National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics

NCAC Featured Member

 

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Featured Member

April 2017

 

Maria Amodio

Student, Master's in Environmental Management, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

 

Olinyk

 

Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

My experience in the energy sector began in 2007 when I decided to study energy and environmental policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS. I quickly grasped the intertwined nature of the fields, and after that, I was hooked. I have worked with non-profit and private sectors on a wide range of energy issues in the DC area, and for more than 5 years, I consulted at International Technology and Trade Associates (ITTA) on electricity, clean energy, and air emissions policies. In 2016, I began pursuing my second masters - this time in Environmental Management at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and will graduate this May.

 

Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

The interest that drove me to return to school was the intersection of business and the environment. As all NCAC members know, the energy sector is one of the most complex and highly regulated sectors, and I wanted to examine how private sector investments are made in light of sometimes conflicting federal and state requirements and how private capital can be mobilized to support new technologies.

In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

The decarbonization of the energy sector is the most important issue facing the industry. In the US electricity sector, we need to invest wisely to upgrade our aging infrastructure as well as to achieve the clean energy targets that many states have set while maintaining reliability. However, the issue of decarbonization is a global challenge - how to allow for universal access to electricity and economic growth while avoiding the development of a path dependencies linked to high carbon sources. A wide range of policy and financing tools will be necessary as well as thoughtful and innovative solutions to tackle these challenges.

 

How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

I have been a member of NCAC since 2011 and have always greatly enjoyed the lunches and professional skills classes. My favorite event was the 2013 field trip. We traveled to a coal power plant (with 1 GW of capacity), a wind farm, and an open pit coal mine. It was a fascinating experience to visit those facilities, and I still recall being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the plants. Most memorably, I made lasting connections with other NCAC members from that trip and always look forward to seeing them at the lunches. Can't wait for the next NCAC field trip!