About Energy Innovation

The Energy Innovation Initiative was established in Fall 2011 as a joint initiative between the Silicon Flatirons Center on Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship and the Program on Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law. Phil Weiser (CU Law Dean & Director of Silicon Flatirons Center) and William Boyd (Associate Professor of Law & Faculty Director, Energy & Environmental Innovation) are currently leading the Initiative. The Initiative has an external Advisory Board that meets annually and assists the initiative in identifying and pursuing strategic opportunities, developing programmatic areas, identifying partners (in industry, government, and elsewhere), and participating in key activities.

Current funding for the Energy Innovation Initiative comes from external grants and individual supporters.

Current partners include the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), and CU Cleantech.


Phil Weiser

Dean of the Law School; Thompson Professor of Law; and Executive Director and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship.

Dean Phil Weiser is the Dean of the Law School, Thomson Professor of Law, and Executive Director and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. Dean Weiser re-joined the Colorado faculty in June, 2011. From April 2010-June 2011, he served as the Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director at the White House. From July 2009-April 2010, he served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

William Boyd

Associate Professor of Law; Fellow Renewable and Sustainable Energy Insitute (RASEI); and Faculty Director, Energy & Environmental Innovation.

William Boyd joined the University of Colorado Law School faculty in 2008. Professor Boyd received his Ph.D. from the Energy & Resources Group at UC-Berkeley and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. After law school, Professor Boyd clerked for Judge Diana Gribbon Motz of the United State Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Professor Boyd then served as American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellow and Counsel on the Democratic minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. He then practiced energy, environmental and climate change law with the firm of Covington & Burling LLP in Washington DC.

Morgan D. Bazilian, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow, Energy Innovation Initiative.

Morgan Bazilian is the Deputy Director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA). The Institute conducts leading-edge interdisciplinary research and provides objective and credible data, tools, and analysis to guide global energy investment and policy decisions. The institutional partners are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU), the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), and Colorado State University (CSU). He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute.

Previously, Morgan was the Special Advisor to the Director-General of UNIDO on international energy policy. In this role he was deeply engaged with the design and implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative, and managed UN-Energy. UN-Energy is the UN’s interagency mechanism on all energy issues.

Prior to his time in the United Nations, he held a political appointment as Chief of Cabinet for the Minister of Energy in Ireland, after directing the clean energy division of Ireland’s national energy authority for several years.

Morgan has been the lead climate change negotiator for the European Union on low-carbon technology, and a member of the UNFCCC’s Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT). He has been a national representative to various International Energy Agency governing bodies and executive committees, as well as to the EU’s energy research and development programmes.

He holds a Ph.D. and Masters degrees related to the techno-economic aspects of energy systems, and has been a Fulbright Fellow. His book, Analytical Methods for Energy Diversity and Security, was published by Elsevier Science in 2008 and remains a core reference in this area of energy policy. He holds senior research affiliations at Cambridge University and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Dr. Bazilian annually supports the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Global Futures, and serves as an advisor to the Novus Modus Fund, a €200M clean-tech venture capital vehicle. He has been a contributing author to the IPCC and the Global Energy Assessment.

Elizabeth Paranhos

Senior Research Fellow, Energy Innovation Initiative.

Elizabeth Paranhos joined Colorado Law in 2011 after working as an environmental attorney for non-profit organizations and private firms for ten years. Elizabeth received a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in Political Science from Vassar College. After law school Elizabeth clerked for the Honorable Stanley Sporkin, United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was the first recipient of the Charles Koob Fellowship in Land and Water Law at the Natural Resources Defense Council where she helped secure important protections for Pacific groundfish, wildlife and environmentally sensitive areas. She joined the environmental practice of Hogan Lovells upon moving to Denver in 2005 where she worked on environmental compliance. For thepast four years Elizabeth has advised Environmental Defense Fund on legal and policy issues related to clean air and energy with a particular emphasis on oil and natural gas and municipal solid waste landfill activities. Elizabeth served as an expert witness on behalf of the New Energy Economy in a hearing before the New Mexico Environmental Appeals Board in support of rules to cap greenhouse gas emissions from electric utilities and oil and natural gas operations. She currently sits as a member of the Colorado Mined Lands Reclamation Board.

Dietrich Hoefner

Research Fellow, Energy Innovation Initiative.

Dietrich Hoefner is the Silicon Flatirons Center's Research Fellow for Energy Innovation, focusing on energy regulation, transactions, and security. He also works on electricity and natural gas issues for the Colorado Department of Law's Office of Consumer Counsel, where he is a Patton Boggs Post-Graduate Fellow for Energy Law and Policy. Dietrich is a 2013 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School and holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Lafayette College.


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