- Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has launched Energy Futures Initiative, a nonprofit group focused on advanced energy and conducting "objective, fact-based and rigorous technical, economic, financial and policy analyses."
- Moniz was named head of the Department of Energy in 2013 under President Obama. The former Secretary last week predicted a budget for the agency proposed by President Trump would be a "nonstarter."
- Moniz told Axios that his firm's revenue is expected to come from foundations and companies "who will like to see certain studies done." The group's first project will be a review of the United States' energy grid.
EFI's grid study will come out this fall, likely months after a study ordered up by Moniz's successor at the Department of Energy. But in an interview with Axios, Moniz said it would be rigorous.
"I can assure you that what we produce will be analytical and transparent," Moniz told the news outlet. "We don't compare notes."
Secretary Rick Perry last week said a DOE review of baseload power generation has been delayed until July. Given the administration's support for fossil fuels, many renewables supporters are worried the review's conclusions may be biased.
In addition to Moniz, EFI is being launched by Principals Joseph Hezir and Melanie Kenderdine, both of whom worked at DOE during Moniz's term. Senior Associate David Ellis was the former chief content officer of CQ Roll Call.
In a video launching EFI, Moniz stressed the rapid change occurring in the sector: "The answers, of course, are going to rely on innovation: in technology innovation, in business model innovation and in policy innovation. And that’s what we want to do at EFI, is to address this innovation challenge across the board.”
The proposed budget for the Department of Energy would slash funding for energy research and development. While current Secretary Perry has said he is a strong supporter of R&D, Moniz last week argued there is "no credible way" the budget would strengthen those areas.