The energy industry is at a major junction. We’ve had our grandfather’s electricity system for 100 years, with no major changes or innovations. Now, the energy industry is in an innovation cycle across many sectors, from electricity to transportation to agriculture and beyond. The transformation is akin to what we’ve experienced in phones, computers, and even music distribution over recent decades. Uniquely, this innovation is fueled not just by economic opportunity, but by environmental imperative as well – energy-related carbon dioxide emissions account for more than 80 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. From industry icons like First Solar, Tesla, SunPower and SolarCity to exciting upstarts like UtilityAPI, Farmers Business Network, Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Off Grid Electric, our country’s entrepreneurs are increasingly focused on creating the 21st century energy sector. With this focus comes not only a flow of capital, but a flood of job creation. The solar industry alone offers over 200,000 wellpaying jobs as of last year, growing at an annual rate of 20 percent compared to 1.74 percent for the rest of American job growth.The growth rate in cleantech not only exceeds that of other fast growing tech companies, but also has been populated by a more demographically diverse workforce than that of other energy and technology industries. Despite its promise and remarkable growth rate, the 21st century energy sector is still a budding industry – solar only represents about one percent of U.S. electricity generation and electric vehicles are still less than three percent of U.S. auto sales. Maintaining U.S. leadership in clean energy and the attendant growth rate in job creation will require America’s next president to think holistically about the industry and take a broadly strategic approach to energy policy.