Non-profit

Energy Foundation China

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

94-3126848

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $75,984,945
Expenses: $40,378,845
Assets: $75,677,081

Energy Foundation China (EFC) was an affiliate of the Energy Foundation, a left-leaning grantmaking organization which promotes environmentalist energy sources and left-progressive environmental policies that operates in China under the oversight of the Chinese government. EFC is registered in California and has an office in Beijing. [1] In 2020 Energy Foundation China separated from the Energy Foundation, also known as the United States Energy Foundation, whilst retaining the legacy EIN number. [2]

EFC’s Beijing office is registered with the city’s Municipal Public Security Bureau, the department responsible for “political stability” and “social order.” The office reports to the National Development and Reform Commission, which is responsible for “national economic and social development” in China. [3][4][5]

Mission

EFC states that it evaluates grant requests on the recipient group’s ability to “build capacity in organizations within China” to “deliver real commitments to energy efficiency and renewable energy.” However, the foundation does not fund research and development, demonstration projects, or energy-saving initiatives such as renovation and retrofit of buildings. Instead, EFC focuses on “energy policy development,” and generally makes grants to other American nonprofit organizations. [6]

History

The Energy Foundation was founded in 1991 when three major progressive foundations – the MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts – recruited recent Stanford University graduates Hal Harvey, Tom Strand, and Eric Heitz to start an environmental initiative. Energy Foundation China was launched in 1999 with support from the Hewlett and Packard foundations. [7] In 1999, the Packard Foundation helped to establish Energy Foundation China, with offices in Beijing. [8] In 2020, Energy Foundation China separated from the Energy Foundation, whilst retaining the legacy EIN number. [9]

Activities

Energy Foundation China oversees initiatives related to environmentalist energy policy. Despite being based in the United States, one of foundation’s stated goals is assisting the People’s Republic of China in becoming “the world leader in clean energy production, consumption, and investment by 2030.” [10]

In December 2018, Energy Foundation co-founder Eric Heitz said that China is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind and solar power technologies, citing it as a major accomplishment for the US-based foundation. He also claimed that the Energy Foundation’s work has contributed to renewables becoming “the cheapest energy-generating source on the planet.” [11]

A July 2014 report by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Republicans called the Energy Foundation “a quintessential example of a pass through” for donors who want to fund left-wing environmentalist activism while avoiding accountability for traceable connections to activist groups. The report also stated that the foundation, which cannot support political campaigns directly, transfers money to other groups that can thanks to loopholes in the tax code. [12]

Leadership

Energy Foundation China’s senior staff consists almost entirely of Chinese nationals, while its board is primarily made up of American corporate and nonprofit leaders. [13][14]

Ji Zou

Ji Zou is Chief Executive Officer, President, and a board member of EFC. He previously worked for the Chinese government in positions related to environmental policy. [15]

Yueh Shao

Yueh Shao is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of EFC. She previously worked for McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s top government consulting firms that has been criticized for working with controversial governments. [16]

Jorgen Thomsen

Jorgen Thomsen, the director of the Climate Solutions Program at the MacArthur Foundation, sits on the board of EFC. [17] In January 2020, he published an article arguing the necessity to cooperate with China and exploring “China’s potential leadership in addressing catastrophic climate crisis.” [18]

Financials

Energy Foundation China identifies ten organizations as its “key funders.” These include the MacArthur Foundation, one of the Energy Foundation’s original supporters, and the Hewlett and Packard foundations, which supported the foundation’s expansion into China. [19] Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, donated $125 million to five environmental groups, including both the American and Chinese branches of the Energy Foundation, in 2020. While EFC did not disclose how much it received, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy said it received $25 million, suggesting the EFC and the other three groups received similar amounts. [20]

The Energy Foundation saw small drops in funding between 2015 and 2017, from over $122 million in contributions in 2015 to less than $109 million in 2017. [21] However, funding increased significantly in 2018, and the organization received more than $140 million in contributions and grants that year. [22]

References

  1. “Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau,” The People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, September 1, 2020. Accessed October 12, 2020. http://english.beijing.gov.cn/government/departments/202006/t20200627_1932940.html ^
  2. “Energy Foundation China.” Guidestar. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3126848 ^
  3.   “Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau,” The People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, September 1, 2020. Accessed October 12, 2020. http://english.beijing.gov.cn/government/departments/202006/t20200627_1932940.html ^
  4.        “Main Functions of the NDRC,” National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) People’s Republic of China, December 17, 2020. https://en.ndrc.gov.cn/mfndrc_8237/200812/t20081217_1193980.html ^
  5.        “Introduction,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Introduction-en ^
  6.    “Grant Application,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Grant-Application-en ^
  7. Eric Heitz, “Moving On From The Energy Foundation After 28 Years,” The Energy Foundation, December 20, 2018. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.ef.org/2018/12/20/moving-on-from-the-energy-foundation-after-28-years/ ^
  8. “About Us: Introduction.” Energy Foundation China. Accessed May 31, 2017. http://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Introduction-en ^
  9. “Energy Foundation China.” Guidestar. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3126848 ^
  10.        “Programs,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/Programs-en ^
  11.   Eric Heitz, “Moving On From The Energy Foundation After 28 Years,” The Energy Foundation, December 20, 2018. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.ef.org/2018/12/20/moving-on-from-the-energy-foundation-after-28-years/ ^
  12.             Luke Bolar and Cheyenne Steel, “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA,” United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, July 30, 2014. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/6ce8dd13-e4ab-4b31-9485-6d2b8a6f6b00/chainofenvironmentalcommand.pdf ^
  13.           “Staff,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Staff-en ^
  14.        “Board of Directors,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Board-of-Directors-en ^
  15. “CEO & President,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Staff-en/JiZOU-en ^
  16.    “Vice President & Chief Operating Officer,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Staff-en/YueSHAO-en ^
  17.     “Jorgen Thomsen,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Board-of-Directors-en/JorgenThomsen-en ^
  18.   Jorgen Thomsen, “Cooperating with China is Crucial,” MacArthur Foundation, January 9, 2020. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.macfound.org/press/perspectives/cooperating-china-critical/ ^
  19. “Key Funders,” Energy Foundation China. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.efchina.org/About-Us-en/Funders-en ^
  20.             “MacKenzie Scott’s Early Climate Funding Follows a Well-Worn Path. Where Might She Turn Next?,” American Nonprofit Academy. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://americannonprofitacademy.com/nonprofit-news/mackenzie-scotts-early-climate-funding-follows-a-well-worn-path-where-might-she-turn-next/ ^
  21.   “The Energy Foundation,” Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/943126848 ^
  22.        “Form 990 for period ending December 2018,” The Energy Foundation. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/943126848/02_2020_prefixes_91-94%2F943126848_201812_990_2020021317146558 ^

Donor Organizations

  1. Arnold Ventures (For-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1991

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $75,984,945 $40,378,845 $75,677,081 $11,030,822 N $75,882,414 $0 $102,531 $951,897
    2019 Dec Form 990 $125,609,558 $122,866,523 $101,883,000 $15,755,581 N $125,233,077 $0 $230,150 $3,135,545 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $140,750,168 $122,053,089 $94,790,381 $12,849,850 Y $140,302,153 $0 $291,833 $1,456,151 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $110,191,051 $114,121,925 $75,682,749 $13,300,507 N $109,864,130 $0 $298,836 $1,622,389 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $118,850,769 $113,626,170 $77,090,174 $11,059,572 N $118,681,019 $0 $154,171 $1,678,867 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $122,095,860 $109,520,043 $69,727,023 $9,081,865 N $122,033,734 $1 $62,126 $1,464,978 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $103,949,104 $106,770,208 $57,076,989 $9,007,648 N $103,924,347 $0 $24,757 $1,641,669 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $135,192,759 $109,392,182 $58,693,095 $7,802,650 N $135,161,673 $0 $31,086 $1,824,191 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $103,161,821 $104,339,383 $32,212,733 $7,122,865 N $103,120,425 $0 $41,396 $2,093,999 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $96,754,889 $103,350,036 $31,915,680 $5,648,250 N $96,480,421 $0 $27,923 $1,439,247 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $101,979,959 $126,739,538 $40,182,978 $7,320,401 N $101,076,051 $0 $28,358 $1,247,019 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Energy Foundation China

    301 BATTERY STREET 5TH FLOOR
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111-3237