Alec Appelbaum

Alec Appelbaum
News Editor, Yale Center for Business and the Environment
Yale College, BA, 1993 Yale School of Management, MBA, 1998

Alec Appelbaum writes and teaches to help all stakeholders act on climate challenges. He's written journalism and research for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Bloomberg CityLab, the Urban Land Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many others. He's taught about writing or climate or both at New York City high schools, Pratt Institute, NYU Stern School of Business, and in enrichment training for teachers in the New York City Department of Education. 

At CBEY, he coaches and edits students who write stories for the Clean Energy Finance Forum and Conservation Finance Network websites, and helps edit and write publications across the Center. He lives in Lower Manhattan, works in Brooklyn, and gets misty over New Haven.

Authored Articles
Joseph FIordaliso, looking to the ocean and the roads to power the Garden State

For Joseph Fiordaliso, progress toward a fossil-free economy flows from top-level leadership to street-level entrepreneurship. 

Joseph Fiordaliso on New Jersey's Energy Master Plan (Updated as the Plan Moves Forward in '21)

When we spoke with Joseph Fiordaliso, the president of the state's Board of Public Utilities, lockdowns were still only happening overseas and states were the only serious partners for renewable developers. Now, New Jersey is moving forward on transmission investment- making Fiordaliso's cheery appeals to the next generation and the...
A minigrid using solar shines via Nigeria's initiative

We showcased this Nigerian minigrid last summer. We're now sharing a warning that ambitions from multinational investors had better grow more maximalist. 

Building the World's Clean Infrastructure Takes a 7X Investment Increase. Who's Up?

The sweep of nations from Central America across to Asia contains billions of people and untold potential for climate-smart infrastructure. The sweep of capital across those nations, we learned in a panel, looks tepid in light of the job. A set of reports from the International Energy Agency zooms in...
What was that line from Hoosiers?

The President made promises. His cabinet looks promising. What do you watch for now? 

The President Has a Team, and Decarbonization Has Its Time

Jennifer Granholm, former governor of the auto-manufacturing mecca in Michigan, became the United States secretary of energy on February 25. Granholm now oversees a revamped agency that includes energy-justice advocate Shalanda Baker in a key role and other clean-energy doers in high places. Is this a downpayment on President Joe...
Enough for everyone

Now that we needn't think of solar as an "alternative" source, we also can find alternatives to a system in which way more of solar goes to affluent whites.

Demanding Upstanding Solar Supply: Two Pioneers Chart Paths to Energy Justice

Look behind the dominant curve, on which solar power becomes cheaper to supply while corporate commitments, voters' priorities and scientific data goose demand for solar. You'll see that too many people find themselves locked out of the solar market or barred from influencing its direction. Two speakers challenged Yale audiences...
Solar financing? Don't look down...

(Courtesy Sol Systems.) The world will turn ever more to solar, but steep complexities lie ahead. 

Sites and Insights: Sol Systems Grows Before Your Eyes

Krisztina Pjecska’s been advancing on a mission to extend solar energy’s reach, to the point that she and her colleagues at Sol Systems have started reckoning with a twist in the path. Solar has become economical, reliable and more popular. It’s also become harder to site and insure. “The more...
Empty office floor, full of possibilities?

Retrofitting buildings after Covid-19 emptied many commercial properties can boost efficiency and sustainability- but doing so will take coordination, patience and strategy. 

Can Engineers Tune Properties for Safety & Equity in a Post-Covid Context?

Investments in efficient energy systems can save millions for every diligent manufacturer, tenant and landlord. They can also drive down carbon emissions, helping states reach clean-energy targets. They can help lower energy costs and with them energy bills, which can help resuscitate urban property markets. And they can coincide with...
Professor Shalanda H. Baker co-runs the Institute for Energy Justice

Transforming from dirty oil that exploits people to clean sun and wind that exploits people won't do: Shalanda Baker helps clean-energy professionals and community activists collaborate. 

CBEYond the Moment: Shalanda Baker

What would you do if the cause that lights your day turned out to be trapping fellow citizens in the dark? For Shalanda Baker, a professor of law and public policy at Northeastern University, thinking about a clean energy future means thinking about the daily, weekly and sometimes invisible ways...
Macky McCleary sees fossil-free infrastructure as necessary to and dependent on a healthy American recovery.

What happens when a 100-year-old electric system runs into a 100-year pandemic? 

CBEYond the Moment: Macky McCleary

When an economy freezes, does it chill utility executives' ability to transform their energy sources? Macky McCleary, who directs energy, telecommunications and infrastructure for consulting firm Guidehouse, says the world will have to keep drawing more and more power from fossil-free sources- but he also warns that the United States...