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Tackling Energy Challenges in the Developing World

Johns Hopkins SAIS students Zach Harris, Matt Hess, Taylor Sloane, Brandon Yeh and Danielle Schwab won first place at the fourth annual Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition (EEMCC) hosted by the Duke University MBA Energy Club. The event gave a diverse group of graduate school teams the chance to address energy challenges in the developing world.

This year, the focus was on the Cuban energy landscape where 97% of the country has electricity service but the supply is costly and unreliable due to the aging system. After submitting written proposals, 12 teams were chosen to compete in the final round for cash prizes and for first place, the opportunity to attend the CEIR Conference in Havana in 2017!

The team had all previously competed in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge case competition in Hong Kong this spring. They turned in a comprehensive energy solution that included a variety of renewable energy and natural gas solutions, innovative financing facilities, and proposed regulatory reforms and presented it to 14 judges including current CEO of Southern Power Joseph “Buzz” Miller, former CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers, and many other leading energy professionals.

The team is thrilled to have had the opportunity to compete against students from leading MBA programs around the world and to have had their hard work validated. They give special thanks for advice and support to John Banks, Deborah Bleviss, Nikos Tsafos, Francisco Gonzalez and the Energy, Resource and Environment (ERE) Department as well as Stacy Swann of Climate Advisors LLC and SAIS alumnus Ahmed Aliyu Ahmad.