David Nelson is Executive Director of CPI’s energy finance program, and is based out of London. CPI’s energy finance program collaborates with national and state governments, public and private firms, investors, and asset managers across the world to identify and put into practice the market designs, business models, and new financial instruments needed to implement at scale renewable energy deployment, flexibility services, and efficient system change.

From its inception, David managed CPI’s research globally and helped establish CPI’s programs in the U.S., India, and more recently Europe. Over the past four years, David has built capacity in the energy finance team to develop core products that are central to lowering the cost of the energy transition, including the design of new financial instruments to help utilities transition away from carbon-based fuels and re-imagining electricity markets that will be fit for a low-carbon future.

David has also served as lead author to several of CPI’s flagship publications, including: Markets for low carbon, low cost electricity systemsRoadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System in the U.S. and Europe, Finance Mechanisms for Lowering the Cost of Renewable Energy in Rapidly Developing Countries, The finance chapter of the New Climate Economy report, Meeting India’s Renewable Energy Targets: The Financing Challenge, The Policy Climate, The Impacts of Policy on the Financing of Renewable Projects: A Case Study Analysis, and The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy. Throughout this time, David has built up CPI’s analytical tools, team, and work products to support the transitions from fossil to low-carbon energy necessary to the realization of climate goals.

Before joining CPI, David worked as an investor and strategic advisor to energy and utilities companies and their regulators in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia for more than 20 years. Most recently, David was senior vice president and global sector leader for Energy, Utilities, and Commodities at AllianceBernstein, where he managed research for the Bernstein Value portfolio and the commodity hedge fund. He also led the Global Energy research team and was the analyst covering global utilities (ex-North America). Prior to working at Bernstein, David was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, and before that at Arthur D. Little. He started his consulting career at the economics consultancy Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett. Throughout his consulting career he focused on strategy, financing, and regulation for the energy and utilities industries. David has degrees in engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Wharton.

  • Senior Vice President and Global Sector Leader, Energy, Utilities and Commodities, AllianceBernstein
  • Head of U.K. Utilities, Boston Consulting Group
  • Director, Practice Leader European Gas and Power, Practice Co-leader, European Utilities, Arthur D. Little
  • Associate, Putnam, Hayes, and Bartlett
  • MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

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