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Yiyan Cao



  • China

Yiyan is an associate with RMI’s China program, where she supports the program’s Managing Directors Lena Hansen and Jon Creyts with program-wide research, analysis, and collaboration. She is currently working on the power market optimization initiative, an effort to support China’s power market reforms and enable greater integration of renewable energy. Yiyan joined RMI in June 2017, and is based in the Beijing office.


Before joining RMI, Yiyan worked as a consultant for International Finance Corporation, a member of World Bank. She worked on the green building program cooperating with China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MoHURD) to conduct benchmarking for China Green Building Labeling system, and assisted in efforts to improve standards, codes and regulations relating to green hotels.

While pursuing a Master’s degree in Energy and Environment Management in Duke University, Yiyan interned with Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps, where she conducted industrial energy efficiency consulting for Owens Corning Composites Company’s China factory and successfully completed two retrofit projects. Yiyan also conducted power system analysis for residential energy efficiency investments in Duke Energy service region as her Master Project.


Master of Energy and Environment Management, Duke University

B.Sc., Environmental Science, Renmin University of China

Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

RMI Buys Renewable Energy Certificates in China’s Pilot Market

In July 2017, China opened its green energy certificate market—often called renewable energy certificates (RECs) or Guarantee of Origin (GoO) in other parts of the world—which allows businesses and individuals to buy renewable energy (in China’s domestic market). RMI was one of the first to support this new product by…