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    Austin Electricity Conference

    April 21-22, 2016

Austin Electricity Conference

The Austin Electricity Conference is an annual invitation-only conference designed to encourage in-depth discussion of issues related to the electricity industry. The conference promotes the exchange of ideas among experts, across disciplinary, geographic, professional and ideological boundaries, rather than narrowly focused discussions between like-minded people of similar backgrounds. The conference follows the Aspen Institute model, featuring short panel presentations, leaving more time for moderated plenary discussion and the exchange of ideas.

This conference takes place over the better part of two days each spring in Austin, Texas, and brings together a distinguished group of academics from a variety of disciplinary fields and practitioners from both industry and government. New topics and themes of the conference will be introduced each year. 

The 2016 Austin Electricity Conference will be on April 21-22, 2016 at the AT&T Center. The Conference theme is "Distributed Energy Resources and the Grid of the Future."

2015 Austin Electricity Conference

Theme: The Nexus of Markets and the Environment
Thursday & Friday April 9-10, 2015

Keynotes Speakers

  • John Hewa, CEO, Pedernales Electric Cooperative
  • Christoph Weber, Chair for Management Sciences & Energy Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen 

Panels

Panel 1 Discussion: The Benefits and Costs of Pushing Renewables
Moderator: Varun Rai, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Inês Azevedo, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Lincoln Davies, University of Utah
  • Gautam Gowrisankaran, University of Arizona 
  • Felix Mormann, University Miami
  • Elizabeth Wilson, University of Minnesota
Panel 2 Discussion: Integrating Distributed Energy Resources
Moderator: Ross Baldick, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Chad Blevins, The Butler Firm, PLLC
  • Ashley Brown, Harvard University
  • Daniel Kirschen, University of Washington
  • James Tong, Clean Power Finance
  • Daniel Violette, Navigant Consulting
Panel 3 Discussion: EPA Rules and Electric Supply/Reliability
Moderator: Melinda Taylor, The University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • James Bushnell, University of California, Davis
  • Colin Meehan, Comverge, Inc.
  • Barry Smitherman, The Railroad Commission of Texas
  • Brian Tulloh, Energy Future Holdings
  • Michael Wara, Stanford University
Panel 4 Discussion: Privatization: Building a Market in Mexico
Moderator: Erika Benson, Benson International Group, LLC
Panelists:
  • Francisco Acuña, InTrust Global Investments, LLC
  • Esaúl Ramirez, North American Development Bank
  • Efrain Villanueva, Secretaría de Energía
  • Benigno Villarreal, Vive Energía

University Supporters

  • Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Energy Institute
  • McCombs School of Business
  • The University of Texas School of Law

 

Non-University Supporters 

  • Oncor

2014 Austin Electricity Conference

Theme: Innovation & New Models for the Delivery of Electric Service
Thursday & Friday April 3-4, 2014

Keynotes Speakers

  • Doyle N. Beneby, President & CEO, CPS Energy
  • Robert P. Powers, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, American Electric Power

Panels

Panel 1 Discussion: Decentralized Delivery Models for Electricity 
Moderator: Varun Rai, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Paul Wattles, ERCOT
  • Steven Weissman, University of California, Berkeley
  • Frank Wolak, Standford University 
  • Maura Yatesm SunEdison 
Panel 2 Discussion: New Finance and Ownership Structures for Renewables and Distributed Generation
Moderator: Rob Jones, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Richard Carrell, Prudential Capital Group
  • Kristan Hanelt, Clean Power Finance
  • Felix Mormann, University of Miami
  • Trey Price, MP2 Energy
Panel 3 Discussion: Opportunities and Challenges at the Gas-Electricity Nexus
Moderator: Ross Baldick, The University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Mark Babula, ISONE
  • Alexandra Klass, University of Minnesota
  • Brett Perlman, Vector Advisors
  • Sandy Rizzo, Bracewell & Giuliani
Panel 4 Discussion: Barriers to Innovation
Moderator: David Adelman, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Chuck Harder, CenterPoint Energy
  • Joel Mickey, ERCOT
  • Amy Stein, Tulane University
  • Michael Wara, Stanford University 

University Supporters

  • Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Energy Institute
  • McCombs School of Business
  • The University of Texas School of Law

2013 Austin Electricity Conference

Theme: Resource Adequacy in Competitive Electricity Markets
Thursday & Friday April 18-19, 2013

Keynote Speakers

  • Roger Duncan, Research Associate, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Jim Greer, SVP and COO, Oncor

Panels

Panel 1 Discussion: Are Capacity Markets Necessary to Ensure Adequate Generating Reserves
Moderator: Ross Baldick, The University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • William Hogan, Harvard
  • Dan Jones, Potomac Economics
  • Michael Robinson, MISO
  • Paul Sotkiewicz, PJM Interconnection
Panel 2 Discussion: Demand Response in Capacity and Electricity Markets: What Role Should It Play
Moderator: Varun Rai, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Joel Eisen, University of Richmond
  • Jerry Jackson, Smart Grid Research Consortium
  • Colin Meehan, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Siddharth Suryanarayanan, Colorado State University
Panel 3: New Transmission: Can Cost Allocation and Federalism Barriers Be Overcome
Moderator: Elizabeth Wilson, University of Minnesota
Panelists:
  • Allison Clements, NRDC
  • Mike Gregerson, MISO
  • Alexandra Klass, University of Minnesota
  • Warren Lasher, ERCOT
Panel 4: A Broader Perspective: The Relationships between Markets and Regulation
Moderator: Tom Edgar, University of Texas at Austin
Panelists:
  • Mark Dreyfus, Austin Energy
  • Brewster McCracken, Pecan Street
  • Philippe Mugnier, EDF
  • Jess Totten, Stratus Energy Group

University Supporters

  • Center for European Studies
  • Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Energy Institute
  • Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • McCombs School of Business
  • The University of Texas School of Law

Non-University Supporters 

  • French Embassy
  • European Union

2012 Austin Electricity Conference

Theme: Innovation & New Models for the Delivery of Electric Service
Thursday & Friday April 4-5, 2012

Keynotes Speakers

  • Al Armendariz, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6
  • Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Panels

Panel 1 Discussion: Renewable Portfolio Standards as Policy Instruments for Combating Climate Change 
Moderator: Professor David Spence, UT
Panelists:
  • Christopher Dann
  • Lincoln Davies
  • Guy Holburn
  • Jim Rossi
Panel 2 Discussion: The Challenges of Integrating Renewable Power into the Electric Grid
Moderator: Prof. David Spence, UT
Panelists:
  • Parviz Adib
  • Rao Konidena
  • David Maggio
  • Colin Meehan
  • John Moore
  • Mark Rothleder 
Panel 3 Discussion: Policy Instruments for Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Moderator: Prof. Varun Rai, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT
Panelists:
  • Denny Ellerman
  • Daniel Farber
  • Dan Lashof
  • Brewster McCracken
  •  Elizabeth Wilson
Panel 4 Discussion: Traditional Fuels in Climate Constrained World
Moderator: David Adelman, UT School of Law
Panelists:
  • Gary Gibbs
  • Monty Humble
  • Alexandra Klass
  • Caleb Stephenson
  • Erin Mansur

University Supporters

  • Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Energy Institute
  • McCombs School of Business
  • The LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • The University of Texas School of Law
Non-University Supporters
  • Clean Texas Foundation
  • Pecan Street Project



2011 Austin Electricity Conference

Thursday and Friday, April 7-8, 2011

Keynote Speakers

  • Trip Doggett, President and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas
  • Barry Smitherman, Chair, Texas Public Utility Commission

Panels

Panel 1 Discussion: Smart Grid Dynamics: Business Models & Consumer Acceptance 
Moderator: David Spence, University of Texas, Mccombs School of Business
Panelists:
  • Elke Weber
  • Brewster McCracken
  • Ahmad Faruqui
  • Stephen Holland
  • Lynne Kiesling
  • Amanda Carrico
Panel 2 Discussion: Regulatory and Ratemaking Treatment of the Smart grid 
Moderator: Jim Rossi, Florida State University College of Law
Panelists:
  • Suedeen Kelly
  • Frank Wolak
  • Branko Terzic
  •  Bill Hogan
  • Jess Totten
    Panel 3 Discussion: Smart-Grid Standard Setting and Interoperability
    Moderator: Ross Baldick, University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering 
    Panelists:
    • Bert Haskell
    • Parviz Adib
    • Andres Carvallo
    • Bill Muston
    • Mark Rose
    • Rik Drummond

University Supporters

  • Cockrell School of Engineering 
  • Energy Institute
  • McCombs School of Business
  • The University of Texas School of Law