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David Frankel

Advises electric power and industrial companies on strategy and operations, with a focus on new downstream business models and technologies

David helps electric power and industrial companies in North America to transform their operations, focusing on the development of sustainable commercial approaches. Against a backdrop of market evolution, he guides executives on staying ahead of trends in renewable energy and new grid technologies.

David also advises private equity investors as they evaluate possible acquisitions, conducting due diligence assessments of promising businesses (including solar equipment and installation companies) across the sector.

Examples of his recent work include the following:

  • leading a major US utility’s integrated corporate strategy efforts, helping to optimize load, rate base, rates, and stranded costs by examining technology disruptions in front of and behind the meter
  • directing the corporate restructuring of a distressed independent power producer, including identifying opportunities in wind, gas, energy trading, and coal
  • helping a large solar developer to shorten its execution cycles significantly across utility-scale, commercial, and residential projects
  • developing a solar product’s go-to-market strategy, which included forecasting its profitability, finding cost reductions, and conducting primary research to measure customer interest
  • helping a leading aerospace company to develop a microgrid offering for the US Department of Defense, including assessing product profitability and designing contracting structures as part of the go-to-market strategy

In addition to his advisory work, David supports McKinsey’s efforts to track the pace of industry change and offer informed, fresh perspectives. He developed PowerIQ, McKinsey’s proprietary tool kit—which forecasts North American power supply, demand, and pricing—and frequently leads knowledge-development efforts in clean technologies. Most recently, David contributed to McKinsey’s perspectives on the solar-power market.

Before joining McKinsey, David worked as an equity analyst for a financial asset-management company.

Published work

Build together: Rethinking solar project delivery,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

How to decarbonize global power systems,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Rethinking the renewable strategy for an age of global competition,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

Exploring an alternative pathway for Vietnam’s energy future,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

The new rules of competition in energy storage,” McKinsey & Company, June 2018

How utilities can keep the lights on,” McKinsey & Company, May 2018

Battery storage: The next disruptive technology in the power sector,” McKinsey & Company, June 2017

Here comes the sun: How solar can become a serious infrastructure play,” Global Infrastructure Initiative, March 2017

How solar energy can (finally) create value,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016

The disruptive potential of solar power,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2014

Using a consumer-segmentation approach to make energy-efficiency gains in the residential market,” (PDF–1.25 MB), McKinsey & Company, November 2013

Sizing the potential of behavioral energy-efficiency initiatives in the US residential market,” (PDF–6.09 MB), McKinsey & Company, November 2013

Giving US energy efficiency a jolt,” McKinsey & Company, December 2013

Past experience

Bel Air Investment Advisors
Equity analyst

Capital Guardian Trust Company
Results associate


University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
MBA, finance

Pomona College
BA, sociology