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Paolo Natali

Director of Mining Projects
  • Industry

Paolo is the Director of Mining Projects for Sunshine for Mines, the Institute’s flagship program on carbon reduction in the mining industry, founded in 2016 at Carbon War Room, and currently a $1M/year operation which advises mining industry clients on serving the electrical load of their operating sites and repurposing their closed sites into renewable energy facilities, as well as broader energy innovation and strategy. Its global team of energy and mining experts spans nine time zones from Basalt, Colorado, to Johannesburg, South Africa, and has advised on over 500 MW of projects globally.


An expert in energy markets, Paolo joined RMI in September 2015. Prior to Sunshine for Mines he was part of the Business Renewables Center, a non-profit 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). He has been responsible for the definition of the products strategy, membership management, and the development of research themes ranging from commodity trading strategies to risk allocation.

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, during an interesting time in which the company invested in U.S. shale gas production. More recently he 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 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.


Ph.D., Economic History, University of Cambridge

MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

BA, International Studies, University of Bologna


New York, NY

Authored Works
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…