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The Austin Electricity Conference

February 29 – March 1, 2024 | AT&T Hotel & Conference Center

Deploying Resources in the Energy Transition


The 2024 Austin Electricity Conference (AEC) will address deploying resources to complement grid-based wind and solar generation amid the clean energy transition. It will explore overcoming technical, political, and legal obstacles hindering the realization of customer and investor demand for utility scale green energy projects. The conference will also examine how recent policy changes and navigating COVID- and geopolitics-driven disruptions impact the electricity sector’s development.

Conference attendee listens attentively
  • About the Conference

    AEC is an invitation-only conference uniting academics and energy professionals to discuss current electricity industry matters. The format encourages open dialogue through concise panel presentations, ample plenary discussions, and adherence to Chatham House Rules.


  • David Adelman

    UT School of Law
  • Ross Baldick

    Emeritus Professor UT Cockrell School of Engineering and Consultant
  • Varun Rai

    UT LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • David Spence

    UT School of Law

Conference Agenda

To view the official conference agenda and participant biographies, please CLICK HERE.

Day One: Thursday, February 29

8:30 AM - Breakfast Begins


9:20 AM – 9:30 AM - Opening Remarks

Featuring David Spence (The University of Texas at Austin School of Law).


9:30 AM – 12:00 PM - Panel 1: Clean, Firm, Grid-Based Generation & Reliability

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is predicted to unleash investment in a variety of energy transition technologies, including clean firm technologies like nuclear, geothermal, hydrogen, and carbon capture and sequestration. This panel will address the nature of the support role played by clean firm technologies and how their growth will influence management of the electric grid.

Featuring William Boyd (UCLA School of Law), Sanya Carley (University of Pennsylvania), Dalia Patino-Echeverri (Duke University), and Kyle Gabb (Fervo). Moderated by Dr. Melissa Lott (Columbia Climate School).


12:00 PM – 12:15 PM - Break


12:15 PM – 1:15 PM - Lunch With Keynote

Featuring Michael Skelly (Grid United).


1:15 PM – 1:30 PM - Break


1:30 PM – 4:00 PM - Panel 2: Domestic Content & Clean Energy Prices

Recent federal legislation is set to potentially transform the energy sector. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) authorizes substantial funds to support electricity grid investment as well as a broader set of investments in resilience, energy efficiency and renewables. The tax subsidies contained in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are larger for energy transition projects that satisfy certain domestic content, prevailing wage, and energy/environmental justice criteria. This panel will explore the effects of these policies on electricity markets. How will post-pandemic labor and materials markets respond to these incentives? Will replacing imports with subsidized American energy products make for more or less expensive energy? How do investors view these questions?

Featuring Frank Wolak (Stanford University), Emily Grubert (University of Notre Dame), Colin Meehan (DOE Grid Deployment Office), and Andrew Bowman (Jupiter Power). Moderated by Andrew Waxman (The University of Texas at Austin).


4:15 PM – 6:30 PM - Networking Reception

Located in the Amphitheatre Patio.

Day Two: Friday, March 1

8:00 AM - Breakfast Begins


9:00 AM – 11:30 AM - Panel 3: The Siting Challenge

The success of the energy transition envisioned by the drafters of the IRA depends in part upon reducing barriers to market entry: for transmission, for new domestic manufacturing plants, and for new mines (for copper and crucial minerals). This panel will explore the legal and political barriers to entry that could introduce friction into the transition, and how they might be overcome.

Featuring Stephanie Lenhart (Boise State University), David Spence (University of Texas School of Law), Melinda Taylor (University of Texas School of Law), and Romany Webb (Columbia University). Moderated by Elizabeth Wilson (Dartmouth College).


11:30 AM – 11:45 AM - Break


11:45 AM – 12:45 PM - Lunch With Keynote

Featuring Brett Perlman (Center for Houston's Future, Inc).


12:45 PM – 1:00 PM - Break


1:00 PM – 3:30 PM - Panel 4: Do Demand Side Solutions Ease These Challenges?

We do not know what the cost of a net zero electricity will be, but that cost will almost certainly be reduced by making use of distributed energy resources (DERs) like demand response and behind the meter generation. This panel will explore the nature of the role those resources can play in a net zero future, and the institutional rules that can facilitate that role. 

Featuring Kevin Brehm (Rocky Mountain Institute), Ahmad Faruqui (Economist), Karl Rábago (Rábago Energy, LLC), Jason Ryan (CenterPoint Energy). Moderated by Sharon Jacobs (The University of California, Berkeley).


3:30 PM - Wrap Up/Closing Remarks


Featuring David Adelman (University of Texas School of Law).

Speakers & Moderators

  • Andrew Bowman

    Panelist | Jupiter Power
  • William Boyd

    Panelist | UCLA School of Law
  • Kevin Brehm

    Panelist | Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Sanya Carley

    Panelist | University of Pennsylvania
  • Ahmad Faruqui

    Panelist | Economist
  • Kyle Gabb

    Panelist | Fervo
  • Dr. Emily Grubert

    Panelist | University of Notre Dame
  • Sharon Jacobs

    Moderator | The University of California, Berkeley
  • Stephanie Lenhart

    Panelist | Boise State University
  • Dr. Melissa Lott

    Moderator | Columbia Climate School
  • Colin Meehan

    Panelist | DOE Grid Deployment Office
  • Dalia Patino-Echeverri

    Panelist | Duke University
  • Brett Perlman

    Keynote Speaker | Center for Houston's Future, Inc
  • Karl Rábago

    Panelist | Rábago Energy
  • Jason Ryan

    Panelist | CenterPoint Energy
  • Michael Skelly

    Keynote Speaker | Grid United
  • David Spence

    Panelist | UT School of Law
  • Melinda Taylor

    Panelist | UT School of Law
  • Andrew Waxman

    Moderator | UT Austin
  • Romany Webb

    Panelist | Columbia University
  • Elizabeth Wilson

    Moderator | Dartmouth College
  • Frank Wolak

    Panelist | Stanford University

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The 2024 Austin Electricity Conference is powered by:


Calpine | CenterPoint Energy | Oncor

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