Andrew Bray, a Harris Public Policy master’s student, spent his summer in the Bay Area working for Powerhouse—an Oakland-based seed fund that invests in entrepreneurs building software-enabled solutions for the clean energy industry. Bray said one of his goals as a student is to understand how to integrate clean energy onto the grid through private sector collaboration, which fed his attraction to venture capital.

Bray’s work at Powerhouse focused primarily on researching and bringing in new startups to the fund, giving him a front-row seat to the fast-paced world of venture funds and the technology that will transform the future of energy.

“It’s a smarter grid that makes better use of technology to reduce demand instead of firing up another fossil fuel plant,” said Bray, president of the Harris Energy & Environmental Association. “It’s highly efficient using the best optimization models. It’s properly incentivized with resources getting paid for the value they provide. It’s distributed with individuals’ devices supporting the grid as a whole. There’s still many questions such as what the role of the utility is and how distributed vs. centralized it is, but it’s very different.”