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International

Paolo Natali

Director of Materials Initiative
  • Industry and Heavy Transport

Paolo is the Director of the Materials Initiative, nested within RMI’s Industry Program, with a mission to enable low-carbon commodities by cleaning up the value chains of materials, most prominently steel, metals, cement, and chemicals. While our traditional work stream so far has been about serving industrial players directly, via the provision of techno-economic modeling for solutions to the challenge of decarbonizing industrial energy, we are also focused on creating market-based mechanisms to channel the growing demands of consumers and investors for low-carbon commodities, leveraging accountability drivers such as robust emissions tracking and transparency. This supply push and demand pull effort is made possible thanks to our global team of energy and industry experts, spanning nine time zones from Colorado to South Africa, that has advised on over 500 MW of projects between the Americas, Africa and Australia, working with industry leaders such as BHP, Anglo American, and Gold Fields.

The Initiative, and Paolo’s role, build on over four years of experience in Sunshine for Mines, the former RMI program on carbon reduction in the mining industry. We have been advising our clients (and continue to do so) on serving the electric load of their operating sites, repurposing their closed sites into renewable energy facilities, as well as broader energy innovation and strategies related to non-electric load, non-energy emissions, and carbon pathways encompassing all of the above.

BACKGROUND

An expert in energy markets, Paolo joined RMI in 2015. Prior to Sunshine for Mines he was part of the Business Renewables Center (now the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance), an initiative of RMI aimed at facilitating the addition of 60 GW of renewable capacity to the U.S. electricity grid by 2030 via large off-site Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Paolo’s energy expertise matured in the oil and gas industry across different geographies. He held roles in regulation, business development, and commercial strategy for natural gas at Statoil (now Equinor), during an interesting time in which the company invested in U.S. shale gas production. He also spent time as an oil and products originator for Eni Trading & Shipping, focusing again on the U.S., as well as East Africa. Prior to turning to the private sector, he had served at the World Bank, the Council of the European Union, and NATO.

Paolo has published on topics related to electricity, natural gas, trade, and energy policy, and has been a fellow of the Transatlantic Academy. He teaches an annual course on the clean energy transition at Sciences Po in Paris.

EDUCATION

Ph.D., Economic History, University of Cambridge

MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

BA, International Studies, University of Bologna

LOCATION

New York, NY

Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

We Are Living in a Materials World

It’s as true today as it was when Madonna first sang it more than three decades ago: we are living in a material(s) world. Besides cluttering our lives, the objects around us are produced via a multistage process called a supply chain. The sleek stove in your kitchen—which is electric,…

Outlet Blog Post

How much CO2 is embedded in a product?

Imagine driving your brand-new electric vehicle along Main Street on a weekday evening. Sleek and silent, you are the envy of the entire town. You know that the carbon dioxide directly emitted from the engine is nil: that was the whole point of buying the thing, wasn’t it? Going a…

Outlet Blog Post

Repowering Old Mines with New Energies in the Southwestern United States

A common challenge that mining companies face with legacy sites is what to do with the disturbed land once the resource has been exhausted or extraction is no longer profitable. After closure, mines need to undergo a long process of reclamation. At this stage, the reputation of mining companies—their social…

Outlet Blog Post

Digging for Carbon Cuts: How the Mining Industry Can Win with Renewables

An unprecedented drop in renewable energy prices, the high energy intensity of mining, and the volatility of fossil fuel pricing have combined to create a groundbreaking opportunity for decarbonizing the mining industry—no pun intended! Seriously, the sustainability opportunity in front of mining companies across the world is no joking matter,…

Outlet Blog Post

A New Chapter for Renewable Energy Buyers

More than 250 executives attended the 2016 Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) Summit at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, last week, with the objective of accelerating corporate procurement of renewable energy. REBA is a fast-moving partnership of four NGOs with strong ties to multinational companies: BSR’s Future of Internet Power,…

Outlet Blog Post

Market Price Risk and the “Hockey Stick PPA”

In November 2015, more than 140 participants in the corporate renewable energy market gathered in New York City. They came together under the banner of RMI’s Business Renewables Center (BRC), a member-based platform that accelerates corporate renewable energy procurement. Last year, BRC-affiliated companies accounted for 88 percent of transactions. But to…

Outlet Blog Post

5 Ways to Sustain the Corporate Renewables Market

The year 2015 represented a major turning point for electricity generation in the United States. The country retired 14 GW of fossil-fueled generation. Meanwhile, it brought online 16.4 GW of carbon-free generation, with wind energy leading the mix at 8.5 GW of new installed capacity, according to BNEF’s Sustainable Energy in…