Soh Young In is a second-year PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on catalyzing private capital into clean energy innovation. Current research subjects include (1) investigating market returns of clean energy investment; (2) analyzing information sharing and network patterns among investors and entrepreneurs in clean energy; and (3) creating an innovative investment vehicle for clean energy startups. Prior to her PhD career, Soh Young worked at Korea Development Bank for 7 years. She completed her MA in International Policy Studies at Stanford and BA in Economics and Statistics at Columbia University.
Her interdisciplinary research has drawn great attention from and been funded by multiple leading institutions around the world. In 2016, Soh Young won a research prize on low-carbon investing from the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative. In 2017, her new academic project on a novel clean energy investment vehicle design received funding from Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, Bank of America, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Government of Canada.
The distinctive value of her academic research is that it positively impacts policymakers as well as private and institutional investors. Using her experience as a former development banker, she is uniquely qualified to help policymakers mobilize private capital into clean energy innovation.
Soh Young is also actively promoting energy and climate change issues and perspectives to various communities. She is an editor of the Stanford Energy Journal, and organizing committee of Engineering Project Organization Society. She is a Clean Energy Education and Empowerment 2017 competition finalist, which is led by and Department of Energy (DOE), MIT Energy Initiative, Stanford Precourt Institute of Energy.
Honors & Awards
Fellowship, Behavior, Energy & Climate Change, Stanford Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) (2017)
Seed Grants, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy (2017-2019)
Research Grants, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) (2017-2018)
Research Grants on “Clean Energy Finance”, Bank of America and Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy (2017)
Research Award on “Aligning Investment Portfolios with a Low Carbon Economy”, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Financial Initiative (2016)
Professional Affiliations and Activities
Editor of Stanford Energy Journal, Stanford Energy Club (2017 - Present)
Organizing Committee, Engineering Project Organization Society (EPOS) Early Career Forum (2016 - Present)
Education & Certifications
PhD (in progress), Stanford University, Civil and Environmental Engineering
M.A., Stanford University, International Policy Studies (Academic Concentration: Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources) (2015)
B.A., Columbia University, Economics (major), Statistics (minor) (2008)
Service, Volunteer and Community Work
Founding Member, Community of Practice in Export Credit Agencies
Volunteered Instructor in Economics, Junior Achievement Korea
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research encompasses engineering, economics and public policy. It focuses on clean energy finance and entrepreneurship. My current research projects (1) investigate clean investment performance in the capital market; (2) analyze networks between investors and entrepreneurs; and (3) aim to create an innovative investment vehicle for clean technology startups. My ultimate aim is to catalyze private capital in clean energy so that the world can transition more rapidly to a low-carbon economy.
My latest research on “Is “Being Green” Rewarded in the Market?: An Empirical Investigation of Decarbonization and Stock Returns” won a research award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Financial Initiative, Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Research Initiative and Trucost (S&P Dow Jones Indices). My co-authors and I provide viable information for investors, who increasingly prioritize climate finance and look for investment opportunities that offer high returns with high environmental impact. We analyze 74,486 observations of U.S. firms’ public stocks from 2005 to 2015 using portfolio analysis and asset pricing models, and empirically examine the relationship among firm-level carbon intensity, stock returns, and firm characteristics. We find that such investment opportunities do exist and are even common, indicating that investing in carbon-efficient firms can be profitable even without government incentives.
My current research projects, jointly under the theme of “An Integrated Control Tower: Unlocking Long-Term Investment Capital for Clean Energy Innovation,” won research grants for next 2 years from Bank of America, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Government of Canada. In the first paper, I define all relevant actors (investors, entrepreneurs, and various institutions) in clean energy and evaluate their network patterns using network analysis and organizational design. Based on this paper, I propose a follow-up study that develops a blueprint of a new investment intermediary that could achieve high investment returns through a multi-strategy vehicle that better aligns risks with investors. The objective of these combined projects is to mobilize large-scale sustainable capital investments for the clean energy industry.
Project Manager, Global Finance Department, Korea Development Bank (KDB) (1/2009 - 8/2015)
Graduate Researcher, Global Project Center, Stanford University (5/2014 - Present)
Stanford, CA, USA
Voluntary Consultant, UNDP team on Post-2015, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) (6/2013 - 9/2013)
New York, USA
Research Assistant, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, The Earth Institute (9/2007 - 8/2008)
Palisade, NY, USA
- A Decision Framework for Successful Private Participation in the Airport Sector Journal of Air Transport Management 2017; 62: 217-225
- Is 'Being Green' Rewarded in the Market? An Empirical Investigation of Decarbonization Risk and Stock Returns Global Project Center at Stanford University. 2017 ; Working Paper
- Applying Relational Governance to Private Investment in Public Infrastructure Global Project Center at Stanford University. 2017 ; Working Paper
- Is 'Being Green' Rewarded in the Market? An Empirical Investigation of Decarbonization Risk and Stock Returns Energy Forum 2017: 46-48
- Application of Relational Governance in Infrastructure Privatization The Engineering Project Organization Conference (EPOC) held in conjunction with the 5th International Megaprojects Workshop: Theory meets Practice 2017
- Decision Framework for Private Participation in Airport Development: The Case of Incheon International Airport in South Korea Engineering Project Organization Conference (EPOC) 2016
- Global Urbanization Trend and Challenges Facing Mature Mid-Size Cities: The Case of Busan, South Korea Global Project Center at Stanford University. Stanford, USA. 2015 ; Working Paper
- Models for Engaging Public-Private Partnerships – A Case of Having Your Cake and Eating It Too? Engineering Project Organization Conference (EPOC) 2015
- Do Export Credit Agencies Benefit the Economy Stanford International Policy Review 2014