Watch “Made in Austin” – a brief video about UT’s solar projects built in partnership with Austin-based manufacturers.
Energy Management Briefs
- Best Available and Safest Technologies for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations: Options for Implementation by Marine Board - (10/28/13)
EMIC Co-Director, Dr. Jim Dyer, served on a committee to evaluate options for implementing the requirement of best available and safest technologies for offshore oil and gas operations. The report, commissioned by the director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement via the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, addresses options for improving the implementation of the Best Available and Safest Technologies mandate for offshore drilling and production operations.
Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by C2ES and UT Researchers - (06/04/13)
Report resulting from collaborative research effort between the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and researchers from UT and EMIC. The report examines ways that increasingly abundant natural gas supplies can help reduce emissions in the power, transportation, manufacturing and buildings sectors.
28 Page Report Summary (.PDF download)
Full Report (.PDF download)
- CFO Forum by Sheridan Titman – (11/8/12)
The Energy Management and Innovation Center (EMIC) hosted a CFO Forum on November 8, 2012, moderated by Dr. Sheridan Titman, EMIC’s Executive Director. The four CFOs discussed various issues, including stock prices, hedging, pension plans, China and US shale gas. An abridged transcript of the discussion is presented below.
CFO Forum (.PDF download)
- Alternative Investments Conference by Kathy Warbelow - (9/28/12)
Some of the best minds in the alternative investing world provided their insights in the daylong event at the AT&T Conference center, hosted by McCombs with Apollo Global Management as primary sponsor. The conference covered the alternative investing landscape, starting with a crash course in global macroeconomics.
Alternative Investments Conference (.PDF download)
- Before You Blame EPA for Texas Electricity Supply Problems Consider This... by David Spence - (05/30/12)
While some Lonestar State policymakers are quick to point the finger at the EPA's new power plant emission rules as the reason behind the shortages, Professor David Spence finds that Texas's electricity supply woes have much more to do with the state's own need to incentivize gas-fired power plants than any sinister EPA regulatory specter.
Before You Blame EPA for Texas Electricity Supply Problems, Consider This... (.PDF download)
- Financing Nuclear Power Plants: Risks and Rewards by Kathy Warbelow - (05/02/12)
At this May 2 McCombs panel discussion, participants said decade-low prices and a nationwide glut of natural gas had dramatically altered the balance of power -- literally – between nuclear and natural gas. While the session topic was nuclear plant financing, the discussion spread to broader issues, including the future of coal-fired generation in Texas and how to assure that the state has a diverse power generation portfolio.
Financing Nuclear Power Plants: Risks and Rewards (.PDF download)
- Is It Time for Federal Regulation of Shale Gas Production? by David Spence - (04/19/12)
Dr. Spence finds that there is no need for new, comprehensive federal regulation that addresses the risks of shale gas production; find out why by reading this Energy Brief.
Is It Time for Federal Regulation of Shale Gas Production? (.PDF download)
- Comments on Austin Energy's Rate Review by Stathis Tompaidis - (02/29/12)
Dr. Tompaidis' research finds the rules Austin Energy operates under are forcing it to operate inefficiently and why he came to support deregulating the retail electricity market in Austin.
Comments on Austin Energy's Rate Review (.PDF download)
- Interview with Roger Ihne and Sampat Prakash by Sheridan Titman and John C. Butler - (11/21/11)
Sampat and Roger discuss the dynamics of oil and gas prices and its implications on the U.S. economy. They also explain measurements being taken to export resources from Canada and other countries to China and Japan and how it affects the prices worldwide. They discuss how other industries such as the chemical industry have been transformed by lower natural gas prices. The petrochemical industry has hugely benefited and the refining industry directly profits from lower gas prices.
Interview with Roger Ihne and Sampat Prakash (.PDF download)
- The Politics of National Energy Policy Reform by David Spence - (12/17/10)
Professor Spence discusses prospects of energy reform in the United States. The last wave of energy reform was in the 1970s caused by a widespread perception that the U.S. was running out of natural gas. Environmentalism was at its peak and the result was a large portfolio of legislation to drastically reduce the United States’ dependence on oil and to steer the economy toward cleaner, more efficient energy alternatives and it stimulated a great degree of change. Now, in the early 21st
century, increased dissatisfaction with the status quo has provoked renewed calls for another wave in energy policy reform. Dr. Spence discusses the prospects of energy reform and concludes that organized interests have even more at stake now than they did in the 1970s, and the central issues in the energy policy debate are, technically and politically, more complex now than then. It was easier for voters in 1972 to see how the Clean Water Act would clean up their rivers and lakes than it is for today’s voters to see how the ACES bill will improve their lives. Whereas now, the effects will not be as visible to average citizens, and thus it is a much bigger challenge to bring about a change in energy policy.
The Politics of National Energy Policy Reform (.PDF download)
- Fracking Regulations: Is Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Around the Corner? by David Spence - (09/22/10)
Professor Spence discusses hydraulic fracking and the concerns that have been expressed in the Unites States regarding it. He explains how demand for shale gas has increased and that to get at shale gas, oil and gas companies use a process called fracking. Fracking involves drilling a wellbore down into the shale formation, casing the well, and injecting fluids at high pressure into the bore. The fracking fluids contain small quantities of toxic chemicals, and the mixture is chemically designed to fracture and prop open the shale, freeing the gas trapped in the shale, so that it can be produced by the well. The prospects of increasing shale gas production using this method has faced much controversy as residents of communities think that it will contaminate their drinking water supply and many protests have been held in opposition of this process. Dr. Spence further explains how the process of fracking is exempt from many governmental regulations which increases concerns for the safety of our citizens and provides an outlook for shale gas production in the future.
Fracking Regulations: Is Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Around the Corner? (.PDF download)
- Country Report: Venezuela and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. PDVSA by Carlos Molina - (03/23/10)
Associate Professor Carlos Molina discusses the history and finding of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA). After the increase of oil prices in the early 1970s, Venezuelan government nationalized the oil industry and PDVSA was officially born as a merger of foreign oil companies with operations in Venezuela. During the “Apertura Petrolera” (the oil opening), in hopes of expanding oil production, PDVSA auctioned the rights to 33 oil fields and entered in agreements with several of the world’s top oil companies. The plan was to make Venezuela one of the top oil producers in the world by 2010. However, with the election of Hugo Chaves in 1998, these plans were overturned and the expansion of Venezuelan oil production stopped. Today, PDVSA is again looking for investment to exploit one of the largest oil reserves in the world to benefit Venezuela but the question is that will Venezuela be able to develop its energy potential despite the risks present.
Country Report: Venezuela and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. PDVSA (.PDF download)
- The Sustainability Penalty: Why Sustainable Products are Sometimes Considered Inferior, and How Managers can Correct for this Problem by Michael Luchs, Rebecca Naylor, Julie Irwin and Rajagopal Raghunathan - (01/28/10)
Professor Julie Irwin and Raj Raghunathan discuss the sustainability penalty and why sustainable products are considered inferior in terms of strength when compared to their counterparts and what managers can do to counter this problem. Despite the modern trend of people wanting sustainable products, there is an unconscious assumption American consumer’s make that ethically superior products are inferior in strength but superior in gentleness. They did lab experiments to prove this data by comparing car shampoo and baby shampoo. They found that sustainability decreased preference for car shampoo but not baby shampoo as consumers seek strength in car shampoo and gentleness in baby shampoo. Some tips they give to managers to promote sustainable items is that they should explicitly advertise strength for their products to fight the consumer’s assumptions.
The Sustainability Penalty: Why Sustainable Products are Sometimes Considered Inferior, and How Managers can Correct for this Problem (.PDF download)
Partners in Energy Research and Education at The University of Texas at Austin
The Energy Institute was established to provide the state of Texas--and the nation--guidance for sustainable energy security through the pursuit of research and education programs - good policy based on good science.
The purpose of the Center for Energy Finance Education and Research is supporting curriculum development in corporate finance and financial risk management applied to energy and financial commodities, as well as to support faculty development and research in the Department of Finance.