"The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
- Mark Twain
Alex is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and innovator focused on creating solutions that address some of our biggest challenges. He is a Climate Policy Fellow at the Aspen Institute's Tech Policy Hub and is the Managing Partner of GridVest Partners.
Alex left his career in banking and moved into renewable energy in 2011. He saw that China had incredibly ambitious goals to improve its environment, and he wanted to help support this. So he moved to Shanghai on a whim and quickly saw that renewable energy and energy efficiency in factories and commercial buildings were the most impactful ways to decrease coal consumption, the most significant contributor to air pollution, which kills more than 1.6 million people annually in China.
While in China, Alex co-founded two clean energy and sustainability companies, first e8 Resources and later Seeder Clean Energy to bring new technologies to China and then to provide project financing and advisory services to scale them. In 2020 he returned to the US and is now based in the Bay Area, focused on deploying energy storage for commercial, industrial, and government buildings as the Managing Partner of GridVest Partners, a California-based battery distributor and financier.
As part of his fellowship with the Aspen Institute Alex worked closely with governments in the Bay Area to deploy solar microgrids with back up power capabilities at community centers which would be used by vulnerable community members during times of power outages. He created a number of policy outputs to make the case as to Why, How and When this should happen and the deliverables can be found below.
Alex is also a Climate Reality certified trainer and was recognized by President Obama as a "Global Impact Entrepreneur" and by the Chengdu government as “Ex-Pat Founder of the Year” in China. He is an alumnus of the Shanghai chapter of Global Shapers, Entrepreneur Organization, and several startup accelerator programs including, China Accelerator, Startup Chile, Fledge Incubator, and Stanford Ignite.
Aspen Institute Climate Policy
After attempting other approaches for impact, I took a shot at policy
Power outages in California have dramatically increased over the last 5 years. Outages can be a significant health and safety risk for the local community, especially for economically disadvantaged populations. Community members require central locations with reliable backup electricity that can provide a range of essential services. Frequent power outages have fueled the proliferation of backup diesel generators, but these generators are only a short-term solution that comes at a high cost to environmental impact and human health. “Diesel generators, even at the most critical facilities, typically have just 48 to 96 hours of diesel fuel onsite.”
To prepare for long-duration power outages and a future of extreme weather, Counties and Cities should designate additional CRCs and deploy solar microgrids at county-owned facilities that would be used during power outages. The county should first identify the highest priority locations, initiate a pilot project, and add solar microgrids for community energy resilience to the county's upcoming Hazard Mitigation Plan and Countywide Plan. If Marin County is successful, then the county would be well-positioned to share its learnings and
resources with other cities and towns in Marin County and across California, setting a strong example of how to be a leader in community energy resilience.
MY WORK AT SEEDER ENERGY
Planting the 'seeds' for a cleaner tomorrow...
Alex started Seeder in order to make it easier to deploy solar on the rooftops of commercial and industrial buildings and was one of the first companies in China to offer third-party financing.
The market for solar has grown exponentially and in 2017 China installed more than 50 gigawatts of solar, more than the rest of the world combined.
Seeder has become a thought leader and one of the leading international renewable energy advisors in China working with numerous fortune 500 companies to source renewables and advise on transactions.
And mentions in the news
With a decade of experience in clean energy, sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship and doing business in China, I love sharing my experiences and learnings with the world.
Future is Now: Shanghai
How Shanghai is Shaping our World
A short documentary funded by the French Utility, Enel to document the amazing speed, scale and solutions being implemented in the world's largest cities.
Up On The Roof
Using Rooftops in China Wisely
Sharing my thoughts on how to best utilize the rooftops of China's buildings on ICS, Shanghai's government-run TV station.
What others have to say...
Professor of Economics
Alex participated in the first Stanford Ignite program in Beijing. He is a most impressive person. Not only does he lead a visionary initiative, he is also an action oriented person and most importantly a great team player.
Proptech VC, Top 100 angel investors
I invested with Alex and Seeder after only one in person meeting as his commitment was evident. His story, passion, and mission of global impact combined with practical expertise in solar and finance have been impressive. I have greatly enjoyed being a part of their team as they continue to champion for long-overdue clean energy solutions.
GM of International, Localytics
Alex has got the intuitive understanding of how to package and market a product that is so important for success in business. Combined with deep domain expertise and global relationships in sustainable real estate development, he is clearly a world class asset for anyone looking for a partner with international reach in the industry.
For as long as I've known Alex, he's driven Seeder with determination and passion, growing it into an international business with a real value proposal for customers on both sides of the Pacific. I can only admire his vision, courage and resilience, all 3 qualities of a great entrepreneur.