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Andlinger Center Events

Date: March 4, 2013

Time: 4:30 p.m. -

Location: Computer Science 104

Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy & Finance for the State of New York, will discuss “After Solyndra: Financing Obstacles to Clean Energy and Some Policy Recommendations” on March 4, 2013 as part of the Andlinger Center’s 2012-2013 Highlight Seminar Series.

Much government effort (and money) has gone into financing of innovation for clean energy.  The Solyndra experience, however, shows the economic and political risk of taxpayer “investments” in scale-up manufacturing.  At the Federal level, a substantial portion of government support policies for renewable energy have ended or will end in the next couple of years.  The end of these programs provides an opportunity to look fresh at some basic question of how the industry is financed.  How should government policy address the “valley of death” problem where there seems to be inadequate private sector capital to fund a first commercial scale plant?  How can financing costs be lowered?  The talk will try to address some of these issues.

Richard Kauffman joined the administration of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in February 2013 as the Chairman for Energy and Finance. In this capacity he oversees and coordinates energy policy through a subcabinet of energy agencies and public authorities.  His mission is to develop and implement a strategic plan for the clean energy economy by developing financial, legislative and regulatory policies that focus on scaling clean energy while ensuring a resilient and reliable energy infrastructure.

He has worked in energy and finance at some of the highest levels of both the public and private sector.  Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Kauffman served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. Department of Energy.  In his private sector career, he was Chief Executive Officer of Good Energies, Inc., a leading investor in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, a partner of Goldman Sachs where he chaired the Global Financing Group, and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Business and co-head of its Banking Department.

Mr. Kauffman has served as Board Chairman of Levi Strauss & Co., as well as on the boards of several organizations, including the Brookings Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society.  Mr. Kauffman earned 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. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.