Energy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute The University of Texas at Austin
Wednesday April 16 , 2014
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UT Energy Symposium - International Energy Issues

Course Description

Instructor: Varun Rai
Unique Number: 63720
Day & Time: Th 5:15 - 6:15 pm
Room: Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302

In an effort to provide a multi-disciplinary platform for UT faculty and students to interact on the most pressing energy issues facing our world, the Energy Institute sponsors the UT Energy Symposium (UTES), which enters its sixth semester in Spring 2014. The UTES serves as a “convener” for the campus community, uniting students interested in energy issues with faculty and others working on sustainable energy security.

Students who register for the symposium receive one credit hour for the 15-week seminar course, which is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Ongoing themes for UTES include climate change policy, innovation and diffusion of energy technologies, low-carbon technology options and status, and behavioral aspects of energy consumption.

The symposium will be held in the Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302) from 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the ACES Connector Lobby at 4:45 p.m., followed by a 45-minute presentation and a 15-minute Q&A session.

Each session of the UTES will be video recorded and posted on the Energy Institute’s website – see links below.

Schedule of Speakers - Spring 2014

Click here for a directory of this semester's videos.

January 23 J. Calvin Crowder, President of Electric Transmission Texas, gives a talk on modernizing the electric grid titled Transforming America’s Grid through Technology, Competition & Green Power .

January 30 Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter for the Wall Street Journal, gives a talk titled, A Ringside Seat: What I learned from 10 years reporting on, and living through, the fracking revolution.

February 6 Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner William C. Ostendorff speaks on A Status Report on the U.S. Nuclear Energy Program.

February 13 David Spence, Associate Professor in the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin, gives a talk on the regulation of shale gas titled, Emerging Legal and Political Issues in Shale Gas Production.

February 20 UT Energy Forum

February 27 Craig Boice, President of the Boice Dunham Group, will speak on Human Nature in the Grid.

March 6 Carrie Armel, Research Associate at Stanford University, gives a talk on energy consumption behavior titled, Stanford’s ARPA-E Sensors and Energy Behavior Initiative.

March 20 William Hogan, the Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard University, will speak on electricity markets.

March 27 James Wasley, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will give a talk titled, Carbon Neutral Design: An Architectural Primer.

April 3 UT Energy Symposium Open House and talk by Andrea Ricaurte, Executive Director of CleanTX, on the clean tech/energy culture in Austin and how students can participate in it.

April 10 No meeting due to presidential address at the Civil Rights Summit.

April 17 Inês Azevedo, Assistant Professor and Co-director of Climate and Energy Decision Making at Carnegie Mellon University, speaks on Trade-offs in Climate Mitigation Strategies: Assessing the Regional Variations in the Health, Environmental, and Climate Benefits of Wind and Solar Generation Across the United States.

April 24 Student Research Showcase

April 28 Arnulf Grubler of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and of Yale University will speak on energy and urbanization. NOTE: This talk is on a MONDAY from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.

Schedule of Speakers - Fall 2013

Click here for a directory of this semester's videos. The video for the December 3rd talk is here.

September 5 Jeffrey Alexander, Associate Director for Research & Analytics at SRI International, gives a talk on advanced data analytics titled Framing Energy Innovation Policy: Why We Fail to Learn from Experience.

September 12 This semester's Student Research Showcase presents a variety of graduate student work in energy research:

  • Craig Andrew Milroy, PhD student in Chemical Engineering, "Lithium-sulfur batteries"
  • Daniel Urieli, PhD student in Computer Science, "A Learning Agent for Heat-Pump Thermostat Control"
  • Krystian Perez, PhD student in Chemical Engineering, "Smart Use of Smart Meters: Disaggregation of A/C Loads from Residential Homes"

September 19 Greg Nemet, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, speaks on Modelling energy technology policy alternatives using expert elicitations.

September 26 Helen Currie, Senior Economist at ConocoPhillips, speaks on The New Paradigm of Energy Production: Opportunities, Challenges and Implications for Global Markets.

October 3 Robert LukeFahr, CEO at Nat-G, will give a talk on natural gas transportation titled Transforming America's Transportation System With Natural Gas.

October 10 UT Energy Symposium Open House

October 17 David Arfin, Special Advisor at the Department of Energy, gives a talk on financial innovations in renewables: Game-changer: How Business Model Innovation Transformed the US Residential Solar Market.

October 24 Andrew Maxson, Program Manager at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), speaks on clean coal technologies and The Future of Coal.

October 31 Jim Malewitz, Energy Reporter at The Texas Tribune, speaks on Telling the U.S. Energy Story.

November 7 Duncan Callaway, Assistant Professor at the University of California Berkeley, gives a talk on power systems and energy efficiency titled Leveraging large data sets: demand side models and control in low carbon power systems.

November 14 Paulina Jaramillo, Assistant Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, speaks on Valuation of plug-in vehicle life-cycle air emissions and oil displacement benefits.

November 21 Sheila Olmstead, Associate Professor at UT Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs, speaks on The impacts of shale gas development on surface water quality.

December 3 Tariq Samad, Corporate Fellow at Honeywell Automation and Control Systems, speaks on Control for smart grids: applications and opportunities. NOTE: This week the UTES will meet at a different location, day and time: CPE 2.218 on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Schedule of Speakers - Spring 2013

Click Here for a list of archived videos and presentation slides from each week’s lecture. The list is updated after each talk.

January 17 Alternatives for Mitigating the Natural Resources Curse
Scott Gaille, Adjunct Professor of Management at Rice University and Chief Compliance Officer for ZaZa Energy Corporation

January 24 UTES Energy Open House

January 31 Energy Conservation Behavior and the Behavioral Wedge
Thomas Dietz, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy, Michigan State University

February 7 Emerging Supply-and Demand-Side Technologies are Pressuring Regulators to Change Course – But Do They Have the Political Will?

Sherman Elliott, Consultant and Former Commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission (Jan '08 - Mar '12)

February 14 Recent Developments in Unconventional Gas Law and Regulation
John Hays, Adjunct Professor of Energy Law at the UT School of Law and Partner at Hays & Owens LLP

February 21 The Policy Gridlock on Global Warming: Why have twenty years of international talks failed to control emissions and how can policy makers do better?
David Victor, Professor, University of California, San Diego

February 28 All You Ever Wanted to Know About Smart Grids
John McDonald, Director, Technical Strategy & Policy Development, GE Energy Management - Digital Energy

March 7 International Low-Carbon Technology Transfers: Do Intellectual Property Regimes Matter?
Varun Rai, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs and Mechanical Engineering, UT Austin

March 21 Student Research Showcase

March 28 Investing in Energy Innovation
Bob Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise, Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

April 4 Integrating Renewables and Efficiency in the Energy Mix at Chevron
Jim Davis, President, Chevron Energy Solutions

April 11 Unlocking Energy Innovation
Richard Lester, Japan Steel Industry Professor and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT

April 18 Energy Open House and Networking
Please join other students and faculty for networking and to find out what's latest in energy research and teaching on campus. Pizza will be served!

April 25 United States Renewable Electricity Futures: Are High Penetrations Possible?
Ryan Wiser, Staff Scientist and Deputy Group Leader in the Electricity Markets and Policy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

April 30 “Energy with the CEO” series lecture on “Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship”
Randy Foutch, Chairman and CEO, Laredo Petroleum

NOTE: This week, the Energy Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 30, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Bass Lecture Hall.

Schedule of Speakers - Fall 2012

Click Here for a list of archived videos and presentation slides from each week’s lecture.

August 30: Sustainable Architecture: Form, Function, and Energy,
Matt Fajkus, Assistant Professor, University of Texas School of Architecture, Principal Architect of Matt Fajkus Architecture, LLC.

September 6: Student Research Showcase

  1. Ashlynn Stillwell (Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering), "Energy-Water Nexus: Water Impacts on Thermoelectric Power Generation"
  2. Yezhou Wang (Electrical Engineering), "Power Grid Safety and Security: How to Keep Your Lights On"
  3. Scott Robinson (Energy and Earth Resources and LBJ School of Public Affairs), "Behavioral Pathways in the Diffusion of Residential Solar PV"
  4. Steve Bryant (Petroleum Engineering), “Refracturing: Getting More out of Unconventional Resources”

September 13: Regulating a Hot, Dry, and Peaky Electricity System: The Inside View,
Rolando Pablos, Commissioner, Public Utilities Commission of Texas.

September 20: UT Energy Symposium Open House. Please join us for pizza and a casual conversation about how to improve energy education and research on campus.

September 27: Powering San Antonio into the New Energy Economy,
Mr. Doyle N. Beneby, CEO, CPS Energy.

October 3: The Global Diffusion of Cleaner Energy Technologies,
Kelly Sims Gallagher, Associate professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Tufts University.
NOTE: for this week only, the Energy Symposium will be held on Wednesday, October 3, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Bass Lecture Hall. The Energy Symposium will return to its regularly scheduled location and Thursday evening timeslot the following week.

October 11: Electric Vehicles and the EVGo Program,
Arun Banskota, President of Electric Vehicle Services, NRG Energy.

October 18: Gas Power Nexus: A Closer Look at the Gas Value-Chain in Power Production, Eric Bradley,
Vice President for Strategy at IPR-GDF Suez North America.

October 25: CCS Speaker Panel featuring Senior Research Scientist Dr. Susan Hovorka (UT), Professor of Chemical Engineering Gary Rochelle (UT), and Douglas Heguy, Commercial Leader of Gasification at GE.

November 1: Climate Change Speaker Panel featuring Professor J. Eric Bickel, University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering and Lee Lane, Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute.

November 8: A Journalist's Perspective on Covering Energy,
Kate Galbraith, energy and environment reporter for the Texas Tribune.

November 15: Building (and Maintaining) Competitive Advantage in Clean Manufacturing,
Alan Goodrich, Senior Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

November 29: Dale Klein, Associate Director of the Energy Institute, Associate Vice President for research at UT Austin and former chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Talk title: "The Road Forward for Nuclear in the U.S. and Internationally."

December 6: UTES students present "Energy Vignettes", a video-clip series on cutting-edge energy issues.

Schedule of Speakers - Spring 2012

January 19: Utility of the Future
Roger Duncan, Research Analyst, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. Click Here for presentation (9.6MB PDF) and also See Video.

January 26: Assessing the Perceived and Real Environmental Consequences of Shale Gas Development
Charles Groat, Professor of Geosciences, Director of Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, UT Austin.

February 8: Geopolitical Implications of Shale Gas
Amy Jaffe, Fellow in Energy Studies and Director of the Energy Forum, Baker Institute, Rice University. Click Here for presentation (6.6MB) and also See Video.

February 16: Student Research Showcase (See Video), featuring the following speakers:

  1. Sudamsh Bai-Reddy, McCombs School of Business, Project Valuation in the Oil & Gas Industry. Click Here for presentation (0.5MB).
  2. Benjamin Sigrin, Energy and Earth Resources and LBJ School of Public Affairs, Going Solar: Economics of Decision-making. Click Here for presentation (0.2MB).
  3. Dave Tuttle, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Comparative Performance of Electric Vehicles. Click Here for presentation (1.5MB).
  4. Dan Weisberg, Pecan Street Inc., Granularity Maters--Insights from Pecan Street Inc.'s Demonstration Projects. Click Here for presentation (1.2MB).

February 23: From Here to Eternity (and Beyond): Transforming to a Clean Energy Economy
David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy. See Video.

March 1: What the Characteristics of Wind and Solar Electric Power Production Mean for Their Future
Jay Apt, Professor of Technology, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. Click Here for presentation (7.6MB) and also See Video.

March 8: National Oil Companies: Fueling Anxiety
Mark Thurber, Associate Director for Research, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford. Click Here for presentation (1.6MB) and also See Video.

March 22: The Energy Industry's Media Triumphs and Disasters
Mark Fischetti, Energy and Environment Editor, Scientific American. Click Here for presentation (3.2MB) and also See Video.

March 29: Simulating Complex Systems: Applications to Energy
Dr. Charles Macal, Senior Systems Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory. Click Here for presentation (6.9MB) and also See Video.

April 5: California's March Towards Sustainable Energy: Assessing the Record and Lessons for Future
Andrew McAllister, Managing Director, California Center for Sustainable Energy. Click Here for presentation (4MB) and also See Video.

April 12: Taking Green Technologies from Innovation to the Market: A VC’s Perspective
Ashmeet Sidana, General Partner, Foundation Capital. See Video.

April 26: The Future of Water in Texas, and What It Means for Energy
Thomas Mason, Former General Manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and currently with the law firm Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody. See Video.

May 3: Americans’ Vehicle and Travel Choices: Opportunities for Plug- In Vehicles in the Nation’s Fleet Evolution
Dr. Kara Kockelman, Professor & William J. Murray Jr. Fellow, Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin. Click Here for presentation (2.1MB) and also See Video.

Schedule of Speakers - Fall 2011

September 1: Historical Energy Overview & Why There is No Consensus for the Future
Dr. Carey King, Research Fellow, CIEEP, UT Austin. Click Here for presentation (3.3MB PDF).

September 8: Regulatory Mechanisms to Foster Investments in Energy Efficiency
Jay Zarnikau, Adjunct Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs and President, Frontier Associates. Click Here for presentation (1.9MB PDF).

September 15: Smart Grids and the Pecan Street Project
Brewster McCracken, Executive Director, Pecan Street Project. Click Here for presentation and also See Video (MPEG movie).

September 22: New Developments in Solar Photovoltaic Technologies and Markets
Dr. Ryne Rafaelle, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology. Click Here for presentation (10MB PDF) and also See Video (MPEG movie).

September 29: The Future of Natural Gas in the US
Marianne Kah, Chief Economist, ConocoPhillips. Click Here for presentation (2.5MB PDF) and also See Video (MPEG movie).

October 6: The Eagle Ford Shale: Opportunity and Responsibility
David J. Porter, Texas Railroad Commissioner.

October 13: Impact of Wind Generation Development on Thermal Generation Investments
C.K. Woo, Senior Partner, Energy+Environmental Economics. Click Here for presentation and also See Video (MPEG movie).

October 20: International Mechanisms for Climate Change Finance
Gevorg Sargsyan, Program Coordinator, Climate Investment Funds, World Bank. Click Here for presentation and also See Video (MPEG movie).

October 27: Solving the Climate Problem at Scale: An Environmentalist’s Perspective
Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force. Click Here for presentation and also See Video (MPEG movie).

November 3: International Coal Markets: Coal, Climate, and China
Richard Morse, Director, Coal and CCS research, Program on Energy, Stanford University. Click Here for presentation and also See Video (MPEG movie).

November 10: Regulating Power Plant Emissions in Texas: The Role of EPA
Jim Marston, Director of the Texas Regional Office and Director of the Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund.

November 17: Our Sustainable Earth
Dr. Raymond L Orbach, Director, Energy Institute, UT Austin. See Video (MPEG movie).