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International

Roy Torbert

Principal
  • Empowering Clean Economies
  • Islands Energy Program

Roy is a Principal on the Empowering Clean Economies Program, specializing in integrated energy planning for islands, inclusive multi-stakeholder facilitation, and renewable and efficiency finance to expand and accelerate the transition to a global clean energy economy. Roy leads RMI’s work with Puerto Rico as well as long-term electricity system planning with RMI’s many island partners. Roy leads RMI’s growing activities in Southeast Asia.

He has worked with leading universities (including Arizona State University) and global multinationals (including McDonald’s Corporation) to analyze net-zero opportunities and deliver roadmaps to reaching carbon reduction goals. Roy’s prior research includes reducing the soft costs of solar (specifically financing costs), valuing all the benefits of a highly efficient building, and analysis for RMI’s Reinventing Fire initiative and book.

BACKGROUND

Prior to RMI, Roy was a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C., working on software implementation and strategic management projects for the Army. With Booz Allen, Roy also implemented and managed a procurement-focused software system for a Department of Defense client.

In 2008, Roy interned with the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels and was responsible for armaments issues. In 2007, Roy interned with G.E. in Dubai in the Infrastructure division and worked on renewable energy, environmental regulations, and governmental policy. He has expertise collaborating with regulators, policymakers, and private industry in the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, and a variety of island states. He has been trained in leadership, project management, facilitation, software implementation, and data analysis.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Business Finance, College of William and Mary (2009)

Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

Puerto Rico: For Real Resilience, Go Renewable

Puerto Ricans are facing new and ongoing threats to health, safety, and the economy, including those that stem from the spread of COVID-19. The deadly global pandemic has brought widespread economic disruption, all while the medical system continues to recover from recent shocks. Many in Puerto Rico lack homes or…

Outlet Blog Post

Implementing Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation

Just a couple of months ago, deadly earthquakes in Puerto Rico’s south coast destroyed homes and public buildings and damaged a major power plant. This, coming after the 2017 devastating hurricane season, highlights the continued challenges of the island’s current grid and difficulty of planning for the future. Fortunately, early…

Outlet Blog Post

Puerto Rico’s Electricity System at a Crossroads

Puerto Rico’s electric system is at a crucial inflection point, with an opportunity to pivot from years of hardship—high energy costs, utility bankruptcy, the largest blackout in US history, and heavy pollution from a system 98 percent powered by fossil fuels—to a new vision that is clean, reliable, and resilient.

Outlet Blog Post

A Locally Led Move Toward Microgrids in Puerto Rico

The start of this week, September 23, marks the average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. After the devastating landfall of Hurricane Dorian in the northern Bahamas two weeks ago, the Caribbean community quickly moved to offer support. Relief began mobilizing out of New Providence and Andros Islands, which were…

Outlet Blog Post

Schools Stronger than Storms

One year ago, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing the largest power outage in US history. Puerto Ricans, on average, suffered without electricity for three months, many for almost a year, as recovery officials struggled to repair what was already a poorly maintained and inefficient electrical grid. This prolonged power…

Outlet Blog Post

Saint Lucia’s Journey to a Renewable Future

In the southern Lesser Antilles lies the green, mountainous island of Saint Lucia, famous for the scenic Piton mountains and honeymooners. The island’s 180,000 residents and tourism-driven economy depend heavily on reliable electricity service. Today, that electricity is generated almost exclusively from imported diesel fuel, leaving Saint Lucia vulnerable to…