Our Clean Energy Future: Microgrids or Continuation of the Status Quo? - 1 April 2023 - Clean Coalition
A group of power lines that are in the middle of a field.

Our Clean Energy Future: Microgrids or Continuation of the Status Quo? – 1 April 2023

Craig Lewis and Ben Schwartz of the Clean Coalition presented during this webinar on 1 April 2023.

A group of power lines that are in the middle of a field.

Our Clean Energy Future: Microgrids or Continuation of the Status Quo?

Saturday, 1 April, 2023 at 10am to 12:00pm PST

The Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club hosted Craig Lewis and Ben Schwartz of the Clean Coalition to present during the first of eight webinars apart of their Environmental Stewardship Program 8.0. 

Will we continue to rely primarily on the big GRID, long-distance transmission, and for-profit utilities for our energy needs? Or, will we move towards decentralized energy generation, resilience, and energy democracy based on local small-scale renewable energy units (e.g. rooftop solar and wind) with battery backups and microgrids? Who will own, control, and manage our energy systems? Will for-profit utilities continue to monopolize our energy future, or will we be able to transition to another organizational setup? The webinar will present this current raging controversy at the federal, state, and local levels. The decisions we will make in this area will have a major impact in shaping our clean energy future.

+ Click here for more information


1.  Al Weinrub:  Ph.D:  Author of “Energy Democracy” (with Denise Fairchild, Island Press, 2017).   Community organizer, Climate Activist, Coordinator of the Local Clean Energy Alliance and the California Alliance for Community Energy.  Harvard University, Ph.D,  Applied Physics; Cornell University, BS, Engineering Physics    

2. Jan Pepper Chief Executive Officer, Peninsula Clean Energy, Jan has over 30 years of energy and utility experience, with a focus on renewable energy contracting and financing. She joined Peninsula Clean Energy as CEO in May 2016 as the first employee and is leading the organization to deliver 100% renewable energy on a 24/7 basis by 2025. Jan was elected to the Los Altos City Council in 2012 and served as Mayor in 2015 and 2020.”¯”¯She earned a BS in civil engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University. Jan is a registered professional engineer in California.  

3. Craig Lewis:  Craig founded the Clean Coalition in 2009 and has over 30 years of experience in policy and technology innovation, including the proliferation of Solar Microgrids and Community Microgrids. University of California, Berkeley, BSEE. Electrical Engineering .  MSEE & MBA from USC.

4.  Ben Schwartz:  Ben is a policy expert and represents the Clean Coalition in proceedings at the California Public Utilities Commission on microgrids, interconnection, net energy metering, and more. BS in Public Policy from USCB.

5.  Gladwyn d’Souza:   Gladwyn is the Conservation Committee chair of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club.  Club. Ten plus years experience in sustainable cities, general and specific plans with large and small cities. Twenty Five years in semiconductor manufacturing. Task Force member of Coyote Valley Specific Plan San Mateo County Green Building and Climate Change. Belmont Green Advisory Committee, Former Planning Commissioner, Chair of the Loma Prieta, Sierra Club, Sustainable Land Use Committee Chair of the Loma Prieta, Belmont San Carlos group Chair, Policy Committee, San Mateo Food Systems Alliance  University of California, Berkeley, BS Physics.   

6.  Sue ChowPh.D   Founder, Environmental Stewardship Program  (ESP) Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club, Executive Committee Member, LP Sierra Club, Founder and Chair of Education and Environmental Legislative Action Committee LP, Sierra Club, Political Committee Member, LP Sierra
Club,  Chair, Peninsula Regional Group, LP Sierra Club.  Founder of Bay Area Youth Climate Action Team.   Post-doctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Sociology, Stanford University,  University of Pennsylvania,  Ph.D, Sociology,  Columbia University, BA History  

+ Click here for more information