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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

Net Energy Metering, Zero Net Energy, and the Distributed Energy Resource Future

On behalf of PG&E, Rocky Mountain Institute organized and facilitated a roundtable of experts to evaluate the potential implications for the utility and its customers of a future business environment characterized by high levels of customer energy efficiency, growing numbers of zero-net-energy buildings, and increased adoption of distributed generation (largely…


The UCSD Microgrid – Showing the Future of Electricity … Today

Rocky Mountain Institute visited the University of California, San Diego to study and document the “microgrid” that controls and integrates electricity supply and demand on the campus. UCSD’s microgrid is one of the best examples of an electricity network that provides local control yet is interconnected with the larger electricity grid.