Fritz Gautschi Led ABB Electrical Power Operations around the World
Fritz Gautschi has 35 years of global experience in the electrical energy industry, including serving in executive roles for the multinational power and automation technologies corporation ABB. For three years, he oversaw $3 billion in annual sales as CEO of ABB’s Swiss energy production company. Fritz Gautschi later directed the global combined cycle power plant and gas turbine business. Upon joining ABB USA, he earned appointment as executive vice president of power generation. Mr. Gautschi spent the final years of his tenure with ABB as president and CEO of a joint venture with French energy systems and equipment developer Alstom. Under his leadership, the Windsor, Connecticut-based electrical energy enterprise produced annual revenues of $3.5 billion.
Since retiring, Fritz Gautschi has studied the physics and mathematics concepts underlying advances in electrical power plant design. He advocates for nuclear power as a viable alternative energy source and authored the 2011 book A Post Fukushima World: America’s New Energy Landscape.
Having completed the Harvard Business School International Senior Management Program, Fritz Gautschi maintains membership in the Harvard Business School Club of New Hampshire. He previously served on the Board of Directors for supply chain management company Enporion and as an energy industry advisor for institutional investor consultancy Gerson Lehrman Group.
Fritz Gautschi Explores Approaching Energy Crisis in 2011 Book
International business operations and management professional Fritz Gautschi previously led ABB ALSTOM in Windsor, Connecticut, as president and CEO. Following his retirement in 2002, Fritz Gautschi began pursuing an interest in electrical power plants and studying new advancements on nuclear power. His rising interest in alternative energy sources and their relationship with the economy and environment prompted him to write a book on the subject entitled A Post Fukushima World: America's New Energy Landscape.
Published in 2011 by Five Hat Books, A Post Fukushima World explores the idea behind the world’s approaching energy crisis and its effect on the United States in light of the country’s reliance on imported energy. The book provides a detailed analysis of risks associated with this dependency and its negative impact on the nation’s economic, political, and environmental stability. Additionally, it details potential solutions that focus on shifting the nation’s focus to energy alternatives that reduce damage to the environment and the economy.
Operation PAVE Helps Veterans Find Employment
An international business operations and energy professional, Fritz Gautschi served as the president and CEO of ABB ALSTOM in Windsor, Connecticut, before his retirement in 2002. After his retirement, Fritz Gautschi became actively involved in several nonprofit organizations, including Paralyzed Veterans of America. The organization offers employment assistance to veterans through its vocational rehabilitation program Operation Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE).
Operation PAVE helps veterans and their families find work through one-on-one career counseling from offices in every Veteran Affairs spinal cord injury center across the nation. Program services focus on easing the transition to civilian employment and include aid with interview preparation, resume building, employer networking, and vocational advisement. Additionally, Operation PAVE staff offer resources to help veterans return to school or pursue a new career.
Counselors and program staff possess master’s-level certifications in rehabilitation and work with employers to screen candidates and make federal and state workplace accommodation resources accessible to veterans. To support veterans as they continue their career growth, PAVE personnel also establish vocational partnerships with the individuals they help.
The World’s Biggest Nuclear Power Producers
A longtime electrical energy professional, Fritz Gautschi most recently served as president and chief executive officer of the ABB and ALSTOM joint venture in Windsor, Connecticut. Now retired, Fritz Gautschi maintains a professional interest in the worldwide growth of the nuclear power sector.
With nearly 400 reactors across the globe, nuclear power is one of the most efficient and least expensive forms of energy production. Over the last several decades, several nations have emerged as leaders in the nuclear energy industry. Here are a few of the countries that produce the most power today.
1. United States. The United States not only creates the most nuclear power out of any other nation but also boasts the most reactors. The country’s nuclear sector saw a large boom in the 1970s and currently features more than 100 reactors that generate over 770,000 gigawatt-hours of energy. In the coming years, the United States plans to build five new power plants.
2. France. Home to 58 nuclear reactors, France produces the second most nuclear energy of any country. The country produces more than 400,000 gigawatt-hours of energy, supplying nearly 75 percent of the country’s electricity as well as a number of neighboring nations. France is also home to Gravelines Nuclear Power Station, which is the fifth-largest plant in the world.
3. Russia. After holding the number five spot for decades, Russia recently became the third biggest producer of nuclear energy. Today, more than 30 reactors create 166,000 gigawatt-hours of power. By 2020, Russia aims to double its nuclear power production and plans to build 28 new reactors within the next 30 years.
Using Nuclear Power to Replace Fossil Fuel Dependence
Fritz Gautschi most recently served as chief executive officer and president of the partnership between electric energy producers ABB and ALSTOM. A former engineer with the nuclear power division on Westinghouse, Fritz Gautschi is a proponent of using nuclear energy as an alternative to current power sources.
Nuclear power remains one of the most powerful and least expensive choices when compared to other means of power generation. Historically, nations have preferred to use fossil fuels to run their cities, but many governments have recently shifted their focus to nuclear power. In fact, this alternative form of energy currently fuels about 12 percent of the world’s electrical grid, particularly in the European Union, where nuclear plants provide more than half of carbon-free power.
Climate researchers such as Ryan Wiser of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory claim that countries can curb the effects of fossil fuel emissions by completely eliminating them from energy production and replacing them with other methods such as nuclear power. According to a 2011 study, nuclear offers a safer means of energy generation than sources such as coal. When coupled with renewable forms of electricity, this power source could potentially reshape the worldwide energy sector.
Global Interest in Nuclear Power Is on the Rise
A longtime energy industry executive, Fritz Gautschi most recently served as president and CEO of a U.S.-based joint venture between power generation companies ABB and ALSTOM. Since his retirement in 2002, Fritz Gautschi has spent much of his time studying new advancements in nuclear power. In 2011, he published a book exploring the new energy landscape following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
According to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, the interest in nuclear power is increasing around the world. This increased interest is most significant in Asia, where growing concerns about climate change have created demand for cleaner sources of energy to fuel economies throughout the region.
Amano spoke at a news conference in Manila on Monday, December 7, 2015, and discussed improvements in nuclear power safety since the Fukushima disaster, an event some believed would put an end to the industry. Despite the disaster, however, at least 30 developing countries are now looking into using nuclear power, which is currently produced at 440 plants worldwide.
Research Shows Spinal Cord Injuries May Be Reversible
Now retired from ABB/ALSTOM, a company working mainly in the energy industry, Fritz Gautschi is a strong supporter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. With supporters like Fritz Gautschi, the organization is able to help seriously wounded veterans in a number of ways, often for no cost to the veterans.
As an advocate for soldiers, Paralyzed Veterans of America fights for better VA health care and benefits, helps veterans with finding appropriate employment, encourages adaptive sports programs, and fights for barrier-free business and home initiatives across America.
Another major cause the organization supports is spinal cord injury research. Up until the past couple of decades, it was widely thought that spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis were irreversible. However, research in this area of medicine is on the cusp on new breakthroughs. Medical scientists are reporting initial laboratory results showing there may be a way to reconnect nerves that have been severed or damaged to jumpstart neurological functions, thus reversing paralysis. Paralyzed Veterans of America’s support for this research not only benefits the thousands of wounded veterans, but it also directly impacts the thousands of other people who live with spinal cord illness or injury.
Miss Universe Supports Cleft Charity Smile Train
Harvard-trained Fritz Gautschi is a business executive with over 30 years of experience in managing international business operations. Now in retirement, Fritz Gautschi supports international cleft charity Smile Train.
The Smile Train organization provides free cleft surgery to children in more than 80 countries, including India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Recently, the Miss Universe Organization formed a partnership with Smile Train in an effort to increase awareness on the problems experienced by children living with clefts, especially children in developing countries where access to surgical treatment may not be available.
As a result of the newly forged partnership, reigning Miss Universe titleholder Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines will have the opportunity to help in awareness efforts and consequently positively impact the recipients of the charity's initiatives. Ms. Wurtzbach has already started performing her responsibilities via a meeting with the charity's country director in the Philippines together with several local partners.
A Snapshot of the Harvard Club of New Hampshire
After earning a master of science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Fritz Gautschi worked as a nuclear engineer at Westinghouse Nuclear, overseeing the construction of three nuclear plants in Sweden and two in Spain. Fritz Gautschi continued his education by completing the International Senior Management Program at the Harvard Business School and served as a member of the Board of the Harvard Club of Connecticut.
Today he is a member of the Harvard Club of New Hampshire, a Club which has been around for over 50 years with the goals of providing social and networking opportunities and recruiting members across all generations of the university. The club is working to create more programs and educational events with speakers from the local community. For the latest news about Harvard alumni and events, follow @HarvardAlumni on Twitter.
Generating Nuclear Power
A nuclear energy professional, Fritz Gautschi is the author of A Post Fukushima World: America’s New Energy Landscape. Now retired, Fritz Gautschi is the former executive vice president of ABB USA for Power Generation.
Nuclear plants produce electricity typically by boiling water to make steam that turns turbines. Unlike coal and oil power generators, nuclear plants do not use combustion to boil water. Because of that, they do not emit environmental pollutants like carbon dioxide. Nuclear power plants use uranium to produce heat energy through a continuous process known as fission.
Small hard pellets of uranium are packed into long tubes before being bundled into a reactor to form the core of the plant. In the reactor, unstable uranium nuclei fission or split, releasing neutrons, in the process producing energy. The process is continuous, with the split neutrons colliding with other uranium pellets to form more neutrons. The continuous breakdown of the pellets is what is referred to as a chain reaction. Inside the reactors, the fission process is regulated by moderators such as graphite or water. This also controls the amount of energy produced.
The United States has 99 power generating nuclear reactors, producing 20% of its electricity.
Studying Benefits of Nuclear Power as an Energy Source
Possessing 35 years of experience in international business operations and management, Fritz Gautschi began his career at Westinghouse Nuclear Power Division, where he served as a nuclear engineer. Since retiring in 2002, Fritz Gautschi has dedicated much of his time time to learning about and advocating for the use of nuclear power in the face of climate change.
The use of nuclear power is one that is debated, as effects of radiation can be devastating on the human population. However, in a time period where greenhouse gas emissions remain a large concern, nuclear power may have multiple benefits.
Unlike coal or fossil fuels, nuclear energy does not release gases such as methane or carbon dioxide, which are some of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases.
There are several other arguments in support of nuclear power as a “greener” energy source. Uranium, the key component to nuclear energy, is more conductive than coal, meaning much less of it is required to produce the same amount of energy. Additionally, raw materials such as natural gas, coal, and oil remain in limited supply and will eventually be depleted by continual use, whereas nuclear energy’s large reserves ( including Thorium and the uranium breeding option ) may have more staying power.
Fritz Gautschi Addresses Energy Crisis Concerns
Fritz Gautschi has spent the majority of his professional career working in business operations in locations including Brazil, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, in addition to the United States. This experience afforded him the opportunity to oversee a joint venture between ABB and ALSTOM in the United States. As president and CEO of this venture, Fritz Gautschi focused on business functions of these energy equipment design and manufacturing entities, which amassed in the US alone more than $3 billion in sales.
Following his retirement, Mr. Gautschi used his broad knowledge and more recent research in order to author a book titled A Post Fukushima World: America’s New Energy Landscape. The book addresses energy supply, one of the most prevalent and debated topics in contemporary society. The United States has long been dependent on imported oil and other natural resources, and supplies are dwindling. The text describes ways in which this supply crisis will affect the United States environmentally, economically, and politically, including how the country’s current supply poses risks to overall stability.
While the current situation is seemingly grim, the author also dedicates a section of the book to proposed solutions to the energy supply crisis. These solutions are described in great detail, and outline how a self-sustaining energy source may be achieved in ways that preserve the United States’ economy and environment.
Large Bankruptcies in US Oil and Gas Sector in 2016
During his 35-year career in management and international business operations in the energy sector, Fritz Gautschi still found the time to study in the International Senior Management Program at the Harvard Business School in Vevey, Switzerland. President and CEO of ABB/ALSTOM JV between 1999 and 2001, Fritz Gautschi is considered an expert on the North American energy sector.
One of the most exciting developments of recent times has been the meteoric rise and subsequent crash of the so called “fracking industry” in the United States. While oil prices had risen back above $50 per barrel by the end of the fourth quarter, 2015-2016 saw large scale bankruptcies throughout much of the US oil and gas industry.
One-hundred and fourteen companies have declared bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015, and these companies possessed $74.2 billion in both secured and unsecured debt. Seventy-four of these bankruptcies encompassing $56.8 billion of debt took place in 2016. Of these 74 bankruptcies, 51 were filed in Texas for a total of $32.5 billion.
Toshiba’s Troubled Acquisition of Westinghouse
President and CEO of ABB/ALSTOM JV between 1999 and 2001, Fritz Gautschi’s career in the international business operations of the global energy sector has lasted 35 years. Fritz Gautschi’s first job was as a nuclear engineer at Westinghouse Nuclear Power Division.
Toshiba’s purchase of Westinghouse Electric for $5.4 billion in 2007, which was considered a great leap forward for the nuclear power industry, is now considered a financial mistake, and it may lead to possible complications with any projects using the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor.
Toshiba decided it overpaid for the American-based nuclear reactor business, and it had to reduce the nominal value of the division by 50% in 2014. Westinghouse had purchased a construction subcontractor called CB&I Stone & Webster Inc. to facilitate the resolution of legal disputes regarding construction delays and exorbitant costs, but this purchase has not benefited Toshiba’s ambitions either.
The losses associated with the Westinghouse deal has put Toshiba in a difficult financial position, and it is unclear whether they will have the cash to complete the four reactors ordered in China and four more in the United States.
The Economic and Human Consequences of Energy Supply Disruption
Fritz Gautschi has more than three decades of experience in international business management. He has guided multibillion-dollar operations in the areas of electrical energy generation, distribution, and transmission. In 2011, Fritz Gautschi drew from this experience in authoring A Post Fukushima World: America’s New Energy Landscape.
The book explores an emerging energy supply crisis and ways in which a “self-sustaining energy profile” that minimizes impact on the U.S. economy and environment can be developed. In his introduction, Mr. Gautschi recounts a formative experience in 1987, when he engaged with an international electrical power equipment company in Brazil.
Unexpectedly invited to consult with the Argentinian Minister of Energy, he was confronted with a dire situation in which Buenos Aires received required electricity for only two hours each day. This was caused by a combination of low water reservoir levels and unscheduled fossil fuel and nuclear plant shutdowns, due to urgent maintenance needs.
The result was that Buenos Aires became an “inferno,” with no air conditioning and perishables going bad in the dead of summer. In addition to the suffering of the city’s residents, a breakdown in law and order occurred and $1 billion in GDP was lost. Through this experience, Mr. Gautschi became acutely aware of the maxim: “the most expensive energy is that which, when badly needed, is not available.”