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James Newcomb

Managing Director

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  • Regulatory and Business Model Reform

James Newcomb is a Managing Director at RMI, where he leads the Institute’s electricity practice. He is a writer, consultant, and scenario thinker with 25 years’ experience in managing cutting-edge research and advisory organizations.

BACKGROUND

Prior to joining RMI, James served as Group Manager for markets, policy and impacts analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center. At NREL, James helped to lead the laboratory’s Renewable Electricity Futures study, which examined the technical, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities of delivering 80% of U.S. electricity supplies from renewable sources by 2050. In addition to leading the group’s ongoing research in renewable energy finance and policy analysis, he initiated new programs in behavioral economics and innovation.

As Managing Director and co-founder of Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-era), he led bio-era’s research on issues affecting the future of biological systems, energy, and the environment. Bio-era provided strategic consulting and advisory services in areas of biofuels, advanced biotechnology, and the business and economic impacts of emerging infectious diseases.

From 1992–2000, James was the founding president and CEO of E source, a for-profit subsidiary of RMI that provided information on energy technology and services to electric and gas utilities and corporate energy managers around the world. E source was sold to the Financial Times, a business unit of Pearson plc, for $18 million in 1999. Previously, he established and led the natural gas practice at Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) a leading global oil and gas consultancy.

EDUCATION

M.A., Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group (1984)
B.A., Economics, Harvard University, cum laude (1979)

LOCATION

Boulder, CO

Authored Blog Posts

Pathways to 1.5°C

What if the real momentum in actions to address climate change in the years ahead come not from top-down central government mandates but from voluntary decisions by customers, communities, corporations, and other institutions to choose clean and affordable energy options? What if the surprisingly steep cost declines and performance improvements…

Fort Collins Steps Up, Approves Accelerated Climate Target

Sometimes leadership arises from impatience. In Fort Collins, Colorado—a city known for its pragmatic, can-do attitude—getting on with the business of reducing greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t have to wait for international treaties, federal mandates, or carbon taxes. This week, the Fort Collins City Council voluntarily adopted revised climate action goals…