UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
Cleantech sector adds $2.5 billion to Central Texas economy
Central Texas’ cleantech industry contributes roughly $2.5 billion to the regional GDP and employs nearly 20,000 people, according to a new report issued by CleanTX and the Austin Technology Incubator, part of UT Austin’s IC2 Institute. The Economic Impact Report also projects 11.24% growth in cleantech jobs by 2020, compared to 9.3% statewide and 6.37% nationally. For more, read the press release and the full report, and articles in the Austin American-Statesman, Bloomberg News, and the Austin Business Journal.
Business professors develop tool for modeling future oil prices
Two professors in the McCombs School of Business have developed a new tool that projects long-term price trends by analyzing fluctuations in oil prices over extended periods. The tool, created by Professors James Dyer and Joe Hahn, uses two models to synthesize the value of assets in financial markets with the fundamentals of oil supply and demand. Their study, originally published in Energy Economics, analyzes 23 years of oil prices to model what lies ahead. For more, read an article in Texas Enterprise.
Shale gas revolution has had little effect on U.S. diplomatic relations, LBJ students conclude
Plunging oil prices brought on by a surge in domestic oil and gas production have nominally affected diplomatic relations with international producers, a team of graduate students at UT Austin’s Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law noted recently at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. Led by Professor Eugene Gholz, 16 Master’s degree candidates from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs participated in the year-long course, which examined implications of unconventional oil and gas production technologies for U.S. partners in Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. Read more about the study and an article in Oil & Gas Journal.
UT Austin students, German counterparts continue work on solar-powered home for 2015 Solar Decathlon competition
A teams of students from UT Austin and the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany is pushing hard to design and construct a winning entry in the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition. The Nexushaus team, one of 20 selected out of more than 150 initial applicants, will ship the modular, solar-powered home to California in October, where the team’s entry will be judged on a range of attributes, from architecture and engineering, to affordability, marketability, and performance of home appliances. Read more.
Partisan rhetoric over Keystone XL out of step with public attitudes, newest UT Energy Poll suggest
The bickering and backbiting on Capitol Hill and in the media over the Keystone XL pipeline is out of step with public attitudes about the project, write Sheril Kirshenbaum and Michael Webber in a new blog posting that cites findings from the latest UT Energy Poll. The biannual online survey illuminates how the rhetoric from both sides of the issue does not reflect the views of American consumers on what has evolved into a largely symbolic and highly partisan issue. Rather than present the pipeline proposal in black and white terms, the authors suggest, we should recognize how it represents a combination of trade-offs pitting perceived economic and security benefits against environmental concerns. Read more.
Carey King blog: ‘win-win’ solutions improbable in ongoing surface water disputes
The legendary battle over surface water rights in Texas will not necessarily produce a mythical “win-win” outcome in the Brazos River basin, writes Energy Institute Assistant Director Carey King in his recent contribution to the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation’s blogging initiative, “Achieving a Sustainable Texas.” Dr. King’s piece provides context for the larger, ongoing dispute over surface water rights in Texas by focusing on the Brazos River basin and the many players involved, including the Texas Farm Bureau, electric utilities, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Read more.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The amazing network of organizations and businesses collaboratively working together is helping raise our profile as a nationally distinctive cleantech hub.”
Mitch Jacobson, co-director of UT Austin’s Austin Technology Incubator and chair of CleanTX, on a new report showing Central Texas’ cleantech industry contributes $2.5 billion to the regional GDP.
Argentinian delegation explores sustainable energy development during UT Austin visit
A delegation of high-ranking public officials and oil and gas executives from Argentina visited UT Austin on June 3 to share experiences on how to safely and sustainably develop Argentina’s energy resources and discuss student exchanges and collaborative research in the fields of energy, environment and sustainability. The Jackson School of Geosciences and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business hosted the event, with participation by experts from the university’s Energy Institute and McCombs School of Business. Read more.