I have a PhD in economics from the University of Manchester, UK and I completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of California Energy Institute, Berkeley, CA. I currently have a tenure-track position of Lecturer in Energy Economics at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (“CEPMLP”) at the University of Dundee, Scotland UK since June 2012. CEPMLP conducts multi-disciplinary research on the global energy complex and provides educational programmes for graduate students and energy professionals from different countries.
I am an energy specialist in risk management, analytical methods, and corporate and public policy analysis in North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific. I have two decades of experience across academia, policy, consulting, and industry, in matters involving risk analytics, competition and regulation, antitrust law and economics, industrial organisation, price theory, and technology. I have provided expert testimony for litigation in the US not only as a consultant offering professional advice but also as a corporate manager executing to strategy. My articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and trade publications (e.g. European Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Energy Policy, Utilities Policy, Electricity Journal, Energy Antitrust News of the American Bar Association, Private Antitrust Litigation News of the American Bar Association, and The Environmental Monitor) and I have prepared proprietary technical documents on energy market modelling in the context of regulatory review.
Prior to joining CEPMLP, I was Manager, Transaction and Market Analysis, in the Resource Optimization department of NV Energy, the electric utility serving most of the State of Nevada in the US. The Resource Optimization department has the trading floor where despatch decisions are made as regards the short- and medium-term scheduling and balancing of electric power and natural gas. I had analysed, implemented, and testified to physical and financial energy portfolios valued at about $1B/year. I had performed rapid and continuous R&D on quantitative methods for physical and financial energy products (e.g. heat rate call options, power call options hedging renewables, gas price collars, gas storage and transport, daily gas scheduling and balancing, gas transport optimization, spread and other option premium valuations, price distributions, volatilities and correlations, bidding, etc.). I had given regular presentations to C-level executives and senior decision-makers on energy risk management and, in coordination with in-house or external counsel, I had provided analytical support for various regulatory filings on energy portfolio optimization and the market power implications of changes in the generation mix.
In addition, I had close coordination, among others, with NV Energy’s planning and analysis department as regards the long-term mix and structure of generation, transmission, and fuel resources and the associated regulatory filings; with the contracts department as regards the optimization of the gas transportation contracts; and with the renewable energy department as regards the evaluation of alternative engineering-economy models for monitoring the performance of renewable energy contracts. This has allowed me to have a deep appreciation for the economic and regulatory consequences of various incentive mechanisms, such as carbon pricing, renewable portfolio standards, and contract design. Moreover, as a corporate manager, I was keen on building and nurturing teamwork both within my department and beyond. Throughout my tenure at NV Energy, I was responsible for the leadership of a group consisting, in various configurations, of a PhD in engineering with specialism in numerical methods; a PhD in financial mathematics with specialism on volatility estimation; an MA in economics from Stanford; and interns doing a financial mathematics-oriented MBA or PhD. This has allowed me to have a sensitive understanding of the personal and professional challenges not only in leading and inspiring colleagues or students but also in providing vision and collegial management for a knowledge-based organisation.
Prior to joining NV Energy, I was a Vice President at the California office of Economists Incorporated, a consulting firm of PhD economists offering professional advice on the application of economics to matters that arise in law, business, and public policy. I had provided expert testimony for the defendant at the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC for a nuclear power case that resulted in the denial of plaintiff’s claim of more than $100M in damages. I had developed revenues for the energy practice in the US West Coast through the acquisition of new projects and participation in existing ones. I had delivered high-stakes consulting to major players in the US energy sector, including law firms. I had designed electric utility ratemaking structures encouraging investments in renewable energy, and had given workshops on energy market simulation to public utilities commission staff and senior management of industry. And I had developed algorithms for energy market analysis and mathematical models.
Prior to joining Economists Incorporated, I was Economist at the California office of LCG Consulting, a software company specializing in energy system optimization. I had investigated the conduct of round-trip trades in the California power market and had designed and implemented methodologies for analysing market power, tacit collusion, and optimal bidding strategies in energy and ancillary services markets in restructured US electricity markets. I had prepared consulting reports on risk analysis, asset valuation, coal generation back-out strategies, optimal procurement of generation, restructuring of the electric power sector, and US electricity market prices. I had organized detailed databases on electric power plants, transmission lines, and substations in North America. And I had prepared responses to RFPs and initiated proposals for consulting projects.
Early in my career, I was Senior Consultant at the San Francisco, California office of Deloitte and Touche LLP and Visiting Research Associate (i.e. post-doctoral research fellowship) at the University of California Energy Institute, Berkeley, California. In addition, I was appointed to multiple leadership positions held simultaneously and with increasing responsibility at the Center for Research and Communication (now the University of Asia and the Pacific) in Manila, the Philippines. Financial support for my PhD at Manchester was obtained partly from what was then called the Northwest Electricity Board (“NORWEB”), the electric power company in the Manchester area. The idea to seek funding from NORWEB was an entrepreneurial effort to bridge academic work and industry needs. In general, my experience in both academic research and high-pressure commercial consulting has allowed me to have insight on the creativity and detailed preparation associated with competing for, winning, and leading research grants or projects.
Since joining CEPMLP about a year ago, I have played an active role in its inter-disciplinary academic, research, and intellectual life, and have contributed to its local and international reputation through participation in various activities. As a co-Principal Investigator, I have attracted external research funding from the African Centre for Economic Transformation to conduct research, in collaboration with an attorney and an economist, on the pursuit of economic diversification in Africa through the strengthening of forward and backward linkages of mineral, oil, or gas projects. I have given several talks: “Value capture of mineral, oil, & gas activities in Africa” to representatives of the Malawi government, University of Dundee, Scotland UK, November 26, 2013; “Research Methods & Methodology in Energy Economics” to the Graduate School student body, University of Dundee, Scotland UK, November 20, 2013; “Energy risk management” to the CEPMLP MBA class, University of Dundee, Scotland UK, November 6, 2013; “Numerical Methods for Energy Studies” to the Division of Mathematics, University of Dundee, July 15, 2013; “Gas hedge strategy and utility regulation” at an energy hedging and portfolio optimisation conference in Vienna, Austria, April 17 to 19, 2013; a panel discussion “Developing highly granular physical and financial instruments for hedging renewable intermittency” at the same conference in Vienna; and “Analytical tools for gas hedge strategy design” in the quantitative analysis and modelling stream of the October 2012 Energy Risk Europe conference in London. Moreover, I had co-authored a presentation “Water risk and the need for a global water infrastructure” with Navitas Resources, a company specialising in the global energy, water, and commodity markets, for the September 2012 Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.
I have also prepared a number of research works-in-progress: “Optimising international treaties for transboundary watercourse management,” “Hedging the cost of natural gas in regulated electronic utilities,” “Value capture of mineral, oil and gas activities in Africa,” and “Canada Feed-In Tariff Programme: could the shadow value have served as an alternative benchmark for ‘adequate remuneration’ in a benefit analysis under Article 14(d) of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures?” I am doing research in partnership with academics from various disciplines. I am collaborating with the Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science on the preparation of analytical tools for the optimisation of international treaties governing transboundary multi-use water resource management. I am conducting research on inter-temporal elasticities across different electricity customer classes in collaboration with staff from a US electric utility. I am also collaborating with the Division of Mathematics on the construction of a power system optimisation model that could be used to inform policy debates. As part of the University of Dundee’s collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University in relation to the new Offshore Renewables Institute, I am working with academics at Aberdeen University to explore a potential research project on the UK electric power market, possibly in collaboration not only with private sector developers of electric power projects but also with the University of Strathclyde.
For academic year 2013-2014, I had taught the graduate module CP51003 Energy Economics The Tools in the first semester, and I plan to teach the graduate module CP52002 Energy Economics The Issues in the second semester. For academic year 2014-2015, I plan to teach the graduate module CP52071 Economics of Electric Power.
CP51003 Energy Economics The Tools. The aims of the module are to introduce the economic principles relevant for the energy sector, and to provide an overview of the tools typically used in performing economic analysis on the energy sector. The intended learning outcomes of the module is an understanding of the concepts and frameworks essential to the operation and expansion of the energy sector, their economic implications, and the rudimentary economic tools for analysing them. The module is designed for an interdisciplinary audience. It is delivered through lectures, computer laboratory work, and virtual direction. It is assessed through class participation, a research paper, and an examination. A familiarity with microeconomics principles or numerical techniques is not required but would be helpful. My plan is to discuss the concepts in the context of a search for rigorous solutions to business or policy problems. The idea is to convey how analytical tools can assist in addressing energy economic issues. For example, I intend to cover energy balance accounting, energy sector indicators, input-output matrix analysis, trend estimation, demand regression and forecasting, net present value and internal rate of return, the simultaneous optimisation of a power plant and a gas supply system, levelised cost analysis for comparing alternative electricity generation technologies, the load duration and screening curves, energy sector optimisation models, and computable general equilibrium models. A proper understanding of these tools is an excellent starting point for undertaking economics research on various aspects of the energy sector. This spirit of empiricism is embodied in the module.
CP52002 Energy Economics The Issues. The aims of the module are to introduce the economic principles relevant for the energy sector, and to highlight some of the most challenging economic issues facing the global energy complex. The intended learning outcome of the module is an understanding of how economic analysis informs the national or international debates on energy sector issues, and how economics research affects energy sector decisions made by consumers, industry, or government. The module is designed for an interdisciplinary audience. It is delivered through lectures and virtual direction. It is assessed through class participation, a research paper, and an examination. A familiarity with microeconomics principles or numerical techniques is not required but would be helpful. My plan is to discuss the theory or evidence involved in the debate. The idea is to improve the awareness of the business or policy implications of how the global energy complex works. For example, I intend to cover national and international energy market linkages, prices, efficiency, emissions, carbon capture and storage, the role of oil in the world economy, unconventional gas, renewable energy, access, security, implications for the water sector, and market restructuring and liberalisation. These issues tend to be complex, inter-related, and ever-changing. A common basis for communication at the national or international levels is a practical step towards having a better awareness of energy sector developments. What is crucial is the ability to formulate relevant questions; to understand the economic principles underlying the strategies of consumers, corporations, or regulators; and to have a rigorous and defensible approach for distinguishing among competing propositions or claims. The key is to be able to explain the fundamental economic forces driving participants in the global energy complex.
CP52071 Economics of Electric Power. The aims of the module are to convey an economic and institutional knowledge of the electric power sector, and to develop the capacity for analysing the economic policy issues of the electric power sector. The intended learning outcomes of the module are an understanding of the workings of the electric power industry and its economic fundamentals; and the skills to evaluate power system resources and their implications for competition or regulation. The module is designed for an interdisciplinary audience. It is delivered through lectures, problem sets, and virtual direction. It is assessed through the problem sets, an essay, and an examination. A familiarity with microeconomics principles or numerical techniques is not required but would be helpful. My plan is to discuss the concepts in the context of continuous portfolio optimisation. The underlying idea is to buy or sell resources in response to uncertainty in system conditions over time. There could be unplanned outages of power plants or transmission lines, or there could be structural changes in local or regional energy demand. The challenge is to make sense of the changes, and to prepare action plans that are economically sound. I plan to consider three time frames for the decisions to buy or sell: short-, medium, and long-term. Short-term decisions are in real time and could extend to the end of the month. Medium-term decisions cover a month to three years. Long-term decisions involve decades. As conditions change or new information becomes available, the goal is to balance electric power supply and demand through the assembly or release of resources as appropriate.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Activity: Conference participation › Participation in conference
Activity: Conference participation › Participation in conference
Activity: Conference participation › Participation in workshop, seminar, course