The living cell is an open nonequilibrium biochemical system, where ATP hydrolysis serves as the energy source for a wide range of intracellular processes including the assurance for decision-making. In the fission yeast cell cycle, the transition from G2 phase to M phase is triggered by the activation of Cdc13/Cdc2 and Cdc25, and the deactivation of Wee1. Each of these three events involves a phosphorylation-dephosphorylation (PdP) cycle, and together they form a regulatory circuit with feedback loops. Almost all quantitative models for cellular networks in the past have invalid thermodynamics due to the assumption of irreversible enzyme kinetics. We constructed a thermodynamically realistic kinetic model of the G2/M circuit, and show that the phosphorylation energy (ΔG ), which is determined by the cellular ATP/ADP ratio, critically controls the dynamics and the bistable nature of Cdc2 activation. Using fission yeast nucleoplasmic extract (YNPE), we are able to experimentally verify our model prediction that increased , being synergistic to the accumulation of Cdc13, drives the activation of Cdc2. Furthermore, Cdc2 activation exhibits bistability and hysteresis in response to changes in phosphorylation energy. These findings suggest that adequate maintenance of phosphorylation energy ensures the bistability and robustness of the activation of Cdc2 in the G2/M transition. Free energy might play a widespread role in biological decision-making processes, connecting thermodynamics with information processing in biology.