Public Policy Considerations in the Transition to Renewable Energy: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Feb 20, 2023, 12:15 pm1:15 pm
300 Wallace Hall
In-person attendance for Princeton University ID holders and invited guests; Livestream open to the public on MediaCentral.


Event Description

Mr. Bhatia is an attorney, advocate and expert on fiscal matters and public policy with over 25 years of experience championing government / democracy reforms and public and private coalitions to achieve fiscally responsible policy targets, economic development, quality education and renewable energy goals.  He is currently the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor and visiting lecturer in public and international affairs at Princeton University and a Board Member of the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund

Mr. Bhatia grew up in Puerto Rico with his mother -a Puerto Rican political science professor- and his father – an Indian economist and partition war survivor- who instilled in him core values of honest public service, opportunity for all, diversity, and civil rights.


As a public servant, Bhatia served as President of the Senate of Puerto Rico (2013-2017). In this capacity, he worked directly with former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Moody's Investors Service, S&P, and Fitch Group, bondholders, and labor groups to design solutions in anticipation of a $72 billion default, the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. He reformed and secured an open market for the island's energy sector to end the fully oil-dependent, inefficient state-owned monopoly of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, and co-authored sweeping bipartisan legislation mandating an orderly transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.  He is also a leader in the efforts to reform the broken public education system of Puerto Rico. Previously as the Director of Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (2005-08), he was primarily responsible for articulating the local government’s policy positions to the US Congress, The White House, federal agencies, state offices and national organizations.


  • Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
  • High Meadows Environmental Institute
  • Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment