Teri Viswanath

Lead Economist, Power, Energy and Water

Lead Economist of Power, Energy and Water - CoBank Knowledge Exchange division

Teri Viswanath is lead economist for power, energy and water in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division. She focuses on the energy industry, including the electric distribution, generation and transmission sectors, as well as the rural water industry. She develops market intelligence, strategic guidance and policy assessments on these key industries to inform CoBank and customer leadership decisions.

Before joining CoBank, Ms. Viswanath was director of corporate strategy for First Solar, where she led the market and competitive intelligence research for the organization including initiating long-term scenario planning to identify evolving market risks in order to manage future uncertainties. She previously held energy economist positions with S&P Global, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank and began her work in energy with Dynegy, as a power plant asset manager. In all, Ms. Viswanath has more than 20 years of expertise in energy economics, in addition to her early career experience in finance and law.

Ms. Viswanath earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Central Michigan University and a juris doctorate from Fordham University, and also studied at the University of Texas School of Law.

Recent Reports

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Power Plays is a CoBank Knowledge Exchange monthly audio program. We connect with top energy and environmental innovators who share their, insights, experience and observations of the market.

Power Plays

All Reports

As Inflation and Geopolitical Concerns Fade, Domestic Issues Come to the Fore

July 2024

The U.S. economy continues to perform reasonably well by most metrics, but the red-hot labor market of the last two years is finally cooling off.

Utilities Embrace Copiloting with Artificial Intelligence, Parachute-Free

Utilities Embrace Copiloting with Artificial Intelligence, Parachute-Free

April 2024

Generative artificial intelligence is having a “throw everything at the wall” moment, with the market’s current enthusiasm similar to the halcyon days of the dotcom era.

Sticky Inflation Puts Fed on the Horns of a Dilemma

Sticky Inflation Puts Fed on the Horns of a Dilemma

April 2024

As we pointed out in our Year Ahead report in December, expectations that the Fed would cut rates six or seven times were completely irrational.

Low Carbon Fuel

Net Zero Transportation, Charting a Course for Low Carbon Fuels

March 2024

From farm to fuel, decarbonization demands requires radical partnerships.

Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships

What Successful GRIP Funding Applications Have in Common

January 2024

To address the need for increased grid flexibility and resilience, the U.S. Department of Energy selected 58 projects across 44 states last October to receive $3.9 Billion through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2024

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2024

December 2023

Despite multiple systemic shocks in recent years – COVID-19, trade conflict with China, the Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation and interest rates – our economy has performed strongly.

Carbon Capture

Get Ready for Carbon Capture’s Second Act

October 2023

The largest climate policy contribution of the Inflation Reduction Act will likely be the market incentives tied to carbon capture for high-emitting industries. While competition, replacement and regulation will continue to decarbonize other segments of the economy, the hardest-to-abate industries would see little progress without the significant government support that this legislation provides.

“Higher for Longer” a Drag on Rural Economy

October 2023

The Fed’s relentless 20-month attack on inflation has pushed long-term interest rates to their highest levels in years.


The Slowdown-Resistant Economy

July 2023

Despite predictions for a slowdown, the U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. Jobs are plentiful, asset values are near all-time highs, and consumers are spending


Gasoline Demand Has Peaked, and That’s a Problem for Diesel Production

May 2023

AAA projects a whopping 37.1 million road-tripping Americans will journey 50 miles or more from their homes this Memorial Day weekend, the third most since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday travel. However, despite upbeat signs like this, the nation’s peak gasoline demand is squarely in the rear-view mirror.

Natural Gas

Is This the Beginning of the End for Cheap Shale Gas?

April 2023

Commodity traders often say that the cure for high prices is high prices. In other words, during periods of supply shortages or tight balances, sellers will increase their supply and buyers will cut back or adopt substitutes.

U.S. economy

Adapting to a Slowing Economy

April 2023

Effects from higher interest rates are permeating rural industries

power lines

The Fix for the Electric Grid’s Mid-life Crisis Might be in the Garage

February 2023

Considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, the U.S. electric grid is now experiencing something of a mid-life crisis in the early innings of the 21st century.

General Field

Inflation is Beginning to Loosen its Grip

January 2023

The war in Ukraine and inflation will remain the two biggest factors for commodity
markets in the first half of 2023. 

2023 Year Ahead

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2023

December 2022

The Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation, and an energy crisis joined the COVID-19 pandemic this year as major events defining the operating environment for U.S. companies. We can expect to feel the aftershocks in 2023. 

Rural America

The Quarterly: Inflation Abundance, Commodity Shortage

October 2022

Despite ongoing impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lingering supply chain
effects from the pandemic, the U.S. economy remains incredibly resilient.


Fluctuating Electricity Supply and Demand Requires Distribution Co-ops be Steady but Agile

August 2022

The electricity sector no longer lives on a one-way street: U.S. consumers are fundamentally reshaping the electric power industry by demanding clean energy and widely adopting grid-edge technologies.


CoBank Quarterly: Clouds are Forming

July 2022

Fears of higher rates and weakening economic conditions
linger over the year’s second half.

Power Grid

Webinar on Demand: The Future of the Power Grid Is Here

June 2022

Increased customer needs and operating risks are pushing aging electric transmission and distribution systems past their limits, often with painful results for communities. In fact, the average American home endured more than eight hours without power in 2021, more than double the outage time five years ago.

Electric vehicle charging

Garage of the Future: Supporting America’s New Re-Fueling Station

March 2022

The shift toward electric transportation will take more than just a dealership sale. Our research and discussions with electric cooperatives last year revealed a need for cooperation amongst co-ops and, more broadly, collaboration along the entire supply chain.

Energy Transition

From Underdogs to Leaders: Co-ops in Energy Transition

January 2022

With the recent passage of the U.S. landmark $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure spending package to shore up the country’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and transmission grid, now is an opportune time to reflect on the state of our rural electric infrastructure.

CoBank Quarterly General Field

The Quarterly: Omicron Upends Supply Chain Recovery

January 2022

Against all hope for a better start to 2022, omicron has crashed the New Year’s party. Renewed supply chain disruptions are being felt throughout the economy, causing empty shelves again and threatening to fan the flames of inflation.

2022 Year Ahead

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2022

December 2021

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still in control of the economy.

Rural America

The Quarterly: Adapting to Persistent Supply Disruptions

October 2021

Businesses of all sizes and across most industries are wrestling with perhaps the worst supply chain bottlenecks to date

The Quarterly: A Long Tail—Pandemic After-Effects are Just Beginning

The Quarterly: A Long Tail—Pandemic After-Effects are Just Beginning

July 2021

The long-awaited period of pent-up, exuberant demand is here. And for all the benefits to businesses and consumers, bumps are unavoidable – labor shortages, price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about what a new steady-state economy will look like. They loom large, even as we celebrate a return to normalcy.

Electric Vehicles

Co-op EVolution — A New Era of Mobile Energy, Off-Grid Access to Electricity

June 2021

Given promising signs of a return to normal for the country and the prospect of even more motorists hitting the road this year, it felt like the right time to celebrate a new CoBank initiative dedicated to electric vehicles. 

Electric Vehicle

Co-op EVolution — Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide on EV Adoption

June 2021

Given new commitments by car manufacturers, expanded policy incentives, and ambitious build-out of charging infrastructure, electric vehicles could make up 10% of all new car sales by 2025 – a five-fold increase from current levels.

(Re)Considering (De)Regulation and Resiliency

May 2021

A different market design probably would not have averted the crisis in Texas.  But there is a clear need to protect consumers from these price spikes. 

Achieving Biden’s Climate Moonshot Requires Heavy Lifting by Electric Power Industry

May 2021

President Biden's new greenhouse gas emissions target for the U.S. could be viewed as the current generation’s moonshot opportunity for addressing climate change.

Rural America

The Quarterly: We’re Not Going Back to Pre-COVID Conditions

April 2021

Anticipation of a return to normal is in the air. But for the economy and rural industries, there will be no going back to pre-COVID conditions.

Power Distribution

The Power Sector’s Tough Lessons Learned This Winter

April 2021

The February 2021 winter storm and widespread power outages have raised new concerns about the future of grid resilience.

battery storage - energy

Highlights from PowerXchange: Impact of the Pandemic on Electric Industry Transitions

March 2021

One of the more thought provoking sessions I attended at this year’s NRECA PowerXchange conference focused on how the events of 2020 will likely accelerate transformation for the U.S. electricity industry. 

New Year Optimism Confronts the Pandemic

The Quarterly: New Year Optimism Confronts the Pandemic

January 2021

2021 has quickly altered the political and market landscape. And optimism, particularly about the second half of the year, is rising. But to get there, all of us must muddle through for a few months more.

Year Ahead 2021

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2021

December 2020

The speed of the economic recovery will largely hinge on the availability, dissemination and reach of COVID-19 vaccines, pushing the expected burst of pent-up consumer demand into the latter half of 2021, according to a comprehensive year-ahead outlook report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division.

Power generation

Fuel-switched — Persistent Low Natural Gas Prices Shut the Door on Coal Recovery for 2021 and Beyond

December 2020

With fuel competition unlikely to abate, there is little opportunity for a revival in the U.S. coal patch.

Power plant

Addition by Subtraction: Recent Trends Reinforce Longer-Term Shift to Clean Energy

October 2020

Many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the U.S. power industry have been extreme – from demand destruction to more intense supply-side competition.


The Quarterly: The Fragile Recovery is About to be Tested

October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now impacted all four quarters of 2020, and seemingly every aspect of life and business. 

Line workers

The Dangers of Kicking the Can Down an Endless Road

September 2020

The accumulated effects of deferred maintenance may pose a future reliability risk should staffing shortages persist.

No More Carefree Summer Days for Generators — Electricity Demand Weakness to Resurface With Mild Fall Weather

September 2020

Summer-time air conditioning demand masked underlying electricity demand weakness associated with COVID-19. As temperatures begin to moderate, loads will once again soften.

Power Sector Demand Destruction Forces Hard Choices

July 2020

While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the power sector remain unclear, belt tightening is a must and the industry has an opportunity now to adapt.


The Quarterly: Rural Industries Adapt to Coronavirus Reality

July 2020

Over the past four months, every rural industry has grappled with how to adjust its business to remain relevant and sustainable in the pandemic. Agricultural supply chains have been massively disrupted and lost revenue. Water and power suppliers have adapted as commercial and industrial customers went dark and demand shifted to residential customers. And the communications industry is seizing a moment when home broadband access has become vividly essential, to help expand access to everyone, everywhere.