SAN FRANCISCO and OAKLAND, CA
Sungevity, Inc., a leader in the international solar market, and CalCEF, an influential pioneer in clean energy investment, today announced that Sungevity’s co-founder and executive vice-president, Danny Kennedy, has been appointed Managing Director of CalCEF, effective September 1, 2015. As Managing Director, Kennedy will lead CalCEF’s three organizations – Innovations, Ventures and Catalyst – directing investments, as well as the organization’s work to forge policies and businesses that drive growth and innovation in clean energy. Kennedy will continue his work at Sungevity on a limited basis as a strategic advisor.
“Sungevity and the clean energy sector are growing faster, and generating jobs at a much greater rate, than the overall economy,” said Kennedy. “Consumer demand and technological innovations are driving this growth, but the barriers of a century-old system built around centralized fossil fuel generation are slowing capital flow and growth.”
Kennedy continued, “My goal in coming to CalCEF is to continue to help shape an abundant economy where the benefits of clean energy accrue to all, here and around the world. We are not just replacing dirty fuels and combating climate change, we are building a new global economy where clean energy is affordable and accessible to everyone.”
CalCEF started as an evergreen fund and has grown into an institution with a rich history of inventing solutions that overcome critical market barriers, investing in new ventures and financial products, and igniting the rapid deployment of clean energy technologies. Among its accomplishments are:
Creating the first cleantech seed stage fund as well as pioneering new mechanisms for cleantech financing, with early positions in over 40 companies and hundreds of millions of dollars co-invested
Establishing the nation’s first academic center for energy efficiency at UC Davis, and partnering with San Jose State to create the first Masters in Engineering with an emphasis in batteries
Incubating clean energy companies, such as Renewable Energy Trust Capital, a company pioneering innovative and low-cost financing for grid-scale wind and solar projects that now owns generating capacity of more than more than 190 MW AC
Founding CalCharge, a public-private consortium to drive breakthrough battery technology, which provides access for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to corporate giants, to three U.S. Department of Energy national labs in the Bay Area. Members include leading global technology supplier Bosch and automotive leader Toyota Motor Corporation
In advance of his CalCEF start date, Kennedy will join its board members and industry partners for a CalCharge open house at Lawrence Livermore National Lab on August 25. Kennedy will serve as President of CalCharge. At the epicenter of breakthrough battery technology, CalCharge is a key example of CalCEF strategy. Kennedy will harness similar strategies to tackle the next big things in clean energy adoption: energy storage, electric mobility and the energy/water nexus.
“CalCEF has a decade-long history of pioneering new paths to a clean energy economy,” said Julie Blunden, who chairs the CalCEF Catalyst board and is Chief Strategy Officer at SunEdison. “With his proven track record of bringing ingenious ideas to market, Danny is the perfect leader to take CalCEF’s innovations to scale.”
Kennedy co-founded Sungevity in 2007 with company CEO, Andrew Birch, a former investment banker; and also company board director, Alec Guettel, a social entrepreneur. Kennedy is credited with helping to establish Sungevity’s business model, securing key angel and venture round investors at the onset. He also forged a diverse mix of business partnerships for Sungevity, including more than 100 non-profit organizations among the likes of Sierra Club and CREDO. And, he charted the course for Sungevity’s distinct brand identity and corporate culture. Most recently, Kennedy has been focusing on driving Sungevity’s international market development.
“When my partners and I started Sungevity, our objective was to scale the company by providing an exceptional customer experience that was grounded in cutting-edge software technology,” said Kennedy. “We’ve done that by leveraging the ease and efficiency of the Internet, pioneering remote solar design and developing instant quoting capabilities. I have spent my life on innovation to solve critical world problems. At CalCEF, I will focus on moving the world to clean energy 2.0 – from novelty to ubiquity, innovation to infrastructure. We will innovate and invest, identify and mitigate risks, and overcome barriers to drive large-scale adoption of clean energy.”
Kennedy also cofounded SfunCube, the Oakland-based solar incubator and accelerator. He was a founding Board member of the solar finance company, Mosaic, and with SfunCube team will continue to support other innovative solar companies to succeed as its President. Kennedy is also the author of the Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power can Save our Economy – and the Planet – from Dirty Energy.
CalCEF (www.calcef.org) works to promote the transition to a clean energy economy by creating institutions and investment vehicles that grow markets for clean energy technologies. CalCEF is a non-profit umbrella organization that pursues statewide and national agendas via 1) CalCEF Innovations, a 501(c)(3) that leads CalCEF’s analysis and product development; and 2) CalCEF Ventures, a 501(c)(4) that executes and scales the CalCEF investment strategy, and 3) CalCEF Catalyst, a 501(c)(6), industry association that engages and coordinates clean energy businesses and stakeholders.
Sungevity is a global solar energy provider focused on making it easy and affordable for homeowners to benefit from solar power. Leveraging proprietary remote solar design technology, Sungevity can deliver a quote without a home visit and provide homeowners with visibility to potential savings on their electricity bills. The company continues to grow its global customer base and now services 12 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the Netherlands. Sungevity is also the residential solar partner to Lowe’s, and was recognized in 2015 by B Corp as one of the “Best for the World” companies for overall social and environmental impact. For more information, visit www.sungevity.com.