One afternoon while at work at the Bolivian Authority of Electricity, a request arrives: The Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy has called for proposal to re-assess special electricity tariffs for the mining sector in Bolivia. Like many other evenings I am faced with challenges that make me part of strategic policy changes which affect my country. Working in the energy sector has been an exciting and rewarding opportunity to work on problems of great relevance while advancing in my career. Looking forward, my goal is to keep participating in the development of my country and became a renowned analyst in energy policies; hence it is time for me to move forward in my professional formation by studying an MS in Mineral and Energy Economics at Colorado School of Mines, which will provide me the knowledge I seek.
Currently, I work as an economist at the Authority of Electricity (AE) in the Prices and Rates Division: a position that was granted to me after showing high performance as an intern. The AE is the institution responsible for supervising, monitoring, regulating and especially directing the electric industry in the entirety of my country, Bolivia. As a result, not only did I gain detailed knowledge on the functioning of the energy sector, but I could also engage in specialized analysis of industrial sector -mainly conformed by mining enterprises- using simulations of adequate electric power supply. One of the most important tasks that I am performing with my colleagues is the revision of the maximum electricity retail rates of Potosi. As Potosi is the principal mining state of Bolivia, I am constantly exposed to a detailed analysis of the mining industry in order to determine appropriate retail costs, specific electricity tariffs for each type of demand, and realistic investment projections for the region.
At my current position, many of the tools which I use are the consequence of my first exposure to the Bolivian electric sector during my undergraduate thesis in Economics. The topic of my thesis was the implementation of contracts to incentivize hydropower and alternative energy generation, as opposed to the current practice of subsidizing natural gas. During the preparation of my thesis, I utilized specialized software and I applied economic theory to a specific problem in Bolivia. With this investigation I obtained the highest grade granted for a thesis defense, subsequently graduating with honors. With this background, I made my first contact with the Authority of Electricity, where I am now directing my research skills to the area I chose as a student.
Looking further back, I can see that I always showed high affinity for courses involving research, application of economic theory and data analysis. Welfare Theory, Operations Research, Planning and Economic Development, Econometrics and Economic Policy, were courses in which I stood out with high grades. Additionally, I was able to further consolidate my knowledge and expertise when...