Clean Energy Financing with Army Veteran Jon Powers of Clean Capital

203: Clean Energy Financing with Army Veteran Jon Powers of Clean Capital

Army Veteran Jon Powers is the President of CleanCapital. A company born of his time serving in Iraq and first-hand seeing how vital energy is for our national defense. In this week’s show,  Clean Energy Financing with Army Veteran Jon Powers of Clean Capital, Joe talks candidly with Jon about the need for more efficient uses of energy and the accessibility to it.

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The Road to Iraq

Jon Powers began his army career as an ROTC cadet at John Carroll University then moving on to Germany as part of the 1st Armored Division after completing his officer training in Oklahoma. He served 4 years with a tour in Baghdad and Najaf during OIF 1.


The electricity bill of the federal government is over $4B and there are huge opportunities for savings. – Jon Powers

Life after Serving

Jon was an elementary education major at John Carroll University. He thought he was going back to teach upon his return to Buffalo NY. He had no plans and at the time there really wasn’t a transition program.


At an auditorium in Germany, they asked if anyone had any post traumatic syndrome and if they did to come to the front of the room which no one would do. He signed his papers and moved back to the states.

Helped by a Documentary

There was a documentary made about Jon’s unit called Gunner Palace. It was the first movie to come out about the war. The director, Michael Tucker, was invited in by the commander and Jon got to know Mike really well.


Jon was invited to the Toronto Film Festival by Mike where he served on a panel on stage. He soon found himself surrounded by movie stars and was in a bit of culture shock.

At a Crossroads

Jon was prepared to go to grad school but was asked by the director to go on tour for the movie. He chose the move tour and it completely changed his life. All of a sudden he was thrown into a new arena speaking about his experiences and hearing from others with similar experiences in the military. Jon felt his learning had gone full-circle and wanted to do more.

Returning to Baghdad

Instead of returning home to teach, Jon began a non-profit and returned to Baghdad for 2 years. His goal was to keep young men from being recruited into the beginnings of ISIS.


Through this experience and his frustrations with the government bureaucracy, Jon ran for Congress. That and his time in Iraq were his catalysts for knowing he did not want to stay in the national security realm.

A Passion for Clean Energy

Jon began to write a lot about what the military should do for cleaner energy because they are a huge energy consumer. Jon became the Army’s first energy advisor and set up the first programs. He became the Chief Sustainability Officer under the Obama Administration and worked to drive renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric cars.


To find out more about clean energy, download and listen to Clean Energy Financing with Army Veteran Jon Powers of Clean Capital.


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Guest Bio Jon Powers

Jon is Co-Founder and President of CleanCapital. Jon’s responsibilities include leading corporate strategy and development, investor relations, and marketing. His passion for clean energy derives from his time served with the US Army in Iraq and the realization that a clean energy economy is vital to protect America’s national security interests. After helping revolutionize the US Army’s energy program, Jon was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. While in this role, Jon recognized the need to address the inefficiencies in clean energy finance. Jon was named to Washington Life’s Top 25 Tech Leader for DC, 2016.   

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