Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field
Currently, I am working at Concentric Energy Advisors as a financial analyst for electric utilities, gas companies, and power producers. Having just graduated from GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs in May of 2018, I have two years of experience in the energy field—mostly in the academic space but more recently at consulting firms.
I was first introduced to the subject after taking an internship with a non-profit focused on sustainability. Since then, though, I have taken a keen interest in general energy economics. With the help of Michael Ratner, I wrote my thesis on the convergence of natural gas prices globally due to the shale revolution and the rise of LNG trade. Now, at Concentric, I work in financial advisory, markets & resource planning, and regulation.
Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?
When I was studying in Chile, an economist at the Universidad de Chile and I explored how the rise of electric vehicles would affect the lithium supply chain. We worked out a research paper that would eventually be published in a letter to The Economist. We found that if the goals set out by OECD countries to increase the number of EVs on the roads are fulfilled, lithium demand for electric cars will absorb about 400,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2025. However, this would require lithium production to grow by 20% each year from now until 2025, almost twice as fast as over the past decade. Although there is abundant supply, 54% of the lithium is extracted from Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, where the governments are notorious for protecting their lithium reserves. The extraction process is slow and laborious, which affects supply.
We suggest that the actual scenario will be one where lithium is scarce, which will put the spread of electric cars at risk unless manufacturers develop more efficient electric batteries.
In your opinion, what are the important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?
I think the most significant issues for the industry today revolve around China’s energy policy. The Party’s ambitions to shrink coal consumption and decrease emissions, if successful, would be one of the greatest environmental achievements of this century and a model for other countries to adopt. But how quickly can U.S. and Chinese shale gas companies make this possible? Also, with the Chinese consuming less energy, how will this affect the global energy industry?
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 since September 2017, and it has been a terrific experience. Fortunately, through the mentorship program, I have been able to talk to and meet with helpful folks that guided me through the job search process. Two in particular—Michael Ratner and Olga Chistyakova—were very supportive and gave me great advice on networking, job interviews, and career paths. I have nothing but good things to say about the leaders of the organization.