Clean energy policy and market analysis
Demand side management for renewables integration - PG&E
As solar becomes a dominant resource in California, management of the electricity grid will need to become much more flexible. Strategies for flexibility could be oriented principally towards either supply or demand. Demand-side strategies could be a lot less costly, however. One analysis finds that a high solar RPS where electricity storage was primarily used to supply flexibility would cost California ratepayers $1.8 billion more than if demand side resources were used to accommodate the growth in solar. I worked with teams at PG&E to assess the viability of various demand side resources. My efforts included international benchmarking work, organizational strategy, and policy analysis. Examples of my work can be found downloaded at the following links.
Joined at the hip: the US-China clean energy relationship - Bloomberg New Energy Finance
While at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (2008-2010), I had the privilege of leading a team of analysts in a seminal report on competition between U.S. and China in the wind and solar markets. Our analysis in Spring 2010 preceded many of the trade cases that were filed during the Obama administration as a warning against 'zero-sum' perspectives on the U.S. losing manufacturing market share to China. The 23-page white paper provided detailed analysis of five key topics: drivers of clean energy growth in the US and China; competition and market shares in wind and solar manufacturing; comparative value chains in the two countries; innovation and cost reductions; and the politics and economics of protectionism. Key findings included:
- Chinese solar companies have been successfully exporting into California's PV market, taking 42% of the market in Q1 2010. However, significant barriers remain before Chinese wind turbines turn up in large numbers on US horizons.
- Innovation levels at US PV cell and module companies remain high. This suggests the next big breakthrough in solar technology could come from the US.
- End-product sales should not be the sole focus of any US-China clean energy comparison. Manufacturing capital equipment sales and installation are proving to be significant value creators for US companies.
- Protectionist measures could deny market opportunities and needlessly drive up the cost of clean generation in both countries.
Co-digestion at wastewater treatment facilities - EPA
Together with a team of Goldman School of Public Policy graduate students, I analyzed the barriers for wastewater treatment facilities to adopt co-digestion practices, the process by which food waste materials rich in energy are added to dairy or wastewater digesters with excess capacity in order to produce biogas.
Converting food waste into energy reduces waste in landfills, provides a source of renewable energy, and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs) that adopt co-digestion can save money on electric utility bills and receive additional revenue from tipping fees, selling excess electricity, and other mechanisms. However, despite the environmental and economic benefits of co-digestion, the adoption of this process by WWTFs has been slower and less widespread than hoped for by the EPA.
Our analysis looked at financial, infrastructural, organizational, regulatory, biological, and informational barriers to adoption and offered policy recommendations to help increase adoption. Read more at the link below.
Market analyst experience with Bloomberg New Energy Finance
As an intern for 10 months and a full time employee for over two years, I was lucky to call myself an analyst at New Energy Finance, which later became part of Bloomberg. I was on both the China team and the Global Carbon team, based in Beijing and later New York.
As an analyst, I gained critical understanding of the clean energy and carbon market industries in China as well as portions of other markets in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. I analyzed biomass, hydro, and wind industries in China, and helped build models for the supply of carbon credits from offset projects under the Clean Development Mechanism in China. I also did some basic project finance models and a levelized cost of energy study for China.
For a number of months, I also served on the business development team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the New York office, allowing me to understand and serve different needs across investor, manufacturer, project development, utility, and government client sectors.