Table of Contents / Preface

0. Jumpstart Energy Inc.

I. Saving our planet

A. Climate Change

II. How did we get to today?

A. The Electrical Grid

B. Conventional Energy

C. Venture Capital

D. Energy around the world

  • Energy in Europe (in progress)
  • Energy in North America (in progress)
  • Energy in Asia (in progress)
  • Energy in Africa (in progress)

III. Our clean future

A. Clean energy generation

B. Energy Storage

C. Miscellaneous

IV. Personal Thoughts

A. Politics

B. Mental models

Author’s Note

I’ve worked in the cleantech industry my entire life. I’ve experienced almost all parts of the energy sector — I’ve been on the business side at Bloom Energy (a unicorn-valuation fuel-cell startup), the systems engineering side at SunPower (a solar energy giant), the R&D side at 24M Technologies (an MIT next-gen battery startup), and the data science side at Drift (an electricity markets startup). Now, I’m CEO of Jumpstart. I’ve been to fracking sites in person, I’ve been to government listening sessions, I’ve published papers in scientific journals, and I’ve been the technical lead of DoE government grants. I’m a member of E8 Angels and a few other angel groups and incubators that invest in the cleantech/social entrepreneurship space. I’ve been a judge for MassCEC’s Innovate and Catalyst startup competitions for the past year. At Princeton, I studied chemical engineering and was the President of the Princeton Marketing Club and the Founder of the Princeton Energy Club.

So, why has an engineer spent the better part of 2 years of his weekends writing?

For the longest time, I’ve been afraid of death. My greatest fear is that I’ll die unexpectedly from a freak accident — a plane crash, a careless driver, a heart attack, basically anything out of my control. This fear grew to the point 2 years ago that I became determined to try to leave something behind — if I were to die tomorrow, before I could accomplish anything of significance in my life, I’d want to know that I had left what I could on the table.

I knew that I had knowledge that I could share about the cleantech industry, and I realized that the lowest resistance opportunity to leave something behind was to create a resource for anybody who wanted to learn more. So I decided to start publishing on Medium, as a way to hold myself accountable and create a regular schedule. I would try to publish at least one chapter a month. Each topic would attempt to explain a different topic from first principles, to explain the sector as I saw it.

Less than 2 years later, I have a skeleton of my original ambitions, and I sleep better at night. I still have many remaining ambitions, but this is one thing that I can leave behind with little regret.

I’d encourage anyone (experts and novices alike) to read each chapter. You can read them in the order I published them onto Medium, or you can read them following the order that I’ve laid out above. I’m going to keep writing and publishing these chapters as I finish researching them.

Hope you enjoy!


Speaking of energy, help fuel my coffee addiction!