7 Mega-Influential Energy Leaders
Companies in the energy industry are the bedrock of society. Why? Simple. Because energy moves every single thing we do.
There are millions of people who have spent their lives building the energy industry. People who have succeeded in new innovative solutions, superior processes, essential products and services and expansive platforms. Indeed … we can only thank them for our current way of life.
Today there is a new challenge on the horizon, a challenge that calls on the keenest minds to bring in renewable energy. Renewable energy won’t happen without non-renewables in the mix because traditional energy forms are going to ironically fuel new energy into the mainstream. Lets put it this way, oil and gas is and will be, the facilitator of the new energy world. It’s an interesting dichotomy. It’s an interesting time to be alive. Rarely do we get the chance to be in the vortex of such dramatic change but here we are.
According to the International Energy Outlook 2017, total world energy consumption rises from 575 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2015 to 736 quadrillion Btu in 2040, an increase of 28%. Rather than think of non-renewable energy sources OR renewable energy sources, clearly world energy demand dictates that it is the combination and integration of both energy solutions that will sustain us in the future. At the very least oil and gas will be the bridge to new energy – a fifty-year bridge.
In this article, The OGM presents Our Great Minds. Influential energy visionaries who inspire us to think bigger than we have, to take mega-leaps forward and motivate us to think long term. Here are 7 top visionaries who have successfully contributed to the energy needs of our planet and are esteemed energy mentors to us all.
1) David Crane former President of NRG Energy Inc.
Born in 1959, Crane is an investment banker, a lawyer, author and a business executive in the energy industry. Most well known for his role as CEO of NRG Energy Inc a leader in the energy space in the US under his leadership serving 3 million customers.
Crane served as president, CEO and on the Board of Directors of NRG Energy from 2003 – 2015. While in this position Crane led NRG’s transformation into clean-energy by developing solar, wind, high-efficiency gas and other generation sources and simultaneously growing NRG’s retail, carbon capture and electric vehicle service businesses. Currently (October 2017), Crane is the Senior Operating Executive of Pegasus Capital Advisors and Editor at Large of GreenBiz.com.
Crane has been recognized for exemplary leadership, receiving such awards as Ernst & Young’s 2010 Transformational Achievement award, EnergyBiz’s 2010 CEO of the Year and Institutional Investor’s 2011 top CEO in the electric utility sector. A champion for renewable clean energy Crane believes, “The world’s biggest companies, acting together, have a level of demand that can compel society towards the clean energy economy. McDonald’s, for example, hires more than 1 million Americans each year and serves tens of millions of Americans each day at more than 14,000 restaurants in the United States alone. Could you imagine the societal impact if McDonald’s were to install stylized solar coverings over the drive-thru lanes of every one of those 14,000 stores? And, that’s just in America.”
2) Donna Nelson, Former Chairman Of The Public Utility Commission, Texas
Donna Nelson is a former chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). Nelson was appointed as chair by Governor Rick Perry on August 15, 2008, and served on the commission until her resignation on May 15, 2017. Over her tenure with the PUC, Texas saw the build-out of a $7 billion power line project to accommodate the state’s booming wind sector and called for the end of federal wind tax credits, saying they distorted the power market. Nelson called for Texas to crack down on deceptive retail electric providers, and her commission wrangled with giant power companies that are interested in taking over Oncor, the state’s largest electric transmission utility.
Born in South Dakota, Nelson relocated to Texas to attend law school, graduate and then work in the regulatory field. Nelson has served as an assistant attorney general of Texas, focusing on the antitrust laws while in office. Nelson was employed for a time at the Public Utility Commission, where she was in charge of the telecommunications section and served as a legal adviser to the chairman. Having stepped down in May, 2017, DeAnn Walker replaced her as the Public Utility Commission of Texas in September 2017 taking on issues like Hurricane Harvey restoration efforts, consolidated dockets related to a proposed swap of transmission assets between Oncor and Sharyland Utilities, and Lubbock Power & Light’s request to move its load from SPP to ERCOT.