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Uday Varadarajan

  • Carbon-Free Electricity

Uday focuses on how to use cutting edge data and financial, policy, and regulatory analysis to help drive a just transition to clean energy.


Before joining RMI, Uday was a Principal at CPI Energy Finance, managing their San Francisco team. At CPI, he led the development of innovative financial, regulatory, and policy data analytics and tools that are helping consumers, utilities, and communities in states across the US (including New York, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Utah, and South Carolina) realize the benefits from a just and equitable transition from uneconomic dirty resources to clean energy. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, he served as a program examiner in the U.S. White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where oversaw the budget for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and the cost assessment and approval of the first $8 billion in DOE loans to automakers, including loans to Tesla and Nissan to build electric vehicles. Before joining OMB, he was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Energy and then on detail to the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives, Appropriations Committee. He came to DC after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical physics in the Weinberg Theory Group at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his role at RMI, he is also a Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford’s Sustainable Finance Initiative.


A.B. Physics, Princeton University 1996

M.A. Physics, University of California at Berkeley 1998

Ph.D. Physics, University of California at Berkeley 2003

Postdoctoral Fellow, Weinberg Theory Group at UT Austin, 2003-2006

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, 2006-2008

Why I Love Working At RMI

“I’m excited to join a dedicated, passionate, and thoughtful group of people working together to realize a vision of a cleaner, more sustainable energy system.”

Authored Works

Utilities, Analysts, and Customers Agree: Transitioning from Coal Saves Money

Coal economics have eroded dramatically in recent years, so much so that the continued use of existing coal-fired power often imposes a cost burden on electricity customers that exceeds the cost of newer and cleaner sources of power. Resource planning analyses performed by utilities across the country—including PacifiCorp in…

Golden coils in soil with young plants

Financing Tools for an Equitable Transition to a Clean Economy

Meeting the United States’ NDC target of reducing emissions 50–52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 will require rapid action from companies, governments, and other entities across the country. These actors must accelerate the retirement and clean replacement of long-lived assets and infrastructure that support carbon-intensive economic activity (or,…


How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible and Just

For over a century, growing presence of coal smokestacks worldwide signified economic development and progress. Coal supplied our homes with electricity and our factories with power. At the same time, this workhorse of the industrial era caused serious harm to our health and the environment. Today, the costs of continuing…


Decarbonization and Debt Forgiveness

The economic crisis resulting from our response to COVID-19 is hitting energy intensive industries particularly hard. Airlines, hospitality, restaurants, malls, mines, and factories are shut down across the country, as are oil and gas wells, pipelines, refineries and merchant power plants. Unlike the recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis,…


Stimulus and Response

For many Americans—workers, families, and business owners—the relief offered by the recent $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act won’t come a day too soon. The bill has been called an economic stimulus, and while it will stimulate the economy, it is more disaster relief. Chiefly, it…