all staff

james headshot

James Newcomb

Managing Director
  • Strategic Analysis and Engagement

James Newcomb is Managing Director at RMI, where he directs the Strategic Analysis & Engagement Group. He also serves as senior advisor to the Institute’s India and Electricity programs. He is a writer, consultant, and scenario thinker with more than 30 years’ experience in the energy sector, including expertise in electricity, mobility, and strategy.

In India, he has led a team of experts in support of actions by the central government to achieve a rapid transformation of the country’s mobility system to a future that will provide shared, connected and electric mobility services. He helped to conceive and launch RMI’s Urban Mobility Lab, which supports leading Indian cities in piloting, integrating, and scaling innovative solutions to deliver urban mobility services.

Mr. Newcomb co-founded and led RMI’s Electricity Innovation Laboratory (eLab), which brings together leading industry actors to develop, test, and scale new solutions that enable greater adoption of renewable distributed energy resources by all customer types. He has consulted widely with leading utilities, cities, utility regulators and other organizations on the transformation of the electricity sector.

Prior to joining RMI, Mr. Newcomb managed market and policy analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center. He helped to lead the laboratory’s Renewable Electricity Futures Study, which examined the technical, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities of delivering 80% of U.S. electricity supplies from renewable sources by 2050. In addition to leading the group’s ongoing research in renewable energy finance and policy analysis, he initiated new programs in behavioral economics and innovation.

Mr. Newcomb was the founding president and CEO of E SOURCE, a leading independent provider of research and consulting services to utilities and their customers on energy efficiency, distributed resources, and customer services.

Mr. Newcomb holds an M.A. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, Energy and a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.


MM.A., Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group

B.A., Economics, Harvard University, cum laude


Boulder, CO

Authored Works

Fort Collins Steps Up, Approves Accelerated Climate Target

Sometimes leadership arises from impatience. In Fort Collins, Colorado—a city known for its pragmatic, can-do attitude—getting on with the business of reducing greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t have to wait for international treaties, federal mandates, or carbon taxes. This week, the Fort Collins City Council voluntarily adopted revised climate action goals…


Stepping Up: Benefits and Cost of Accelerating Fort Collins’ Energy and Climate Goals

This report examines the opportunity for accelerating Fort Collins’ energy and climate goals to reflect the community’s values while capturing economic, social, and environmental benefits. In the five years since Fort Collins initially established its current greenhouse gas emissions goals, rapid changes in the cost and availability of clean, energy…


e-Lab Annual Report 2012–2013

In its first year, e-Lab made significant strides towards building the capacity of change agents in the electricity sector, fostering the development of new ideas and solutions, and engaging directly with leaders to test and implement new ideas that can ultimately scale broadly throughout the industry.


Reinventing Fire in Southern California: Distributed Resources and the San Onofre Outage

The prolonged shut-down of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in Southern California could mark an important turning point for the region’s electricity system. Distributed and demand-side resources offer a portfolio of solutions to help fill the near-term supply gap, while also advancing California’s long-term goals of reducing greenhouse…