Summer Intern Series: Shakeel Ahmed
Hometown: Islamabad, Pakistan
Education: National University of Sciences and Technology (BSE in Electrical Engineering) and Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University (Masters in Public Policy ’20)
Worked on: County Laws on Utility Scale Solar, Cost Recovery Riders (DSM/EE,Fuel, REPS) and Net-Metering and Voluntary Renewable Energy Certificates Policy
Future plans: Return to Pakistan and continue working as a civil servant in the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Climate Change
With summer almost coming to a close, and my Stanback internship ending in another two weeks, now would be a good time to reflect on my experience working as a Policy Intern at the NCSEA. As a career civil servant working for the Government of Pakistan, I undertook the Master's of Public Policy (MPP) degree at Duke University to study public policy and specialize in “environment and energy” policy. While the degree allowed me to enroll in different policy courses including some courses on energy and development, I was still not aware of how renewable energy policy had been unraveling in the state. Therefore, the summer internship at NCSEA provided a wonderful opportunity to take a break from school and learn about the renewable energy discourse in North Carolina.
During my internship, as a part of the policy regulation team, I worked on county-based utility-scale solar regulations, studied and compiled the Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency (DSM/EE) rates, Fuel Rider rates, and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) rates. Furthermore, I developed a policy memo on the utility of Voluntary Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) as a policy tool and worked with the policy team on the NCSEA’s strategy vis-à-vis net metering.
Through this work, I believe I have gained invaluable knowledge about the way in which renewable energy policy is evolving in the state. Since I would be returning to Pakistan – as required by Fulbright - to continue my work as a civil servant, I would take back what I have learned with me and try to emulate similar policies in Pakistan where renewable energy policy is still in a nascent stage. Seeing how NC has taken a lead in adopting renewable energy in the US has given me immense hope in the future of renewable energy, a source that can provide clean, sustainable energy, not only in the US, but across the world.
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