford. He previously served on the boards of the Brookings Institution, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the New York Philharmonic and Alvin Ailey. He was a co-chair of the advisory board of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale and a member of the Yale School of Management advisory board. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves on a study group on energy.

Mr. Kauffman received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University, and a master’s in public and private management from the Yale School of Management.

Admission Info

Free and open to all.

Speaker Slides