Rodica Donaldson | September 2015

1 Sep 2015 12:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Advisor on Energy Regulatory Policy and Management

Affiliation and years of experience in energy and/or environment:

I am an independent consultant having had 45 years of management and consulting experience with energy business and regulatory authorities in 39 countries, including resident assignments in India, Romania and Tanzania. From 1992-2002, I was a senior manager for Price Waterhouse and a project manager for Bechtel Consulting. My work focused on developing regulatory environments in emerging and transitional economies that fostered free markets for energy and attracted private sector investment. Prior to 2002, my focus was the US natural gas industry where I was an economic analyst for American Natural Gas, a senior consultant for Stone & Webster Management Consultants, and manager of economic analyses for the Columbia Gas Distribution Companies. My involvement in the energy sector began in 1971 when, on active duty with the U.S. Navy, I was assigned as an energy and environmental policy analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses.

Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

Of many projects, two come to mind as being particularly constructive:

In 2006-7, I was the first Director of Regulatory Economics for the newly established multi-sector regulator in Tanzania; among my responsibilities was the development of rules and procedures for tariff evaluations. I’m proud to have been quite literally “present at the creation” of what has become one of Africa’s most successful energy regulators.

From 1997-2002, I was country manager for several central and eastern European countries, organizing multi-disciplinary projects that drafted energy laws and developed regulatory capacity supporting the transition from controlled to free markets for electricity and natural gas. The subsequent EU accession of these nations reflects the success of that transition and is a story in which I’m very proud to have played a part.

In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

Throughout my career I’ve observed the tension between energy initiatives and environmental concerns. While often frustrating, constructive dialogues have nonetheless produced benefits for our national economy and our environment. More recently, however, is a tendency to politicize this tension with proponents for either side seeming to argue their case without regard to the possibility that arguments inconsistent with the position of their party and its supporters might also be meritorious. The protracted debate over the Keystone Pipeline is one of many examples of an unwillingness to find a cooperative basis for going forward. Overcoming political intransigence is the greatest challenge I see to developing and implementing rational policies for the best use of our energy resources and the protection of our environment.

How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

I’ve been a member of NCAC since 1999 and a member of IAEE/USAEE since 1991. Being a member of this family of organizations has been a richly rewarding experience. Of many great times we’ve shared, I recall as particularly enjoyable our overnight field trip to see Drake’s Well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, on its 150th anniversary. Events of this kind, our annual Washington Energy Policy Conference and our program of monthly luncheons with outstanding speakers has justifiably made NCAC the largest and most actSenior Analyst with EDF Renewable Energy and former Officer of NCAC

Affiliation and years of experience in energy and/or environment:

I started working in the energy field 7 years ago when I joined EDF Group, a French utility with a large international presence (it's actually the world's largest power company in terms of generated electricity) and covering every aspect of the power sector from generation (nuclear, renewables,..) to transmission and distribution, and trading. It was actually my first job as a young graduate after a series of internships in non-energy fields, and also my first job in the U.S. (I was born and raised in Europe). I still remember the excitement of the first few days as a power market analyst and guess what...fast-forward 7 years, I am still as excited and passionate about this industry. Individually, our roles may be limited (sometimes to spreadsheets, data gathering and rule reading) but collectively our industry has a real impact on people's lives and sustains a nation's economic growth and quality of life.

Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

I joined EDF Renewable Energy in 2012 and have since worked on topics like renewable integration and grid congestion. We are using a very sophisticated production cost simulation model to assess transmission and congestion risks for our projects. It has been quite a journey to develop my modeling skills and expertise, and it feels like an achievement to have the deep understanding of the power markets that comes with simulating a power market based on a myriad set of assumptions on supply stack, demand growth, fuel prices etc...

In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

I think the greatest challenge for our industry is to determine the right set of today's actions for tomorrow and many years to come. There will always be bad choices, bad policies and conflicting interests but we need to face and address the issues that come up with necessary reform and changes. Growing global demand and climate change will require huge investments from the industry but those cannot happen without appropriate market signals.

How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

I started attending NCAC luncheons in 2008 and it's been the best thing ever for me as a young professional, new to the city and the industry. NCAC is really a great association where you can learn and discuss with other seasoned or young professionals of diverse backgrounds and experiences, while developing friendships and a professional network. It is also a place where you get what you give in the sense that you are never too young to volunteer, be part of the NCAC council and grow in leadership. I have many great memories from my several years as a council member and Officer of NCAC; fieldtrips are fun and educative.

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