Energy Update: Week of 2/20

Friends,

Hope you enjoyed an extra day in honor of our Presidents.  It offered us a chance to watch a little more of the Winter Olympics. While there has been lots of great action, tomorrow’s Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal game may be the most significant event of the entire two-plus weeks.  While men’s ice hockey has taken a ratings hit because the NHL players didn’t play (thanks Gary Bettman), the game between the US-Canada should be spectacular.  In a pre-medal round game, the teams played to a hard-fought, very physical 2-1 Canada victory.  The final will likely pick up where that game left off.  And this is not new: remember in Sochi in 2014, Canada scrapped back from a two–goal deficit to win the Gold in OT.  Stay up late and watch…I suspect it will be worth it.

Congress is out this week, but there are still a few important things going on…  The National League of Cities hosts an infrastructure briefing this afternoon, while an advanced nuclear summit starts in College Station, TX today and runs through Thursday.  As well, EPA holds the first of its additional Clean Power plan repeal hearing tomorrow in KC while the Interior Department’s public hearings continue Thursday in DC.  Finally on Thursday, the Washington auto press hosts Consumer Reports to roll out their Top Picks for 2018.  The Conservative PAC also holds its annual meeting this week at the Gaylord just outside DC and in addition to the usual suspects, heads of EPA Scott Pruitt, DOE’s Rick Perry and Interior Ryan Zinke will speak as well.

Some interesting stories over the weekend.  Our friend Steve Mufson of the WaPo had a great piece on the bankruptcy of the Charleston Gazette and its often contentious relationship with the state’s coal industry.  Our good friend and long-time CG reporter Ken Ward featured prominently.  Also on Sunday, USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold authored a piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the national security implications of a strong refining sector and how it is undercut by the complications surrounding excessive RIN costs pushing Philadelphia Energy Solutions into bankruptcy.

With Dave Banks departing, the Mexichem court case, previous State Dept comments and new legislation on HFC, there’s a lot of action surrounding HFC reductions and the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  We can help with these stories so let me know if you are interested.

Finally, the American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) has released a new paper just now that includes research from MIT and others on how to shape to shape infrastructure projects. And speaking of infrastructure, make your calendar for NEXT Thursday, March 1st when Bracewell hosts an infrastructure symposium featuring Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ’s Alex Hergott and a number of other experts.

BTW, Spring training is under way…  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

1 (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Enhancing U.S. technological leadership and supporting U.S. industry and the jobs it creates and sustains are key components of our support for the Kigali Amendment, and this bill will create a certain pathway for implementation of Kigali if, as we hope, it is submitted to and ratified by the Senate.”

Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute commenting on the new legislation introduced by Sen. Kennedy.

“America deserves world-class infrastructure, and to get there we need to change our thinking to include not just how best to fund it, but also how best to spend it. This report highlights the importance of life cycle cost analysis and competition in paving – something that over the years has faded from infrastructure policy discussions. If federal and state decision makers took this report as a playbook, America would see tremendous taxpayer cost savings and stronger infrastructure built to last long into the future.”

Portland Cement Association President and CEO Michael Ireland on the new ACCF Infrastructure report.

 

IN THE NEWS

ACCF Releases Paper on Shaping Infrastructure – The American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) has released a new paper that includes research from MIT and others on how to shape to shape infrastructure projects. ACCF’s Pınar Cebi Wilber researched how new infrastructure projects could be more efficient and effective.  This special report first looks at the reasons for infrastructure investment and then sets the stage for steps that are crucial for successful infrastructure projects. Particular attention is paid to ways to use existing funds more effectively and to increase participation by the private sector. The paper concludes with alternative methods for financing and funding the country’s much needed infrastructure. One of the key recommendations Is increase use of the life cycle project analysis/assessment, taking a long-run view while evaluating infrastructure projects could save significant sums of money both at the federal and local levels during the life of a project. See the Report

Senators Introduce New Legislation to Implement HFC Amendment – U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, bipartisan legislation that would support the worldwide transition towards next generation coolants pioneered by what were described as “innovative companies in Louisiana and other states.” At issue are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners. The HFC industry employs nearly 600,000 workers in the U.S. and generates annual sales of $206 billion. Because of changing global policy, countries are moving away from using HFCs. This legislation will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure a smooth phasedown of HFCs in the U.S., boosting the manufacturers producing next generation technologies. The bill would:

  • Clarify the authority of EPA in regulating HFC refrigerants and provide a market-friendly approach to rulemaking that will help facilitate a cost-effective transition to alternative refrigerants while maintaining or enhancing the performance of the equipment that uses the new refrigerants.
  • Enable the EPA to establish an HFC phase down mechanism using a cap-and-allocation system that encourages innovation and the commercialization of alternative refrigerants, preserving American technology leadership.
  • Provide the predictability needed for American private sector investment in HFC replacements.

AHRI Voices Support for Kennedy HFC Legislation – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute strongly supports the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2018. As the trade association representing both producers and users of refrigerants, AHRI has a keen interest in ensuring that the coming global phase down of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is accomplished in a smooth, orderly manner with as little impact on manufacturers and consumers as possible. AHRI said will help accomplish that goal by establishing a pathway for U.S. implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol that establishes a framework for the global phase down.

Factbook Highlights State of Energy Economy – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) released a comprehensive review of energy statistics in the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. The report says rapid deployment of energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy in 2017 generated economic benefits without requiring increases in energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. Looking over the year, the growth of sustainable energy industries contributed to greater economic competitiveness, job creation, and the expansion of the American economy. The 2018 Factbook is the sixth edition of an annual resource that outlines key energy trends contributing to American economic competitiveness.

Energy Sector is Transforming – The transformation of the energy sector escalated in 2017, as evidenced by continuing trends:

  • Natural gas remained the primary source of power generation in the U.S., and wind and solar build, combined with increased hydropower generation, drove renewable generation up from 15% to 18% of the total electricity mix in one year.
  • Energy productivity, which is the amount of GDP produced by a unit of energy, climbed 2.5% in 2017.
  • Costs remained low: consumers devoted only 1.3% of their spending towards electricity, smaller than at any time ever recorded. This offset a rise in the share of spending devoted to gasoline and motor fuels (up to 2.1% in 2017 from 1.9% in 2016), allowing the total percent of household expenses dedicated to energy costs to hover under 4%, near an all-time low.
  • Emissions from the electricity sector plummeted again, falling 4.2% year-on-year to the lowest level in more than 27 years.

Competitive Energy Sector – The U.S. remains globally competitive for energy-intensive industries, thanks to low industrial power prices, and U.S. players continue to invest in clean energy:

  • Historically, industrial power prices in the U.S. have been among the most affordable in the world (averaging 6.76¢/kWh in 2016). The U.S. had the second lowest prices of the G-7 countries in 2016; Canada was number one.
  • Corporations are playing a stronger role in the energy transformation, increasingly demanding cleaner energy and seeking to capture gains from energy efficiency. In 2017, corporations signed new deals for 2.9 GW worth of offsite renewable capacity.
  • Global clean energy investment rose to $333 billion, the second-highest amount on record. U.S. investments tracked 2016 levels, at $57 billion, but saw a shift in capital deployment towards wind and energy smart technologies.

New Energy Sector Developments – there were several new developments in the energy sector in 2017 that continue to change our energy dynamics.

  • The U.S. is solidifying its role as a global liquefied natural gas exporter, and for the first time was a net exporter of natural gas for every month of the year.
  • New sales of battery, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles accelerated, driven by longer-range versions of existing models, long-range affordable BEVs, and the electrification of new car segments. Significantly, the price of lithium-ion battery packs, a key cost component for battery electric vehicles, plummeted 23% year-on-year and have fallen 65% in five years (between 2013 and year end 2017).
  • Greater climate commitments from sub-national and private sector actors emerged in response to federal government climate policy back-tracking. Federal-level actions ranging from trade cases to tax reform also caused uncertainty in the market for clean technologies.

The U.S. energy transformation is impacting the economy – These include successes on grid resilience, job creation and economic opportunites.

  • The renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas sectors employed approximately three million Americans in 2016. Energy efficiency, with nearly 2.2 million jobs, was the largest single employer within the sustainable energy sectors.
  • American economic growth is picking up steam, without a parallel jump in energy consumption. Since 2008, primary energy usage has shrunk 1.7% even as GDP has accelerated by 15.3%.
  • Utilities and independent developers continue to invest in infrastructure to improve grid operations and support the growth of clean energy. Investor-owned utilities and independent developers spent an estimated $22.9 billion on electric transmission in 2017, a 10% rise year-on-year and a 91% increase since 2011. Investment in midstream natural gas infrastructure (e.g., transmission, distribution and storage) climbed 19% from 2015 to 2016, with distribution accounting for nearly half of the escalation in spending. Total investment in distribution hit its highest level yet at $13.4bn, a 16% expansion from 2015 levels.

Where Can You Read It – The 2018 Factbook includes a comprehensive overview and detailed charts, graphs and sources for a wide range of information that defines the U.S. sustainable energy landscape.

The 2018 Factbook is offered in PDF format available electronically (download from the BCSE website here: http://www.bcse.org/sustainableenergyfactbook) and in a hard copy format directly from the BCSE. The Factbook is intended to serve as a reference guide of sustainable energy statistics throughout the year for media, policymakers, business and industry.

ClearPath to Support Costello in PA – ClearPath Action Fund is kicking off its 2018 cycle by endorsing Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and pledging $1 million to help re-elect him in a swing Southeastern Pennsylvania district. The effort will begin with a six-figure, targeted TV and digital ad buy this spring to highlight Costello’s record advocating policies that expand clean and reliable energy.  “Ryan Costello is one of the most committed clean energy champions in Congress and we’re proud to make him our first 2018 endorsement,” ClearPath Action Fund Founder Jay Faison said.  A Public Opinion Strategies survey conducted last summer of GOP and swing voters in several districts and states key to the 2018 congressional election showed Republicans considerably gaining after focused messaging on clean energy. That included a 23-point boost in Costello’s 6th congressional district for a generic Republican candidate who espouses pro-clean energy messaging.

Cramer to Run for ND Senate Seat – North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer said he will challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp at an announcement rally for Friday afternoon.  Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in 2018 in a state President Trump won by more than 30 percentage points in 2016.

FERC Approves Storage Rule – Late Last week, FERC unanimously approved a final rule that would remove long-standing regulatory barriers in bringing batteries and other energy storage to the electric grid. FERC is ordering regional transmission and other grid operators to revise pricing to recognize the benefits of energy storage and allow the technology to compete with generators on the wholesale market. Energy storage is key to improving the reliability of intermittent renewable power sources and even helping constant-running nuclear become better utilized during peak times on the grid.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Advanced Nuke Conference Headlined by Current, Former NRC, Energy Officials – The Advanced Reactors Summit V and Showcase will run today through Thursday at Texas A&M in College Station, sponsored by the US Nuclear infrastructure Council.  Energy Under Secretary Mark Menezes, NRC Commissioner Stephen Burns, former NRC Commissioner and now OECD’s Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency Bill Magwood, top nuclear company representatives, former NRC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield, EIRP’s Irfan Ali and ClearPath Policy Director Jeremy Harrell are among those speaking.

DOE to Hold Electricity Committee Meeting – The Energy Department’s Electricity Advisory Committee will meet today at 1:00 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Arlington.

Forum to Discuss Fukushima Research – The Embassy of Japan’s Information and Culture Center holds a discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on Fukushima.  For seven years, a research group from Fukushima University has been examining not only the damage from the disaster, but various aspects of its effects on the region, including food safety, community rebuilding, disaster prevention policies, and more. JICC will hold a video presentation and panel discussion with four professors from the Fukushima Research Group, who will discuss their research and views on the current situation of recovery in the damaged areas as well as reports from those who are on the “front lines” of community recovery. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Hits KC – EPA’s additional listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start on Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.    The two remaining sessions will be in San Francisco next Wednesday and Gillette, Wyoming on March 27.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

CSIS to Hosts Forum on China, New Vehicles – The Center for Strategic & International Studies holds a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on China’s high-tech drive is its push to develop new-generation cars. To understand these trends and their implications, the Freeman Chair’s Scott Kennedy will first provide an overview of recent developments in Chinese policies and its auto sector. He will then moderate a panel discussion with leading experts from industry and academia on a range of issues about China and the industry more generally.  The speakers will include Zachary Kahn of BYD Heavy Energies, Wall Street Journal Detroit Bureau Chief John Stoll, Anand Shah of the Albright Stonebridge Group and JHU’s Jonas Nahm.

EPA Hosts CPP Repeal Hearing – EPA holds the first of its additional Clean Power plan repeal hearing tomorrow in Kansas City at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beacon Complex. The listening session will begin at 10:00 a.m. with opening remarks followed by oral testimony from those wishing to speak.

Forum to Look at FERC Decision on Grid NOPR – Tomorrow at Noon, the Global America Business Institute will host a presentation on the FERC Response to grid resilience in RTOs and ISOs.  The speaker will be Judah Rose, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at ICF International.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

Offshore Drilling Meeting Set to Hit DC – The Interior Department’s public hearings continue this week in DC with a hearing on Thursday to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Already, Interior has held meetings today in Annapolis MD, Jackson MS, Richmond VA, Dover DE, Augusta ME, Baton Rouge LA, Anchorage AK, Concord NH, Boston MA, Montgomery AL, Providence RI, Tacoma WA, Austin TX, Salem OR, Tallahassee FL, Sacramento CA, Hartford CT, Columbia SC, Hamilton NJ and Albany NY.  After Washington, DC Thursday, only Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28) remain.

Consumers to Reveal Annual Auto Issue – The Washington Automotive Press Association hosts Consumer Reports at the National Press Club on Thursday at Noon for lunch, and then at 12:45 p.m. for the official release of their Top Picks for 2018. Jake Fisher and Patrick Olsen of Consumer Reports will give an inside look at how Consumer Reports ranks and rates vehicles. Consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for CR’s Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

Forum to Look at Coastal Communities – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss climate/weather risks to America’s coastal communities and the types of resilience plans local governments and regional partnerships are developing to safeguard their residents, built assets, and economies. The briefing will explore current and future infrastructure challenges facing public officials and how the federal government fits into the pursuit of these shared development goals.

Speakers for this forum are Miami-Dade County Chief Resilience Officer Jim Murley, Charleston, SC Chief Resilience Officer Mark Wilbert, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Steve Walz.

Offshore Drilling Forum Set – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will host a public meeting on its Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn in DC.  It will use an open-house format, so participants can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time. At the meetings, participants can ask questions, share information, talk with our team members one-on-one, and learn more about the National OCS Program.

WEN HAPPY HOUR – The Women’s Energy Network holds its winter Happy Hour reception on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Matchbox Bistro in Chinatown.

EPA to Discuss CT Petition – EPA will hold a public hearing on Friday at its D.C. headquarters regarding a 2016 petition filed by Connecticut asking the agency to order stronger pollution controls at a Pennsylvania power plant whose emissions Connecticut says harm its downwind air quality.

SEPA Head to Speak to Renewable Group – The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will hold a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Julia Hamm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on Friday at Noon.  .Hamm will discuss her recent trips to and work with Puerto Rico, what SEPA is doing more broadly, as well as take-aways from her decades of work in renewable energy.

Forum to Look at Reforming Jones Act – The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project holds a discussion on Friday at Noon on whether it is time to reform the Jones Act.  SMU’s James Coleman and former member of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Rob Quartel will be among the speaker.

Finland Chamber to Discuss Company – The Finnish America Chamber of Commerce will hold a lunch with Neste representatives on Friday at Noon.  Neste was listed as the second most sustainable company in the world on the Global 100 List.  Neste’s jump was enabled particularly by the company’s continued good overall performance, especially in Clean Air Productivity, measuring the air emissions of the company.  Neste’s Johan Lunabba, Adrian Suharto and Dayne Delahoussaye will speak.

IN THE FUTURE

Climate, Security Forum Set – Next Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds their 2018 Climate and National Security Forum: A Responsibility to Prepare. This year’s forum panels will focus on the risks that climate change presents to national security on an operational and strategic level, and the challenges and opportunities in preparing to counter and manage those risks.

BP Energy Outlook Set for Release – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host the U.S. launch of BP Energy Outlook 2018 on Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m. Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP, will present the findings of the outlook followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

BPC to Focus on Nuclear Energy Exports – The Bipartisan Policy Center hold a discussion next Monday at 10:00 a.m. with members of DOE, the U.S. nuclear energy industry, academia, and the Nuclear Innovation Alliance looking at the vital role that the export control regulations play in nuclear energy commerce and nonproliferation efforts. The conversation will focus on recommendations from a recent Nuclear Innovation Alliance report on how the regulations and their implementation can be improved.  Speakers will include NNSA’s Kate Strangis and Matt Bunn of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference Tuesday February 27th on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets.  As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources.  In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward.  Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held on February 27th though March 1st. The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

Forum to Look at Coal Issues – Next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., New York University Washington, DC Center marks the release of the Winter 2018 Issues in Science and Technology with comments from Charles Herrick and Ana Unruh Cohen.  Herrick and Cohen will discuss how US greenhouse gas regulations affect the coal industry and other energy sectors. They will look at what other factors have led to a decline in the country’s coal use, and how these forces might shape US energy production in the future.

ANS Head to Address Nuke Issues – Next Tuesday, February 27th at Noon, Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington hosts a speech by Dr. John E. Kelly, Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society.  Kelly recently retired from the U.S. Department of Energy as the Chief Technology and was responsible for establishing the strategic technical direction for the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolios.

Bracewell to Host Infrastructure Event – Bracewell will hold an infrastructure symposium on Thursday March 1st at 9:00 a.m. in 902 Hart. The event will feature Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ Infrastructure lead Alex Hergott and many other Bracewell experts.

Wilson to Look at Climate, Women – On Thursday, March 1st at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion of how climate displacement is changing the role of women in their communities and how women are leading their communities to overcome its impacts. With panelists from the development sector, academia, and journalism, we will look at this issue globally and dive into individual stories of resilience and leadership.

RFF, Stanford Experts Launch Climate, Policy Book – On Friday March 2nd at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hold the public launch of Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options, a new book that presents a unique framework for evaluating the impacts of a range of US climate-policy options, both for the economy overall and for particular household groups, industries, and regions.  Authors Marc Hafstead and Lawrence Goulder will discuss the book, followed by a moderated Q&A session.

Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Friday March 2nd at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future.  Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.

WCEE to Discuss Western Energy Imbalance – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch and learn forum on Friday, March 2nd to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elisabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

Wilson to Look at Green Finance – On Monday, March 6th at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center‘s China Environment Forum hosts a discussion of China’s rapid rise as a green finance champion.  CEF is bringing in three experts to delve into the financial and environmental opportunities and risks as China moves into this new era of green financing. Derek Ip, a Senior Analyst at Trucost, will discuss the findings of a recently published report on the financial and water risks in China’s coal-to-chemical sector in western China, and how this risk approach could spur better environmental performance from other pollution- and energy-intense industries in China. Alan Xiangrui Meng, a market analyst in Climate Bonds Initiative’s London office will explore the expanding green bond market in China, which is spurring new environmental protection and clean energy industries, as well as some greyer industries. Carolyn Szum, who heads the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) Integrated Team on Systems, Economic Analysis, and Modeling, will explain how CERC-BEE is working with U.S. and Chinese financial institutions to develop and pilot innovative financing mechanisms to scale up energy efficiency in China.

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way holds its third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit on March 6th in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum on March 6th at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.
EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on FactBook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey.  The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward.  Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

Energy Update: Week of February 12

Friends,

The Winter Olympics are ON!!!!!!  Winners of the first medals of the games for the US were in the were in the Slopestyle Snowboarding race where 17-year-old Red Gerard took the Men’s race Saturday and Jamie Anderson won the Women’s race Sunday. And Women’s Hockey took down Finland.  Before we get going, I always like to mention our friend Scott Segal in the Bacchus parade (this year it’s the 50th year) at the Mardi Gras celebrations that run through Fat Tuesday tomorrow.  Valentine’s Day is Wednesday as is Ash Wednesday.

We start today’s update with analysis on both the just-released infrastructure principles and last week’s energy tax provisions finally approved as part of the Budget deal.  In the infrastructure space, the plan outlines $200 billion of Fed dollars, but leans heavily on states and local governments and private/public partnerships. It also carves out $50 billion for rural infrastructure projects and outlines a strategy to revamp federal project permitting.  We are looking at five major categories:

1) Infrastructure Permitting

2) Public Finance/Appropriations

3) Public/Private Partnerships

4) Innovation

5) Life Cycle Analysis 

There is more on each of these topic areas below, and in the coming days, we will provide a detailed assessment of each. If you are following the infrastructure debate, you’ll want to tune in to a March 1st Bracewell forum on Capitol Hill that we are hosting that will feature insights from policymakers and industry representatives involved in crafting the next key elements infrastructure policy.

On the budget, OMB released FY2019 Budget outlines this Administration’s key funding priorities.  While we always downplay the Admin’s budget, this one is more relevant as it accounts for the Bipartisan Budget Act (aka “the caps deal”) passed by Congress last week.  Look for slight increases in some places like DOE and Interior with some decreases in other places like EPA.  As usual, expect Congress to play a more significant budget role in right-sizing much of this funding.  Experts here can help, so please drop me a note.

The other big story this week is the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release its annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook for 2018 on Thursday.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas. Also tomorrow afternoon at the Capitol Visitors Center, our friends at Johnson Controls will join a panel on battery sustainability and recycling led by Sen Portman, his Senate Auto Caucus colleagues and the Responsible Battery Coalition.  The Atlantic Council also holds an interesting forum on Iraq and Energy tomorrow.

NARUC Commissioners are in town for their annual Winter Meeting and will be hearing from Lisa Murkowski and many others.   And with ethanol policy in the news lately, the Renewable Fuels Assn’s National Ethanol Conference launches in San Antonio today.

Hearings this week include Wednesday afternoon’s House Energy panel hearing on New Source Review reform featuring our colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head and NRDC friend John Walke (I don’t think they will be agreeing much!).  Meanwhile at the same time, a House Resources Committee panel will look at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

Finally tonight, tune in to the New England Sports Network for the finals of the 66th annual Beanpot college hockey tournament. The first two Monday nights of February in Boston are reserved for the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern.  In the Semis last week, nationally-ranked Northeastern blanked BC 3-0, while BU tripped Harvard 3-2 in double OT.  BC-Harvard starts at 4:30 p.m. while the finals go at 7:30 p.m., all at the Boston (TD) Garden.

And in case you missed it, college lacrosse started this past weekend and pitchers and catchers report in just two days with full teams next week for spring training.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“After six years of rapid and steady growth, the solar industry faced headwinds that led to a dip in employment in 2017, including a slowdown in the pace of new solar installations. Uncertainty over the outcome of the trade case also had a likely impact on solar jobs growth. At the same time, the fact that jobs went up in 29 states is an encouraging sign that solar is taking hold across the country as a low-cost, sustainable, and reliable energy source.””

Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation on the release of the National Solar Jobs Census 2017.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Today, the President announced more details regarding the new national infrastructure initiative that he referenced during his State of the Union address.  The details suggest the Administration is taking a new approach to infrastructure—coupling traditional infrastructure concepts with modern approaches to funding and permitting.  This new approach will have significant impacts on the energy industry, manufacturing, utilities, highways, railways, tech, and telecom.

The Role of Infrastructure Permitting – The environmental review and permitting process for energy infrastructure is often unpredictable and challenging.  The White House has suggested expansive reforms to the permitting process intended to improve it through increased coordination of federal agencies, defined timelines, and revisions to the process by which states participate in the permitting process.  These reforms, and in particular the role of states in the permitting process, are likely to generate significant discussions on states’ rights and cooperative federalism.

The Role of Public Finance, Appropriations – The looming question with this infrastructure package is how the government will pay for it, especially given the recently enacted two-year budget deal. The Administration’s stated goal is to leverage roughly $200 billion in direct federal outlays into $1.5 trillion in total infrastructure spending. Doing so will require creativity in identifying revenue sources and developing innovative financing tools that will entice state and local governments to invest alongside private industry. Achieving this ambitious target will require a mix of new loan instruments, federal grant money through the annual Congressional appropriations process, and an expansion of existing tools such as private activity bonds.

The Role of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) – The ability of private entities to engage with government to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure may be the linchpin of this proposal. The most obvious way for private companies to participate in projects that serve the broader civil interest is through public-private partnerships. But despite the rising prominence of P3s among the states and across the globe, the U.S. government’s ability to employ these tools is hampered by significant statutory and regulatory barriers. In order to harness the skills—and the funds—of the private sector on a trillion-dollar scale, the authority of the federal government to engage in P3s will have to be expanded and the process streamlined.

The Role of Innovation – In addition to conventional infrastructure like roads, bridges, and utilities, the Administration’s plan carves out a place for “transformative” projects that seek to make significant investments in emerging technologies.  The idea is for government to work with private industry to facilitate the next “moon shot” and encourage development of transformative infrastructure projects. From a national 5G network to the next generation of smart grid technologies, policymakers will be looking for innovative infrastructure projects to keep pace with the growing digital economy.

The Role of Life Cycle Analysis – Whether the cause is natural disasters to simple wear-and-tear, our nation’s infrastructure incurs billions of dollars of damage and degradation every year.  The use of life cycle analysis techniques allows planners to better calibrate the long-term economic and environmental impacts of choices made at the front end of a project involving design, materials, and a host of other factors—significantly allowing for more meaningful, long-term infrastructure investment decisions.

THE BUDGET DEAL

Another Shutdown…And a Deal – The budget deal is the big story looking back at late last week.  You may have missed the shutdown because it occurred from about Friday at midnight to Friday Morning when President Trump signed the deal.

Why the Delay? – There was the framework of a deal as far back as Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul slowed the Senate to a crawl Thursday evening objecting into the overall cost of the deal.

Four Corners – The deal is the biggest fiscal package passed by Congress in nearly a decade, which sets new limits on how much the government can spend in the next two years. The deal keeps the government operating on another temporary funding patch until March 23. But Congress must still pass another bill, known as an omnibus, with detailed spending levels for each government program for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends in September.  As part of the deal, military spending will rise to $700 billion for fiscal 2018, roughly 10% above current levels. Domestic spending will also get a boost to $591 billion.

The Energy Piece – The budget deal included tax extenders, which includes the 5-year phase-out tax credits for 48c and 25D (starting on page 209).  The other credits that were modified are the 45J production tax credit for nuclear that is imperative for the future of a nuclear plant in Georgia and the 45Q credit for carbon capture and sequestration. The nuclear production credit eliminates the 2020 placed-in-service deadline in the credit. That frees it up to be used not just to help complete Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle AP1000 reactor project but also the advanced technologies that represent the future of the nuclear sector, such as NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design.  The 45Q fix gives a boost to pioneering efforts such as NET Power that could capture and use all the carbon emitted from facilities powered by both coal and natural gas. The 45Q incentive has the potential to dramatically boost commercial carbon capture deployment in the U.S., which can also lead to significant increases in enhanced oil recovery and other economic benefits.

ClearPath Weighs in on Nuclear, CCS – The ClearPath Foundation said Congress delivered a potentially game-changing clean energy victory by fixing two critical carbon capture and advanced nuclear tax incentives as part of the broader budget deal.   “This is an awesome one-two punch for the future of U.S.-led clean and reliable energy,” ClearPath Action Executive Director Rich Powell said.  “This is not only a big win for two of our most important clean energy prospects but also a product of tremendous bipartisan teamwork,” ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison said. “This can serve as a template both for the commercialization of technologies preventing an enormously consequential amount of CO2 from going into the atmosphere as well as future collaboration in Congress to continue to give the U.S. a much-needed innovation edge over China.”

CCS Credits Help Nat Gas Too – Speaking of the success on CCS, ClearPath’s Faison also explained in a blogpost last week prior to the vote that carbon capture is not just crucial to the future of coal but also a valuable insurance policy for our booming natural gas industry. Tax credits will allow us to affordably scale up carbon capture from natural gas at NET Power and elsewhere and protects our gas industry from whatever supercharged Clean Power Plan a future Democratic White House will inevitably throw at the power sector, Jay wrote. It could mean coal and gas can both have a future that’s clean and bright, no matter who wins the White House or what regulators in Europe and China decide on.

GEO Praises Inclusion of Orphan Tax Credits – The geothermal heat pump industry was relieved they have finally received the tax Credits they have been lacking since they were left out of the 2015 deal.   Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) executive Ryan Dougherty said the deal marks a significant step toward achieving our goal of tax parity.  “Geothermal heat pumps are 100% ‘Made in the USA’ with American-made components manufactured and installed by American workers. With the extension of federal tax credits being revived, the entire geothermal supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, contractors, installers, drillers – plus all the families and small businesses that they support – will finally get the relief we have needed since being left on the sidelines in 2015. AHRI’s Joe Trauger said all of these credits and deductions “provide welcome incentives for American consumers and businesses to replace aging, less efficient equipment with that that is saves energy and helps the environment.”

BCSE Raises Concerns about Multi-Year Extension – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson praised the passage of the clean energy tax provisions as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act this week. But they also raised concerns about the lack of parity between clean energy tax measures continues to hinder investment and job creation in a number of sectors that contribute to a diverse, reliable and affordable energy system. BCSE had called for multi-year extensions of all the pending energy extenders and also sought to modify or expand tax measures to level the sustainable energy playing field for waste heat to power, energy storage, and commercial geothermal. BCSE is disappointed that the Bipartisan Budget Act did not adopt those proposed changes.

NEORI: Deal is Landmark Victory for CCS – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) said the 45Q credit will drive private investment in commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and industrial facilities for enhanced oil recovery and other forms of geologic storage and for beneficial uses of CO2. The victory represents one of the most significant energy and environmental accomplishments by Congress in recent memory according to Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute, which co-convenes NEORI with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “Passage of this legislation highlights the potential for carbon capture to marshal support across the political spectrum for a policy that will boost American energy production, reduce carbon emissions, protect and create high-wage jobs, and increase federal and state revenue.” C2ES President Bob Perciasepe, said leaders from both parties have demonstrated a commitment to reducing carbon emissions while protecting and creating jobs and investing in new American industries.

IN THE NEWS

EIA Releases Annual Energy Outlook – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) last week providing modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050.  The report includes cases with different assumptions regarding macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. Strong domestic production coupled with relatively flat energy demand allow the United States to become a net energy exporter over the projection period in most cases. In the Reference case, natural gas consumption grows the most on an absolute basis, and nonhydroelectric renewables grow the most on a percentage basis.  EIA said the US will become a net exporter of energy by 2022, four years earlier than it projected last year.  EIA’s forecast predicts that oil production will taper off around 2040 as the shale fields currently operating are tapped out, but not before increasing to about 12 million barrels a day.

Renewables Also Booming – The latest issue of FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update (with data through December 31, 2017) says renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for half (49.85%) of the 24,614 megawatts (MW) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service in 2017. New natural gas capacity accounted for 48.67%, with the balance coming from waste heat (0.89%), nuclear (0.41%), and oil (0.16%). There was no new coal capacity added during 2017.  Growth in new solar capacity has been most dramatic. By the end of 2017, installed generating capacity at utility-scale (i.e., 1-MW or larger) solar facilities totaled 30.30 GW – roughly eight times (7.77%) greater than that FERC reported five years ago in its December 2012 “Energy Infrastructure Update.” Solar is now 2.55% of total U.S. installed utility-scale generating capacity. Moreover, inasmuch as FERC data do not include distributed solar (e.g., rooftop PV), actual U.S. solar capacity is significantly higher – perhaps 30% or more. Combined, the generating capacity of non-hydro renewables is 73.89% greater than that reported five years ago.

Solar Foundation Report Raises 2018 Concerns – All the new on renewables is not totally good.   New solar tariffs risk solar jobs in 2018 according to a new report from the Solar Foundation.  The solar industry employment declined in 2017, while jobs increased in numerous states with emerging solar markets, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2017, the Foundation’s 8th annual report on solar employment.  The Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017, representing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.  However, the long-term trend continues to show significant jobs growth. The solar workforce increased by 168% in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.

Interesting Solar Facts – Some key findings from the National Solar Jobs Census 2017 include:

  • Demand-side sectors (installation, sales & distribution, and project development) make up almost 78 percent of overall solar industry employment, while manufacturing makes up 15 percent. Demand-side sectors lost approximately 7,500 jobs in 2017, while manufacturing lost about 1,200 jobs.
  • The solar industry is more diverse than comparable industries, but more needs to be done to ensure it is representative of the greater U.S. population. Women made up 27% of the solar workforce in 2017, down 1% from 2016. Veterans made up 9% of solar workers, which is 2% more than the overall U.S. workforce.
  • Solar employs twice as many workers as the coal industry, almost five times as many as nuclear power, and nearly as many workers as the natural gas industry. (These comparisons with other industries are based on 2016 jobs numbers, the most recent data available for an apples-to-apples comparison.)

Canadians Suing; EU Worried about Solar Tariffs – Canadian solar manufacturers challenged the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs in the International Court of Trade. Ontario-based Silfab Solar, Heliene and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., along with U.S.-based distributor Canadian Solar, filed the challenge, claiming that an investigation last year by the International Trade Commission found Canadian products don’t significantly hurt U.S. manufacturers and don’t account for much of the overall imports of solar cells to the country. The complaint was filed now because Customs and Border Protection began collecting the tariff on Wednesday, creating the injury for the companies. Meanwhile, the European Union said it is seeking compensation through the World Trade Organization, citing Germany’s significant production of solar panels for the North American market.

RUS Appointee Praised by NRECA, UTC – Missouri Co-op head Kenneth Johnson has been nominated by President Trump to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. Johnson is general manager and CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and president for Co-Mo Connect in Missouri NRECA head former Rep. Jim Matheson said they were “excited and thrilled” to hear the news. “The ongoing collaboration between RUS and electric co-ops remains essential to the success of rural communities across the nation as co-ops invest in infrastructure upgrades to modernize the grid and meet consumer expectations. Ken is exceptionally qualified to serve in this role.” Utilities Technology Council CEO Joy Ditto added Johnson is an outstanding person to lead the Rural Utilities Service. “His background is perfectly suited for this position, as he understands the needs of utilities in rural America. He led deployment of a fiber-to-the-home broadband network in rural Missouri that provides robust, affordable and reliable broadband services to 15,000 homes and businesses.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Murkowski, FERC Commissioners to Address NARUC – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners holds its annual Winter Policy Summit today through Wednesday.   The Summit will convene an array of speakers from federal agencies, industry, the media, advocacy organizations and more.  Keynote speakers Include Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, as well as FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Rick Glick, Reps. Bill Johnson and Tom Reed and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavula.  Other speakers include Southern’s Bruce Edelston, SEIA’s Sean Gallagher, IECA’s Paul Cicio, Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Ruth McCormick, Kyle Rogers of AGA, Statoil’s Kevin Maule, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey and our friend Dave Shepardson of Reuters.

WRI Climate Head to Address Group – Paula Caballero, Global Director of the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, will be featured at keynote speaker today at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club. She will be joined by a distinguished panel for lively debate featuring panelists GWU’s Kathleen Merrigan, Leonard Jordan of USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and RFF’s Ann Bartuska.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference today through Wednesday in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

Forum to Look at Iraq, Energy – Tomorrow at Noon, the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Iraq’s energy potential, export opportunities, and the influence of political dynamics on reforming the energy sector.  Speakers will include Luay Al-Khatteeb of the Iraq Energy Institute, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Atlantic Council Global Energy Center director Ellen Scholl.

Holdren to Address UMd Forum – The University of Maryland at College Park hosts an interactive discussion tomorrow at Noon featuring Dr. John Holdren and the University of Maryland Global Sustainability Initiative.  Currently the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Holdren served as assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama Administration.

Forum to Look at Battery Sustainability – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center SVC-214, the U.S. Senate Auto Caucus, Sen. Rob Portman and the Responsible Battery Coalition will host a forum focused on vehicle battery sustainability and recycling.  Featured panelists will include Responsible Battery Coalition head Pat Hayes, Ramon Sanchez of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Johnson Controls’ sustainability expert Adam Muellerweiss, Jonathan Moser of Lafarge Canada, AutoZone’s Ray Pohlman and Micah Thompson, environmental affairs exec with Advance Auto Parts.

House Energy Look at NSR – The House Energy & Commerce panel on the Environment will holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at New Source Review permitting challenges for manufacturing and infrastructure.  The hearing with feature former PEA Air Office Head and Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead, former OMB official and AF&PA policy Head Paul Noe, NRDC’s John Walke, Arkansas DEQ  air director Stuart Spencer, PA Chamber official Kevin Sunday and GWU Law Professor Emily Hammond.

House Resources to Look at Water, Power Infrastructure – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.  looking at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler and Rachel Luo, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NHA’s Jeff Leahey, AGA’s Dave McCurdy and Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls.  The panel will look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.  There will be a second stakeholder briefing at Noon.

FERC Meeting Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., FERC will hold open meeting.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Fannon Nom Hearing – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to consider several nominations including our friend Frank Fannon to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Energy Resources).

House Science to Look at STEM – The House Science Research and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on mentoring, training and apprenticeships for STEM education and careers.

House Resources to Look at Critical Minerals – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on national strategic and critical minerals production.

Solar Tariff Proponents Discuss Case on Hill – Advocates for the tariffs on solar components will hold a staff briefing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in 2253 Rayburn to discuss their Section 201 “global safeguard” case on solar imports and steps forward for Suniva and SolarWorld.  Tim Brightbill and Warren Payne will speak.

IN THE FUTURE

FEBRUARY 19 – President’s Day Holiday.

Forum to Look at FERC Decision on Grid NOPR – On Wednesday, February 21st at Noon, the Global America Business Institute will host a presentation on the FERC Response to grid resilience in RTOs and ISOs.  The speaker will be Judah Rose, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at ICF International.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

WEN HAPPY HOUR – The Women’s Energy Network holds its winter Happy Hour reception on Thursday February 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at Matchbox Bistro in Chinatown.

SEPA Head to Speak to Renewable Group – The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will hold a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Julia Hamm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on Friday February 23rd at Noon.  .Hamm will discuss her recent trips to and work with Puerto Rico, what SEPA is doing more broadly, as well as take-aways from her decades of work in renewable energy.

Climate, Security Forum Set – On Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds their 2018 Climate and National Security Forum: A Responsibility to Prepare. This year’s forum panels will focus on the risks that climate change presents to national security on an operational and strategic level, and the challenges and opportunities in preparing to counter and manage those risks.

BP Energy Outlook Set for Release – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host the U.S. launch of BP Energy Outlook 2018 on Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m. Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP, will present the findings of the outlook followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

BPC to Focus on Nuclear Energy Exports – The Bipartisan Policy Center hold a discussion next Monday at 10:00 a.m. with members of DOE, the U.S. nuclear energy industry, academia, and the Nuclear Innovation Alliance looking at the vital role that the export control regulations play in nuclear energy commerce and nonproliferation efforts. The conversation will focus on recommendations from a recent Nuclear Innovation Alliance report on how the regulations and their implementation can be improved.  Speakers will include NNSA’s Kate Strangis and Matt Bunn of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference Tuesday February 27th on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets.  As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources.  In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward.  Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held on February 27th though March 1st. The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way holds its third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit on March 6th in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on FactBook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

 

Energy Update: Week of January 29

Friends,

Well, that was an exciting beginning to the 60th Grammys. It was a nice surprise appearance by U2, although I didn’t really know what that opening number was by Kendrick Lamar. I guess I’m just too old as he managed to nab 5 Grammy wins. And how does Metallica not win Best Rock Album for Hardwired To Self Destruct?  And really, how is it nearly every rock category was announced in the pre-TV portion?

One person that did win: the brother of our former Bracewell colleague and now Valero Government Relations head Salo Zelermyer. What????  Yes, Salo’s brother, Gideon Zelermyer won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  Gideon is the cantor at the largest synagogue in Montreal who – beyond his congregation – may be best known for his riveting renditions of the both the Canadian and US national anthems at pro sporting events.  Gideon joined with the late Leonard Cohen and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir to win the Grammy for their collaboration on You Want It Darker. The Zelermyer crew beat out far more traditional rockers for the Grammy:  the late Chris Cornell (The Promise), Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (Run), Kaleo (No Good) and Nothing More (Go to War).

On the sports side, how about that NHL All-Star Game? I just love that 3-on-3 format w/the $1M prize to the winners. Tennis’ first major is over in Australia with Caroline Wozniacki taking the Women’s title for her first Grand Slam title, while the incredible, ageless Roger Federer won the Men’s side for his 20th Grand Slam victory.  Just unreal…

Before we get going, you may have already received info regarding tonight’s 5:30 p.m. welcoming at Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Avenue N.W.) celebrating the newest members of the PRG team: Anna Burhop, Stoney Burke, Liam Donovan, and Christine Wyman.  And if you haven’t heard, please let me know if you can join us.  We hope to see you tonight.

Exciting times in DC this week with the State of the Union set for tomorrow night. There is a lot of speculation about the tone the president will take. I suspect we will hear discussions of energy dominance, infrastructure, regulatory relief and a lot of boasting about the new tax law.   We are on it, so call with questions.

Of course, the week also starts out strong in Senate EPW, where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt returns to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing.  Maybe a little less interesting tomorrow, Senate Energy votes on DOE/Interior nominees and discusses natural hazards like fire, while House Science tackles DOE management.  Maybe a little more fireworks at a House Resources mark up on Bears Ears legislation tomorrow at 10:30.

On Wednesday, Pruitt speaks to State Ag Directors and Thursday in NYC, my colleague Scott Segal hosts Neil Chatterjee and others at the S&P Power and Gas M&A Symposium.

For next week, in additional to the infrastructure roll out expected Monday, mark your calendars for a Hudson Institute forum where Steve Forbes, the HVAC industry, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and NRDC’s Dave Doniger all address the important issues surrounding HFCs and the Kigali Amendment.

Congrats (maybe) to our friend and long-time Bloomberg reporter/editor Mark Drajem who today joined the federal communications team at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Super Bowl Sunday is all set…Eagles or Patriots? Regardless of who wins, it better end up on my quarter numbers so I can win something.  We will be live tweeting the Pruitt EPW hearing and the SOTU.  Follow us at @PolicyRez  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does. The renewable fuel standards are like a lead weight around the company.  We want the President to live up to his word.”

Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers.

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Releases Plan for Offshore Wind – New York State on this morning released an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that projects 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028. Gov. Cuomo’s plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island and not visible from shore. The state expects more than 1.2 million homes could be powered by offshore wind. The 60-page report is accompanied by 20 supplemental studies representing more than two years of work and thousands of pages of analysis. The studies examine everything from viable ports to turbine manufacturing and wind-farm construction and staging to the need for cables, pipelines and other infrastructure, as well as the impact on birds, bats and fish.  Our friend Mark Harrington of Newsday has the story. Statoil is among the leading developers of offshore wind in the growing industry along the Atlantic Coast after being granting New York’s first leases last year.

Letter: Energy Trades Says Pass Extenders – More that 60 trade association, most that deal with energy issues wrote to Congress last week urging the passage of a “a seamless multi-year extension of the ‘tax extenders’ as soon as possible.”  Among the groups were Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Advanced Energy Economy, American Gas Assn, AHRI, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, CHP, the Energy Recovery Council, GEO, Nat’l Electrical Contractors Assn, NRECA, Nat’l Propane Gas, and many others. Read the letter here.

DC Court Rejects Appeal of HFC Rule – Speaking of HVAC, the DC Circuit Friday denied a request by manufacturers to rehear a case on overturning the agency’s regulation to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons. The court in August rejected EPA’s initial rule phasing down the use of the global-warming inducing coolant. The world is pushing forward on the Kigali amendment though – a binding part of the Montreal Protocol that aims to phase out HFCs globally. Over Thanksgiving, a State Department official announced it would support the treaty at the 30th anniversary of the Protocol.  The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) said it was not surprised by this decision because the bar for en banc appeals is high.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz said the ruling does not in any way diminish our industry’s commitment to the phase down of HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

EPA Ends “Once-in, Always-in” Clean Air Policy – EPA issued notice Thursday it is withdrawing the “once-in, always-in” policy under the Clean Air Act.  The policy dictated how major sources of hazardous air pollutants are regulated. Under the EPA’s new interpretation, such “major sources” can be reclassified as “area sources” when their emissions fall below mandated limits, subjecting them to differing standards.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is a significant expert on the topic and said “the withdrawal of the “once-in-always-in” was long overdue.  There was no legal basis for it, and it was at odds with other EPA programs.  This policy change does not apply to power plants and it won’t affect large industrial facilities like refineries and chemical plants, but it will give smaller facilities more operational flexibility and reduce unnecessary red tape.” He would be happy to discuss specific details further should you have questions.  You can reach him at 202-294-8700 or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com

Chamber Weighs in on Energy Policy Successes Through Energy Tracker – Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Dan Byers weighed into the energy policy discussion yesterday in an op-ed in The Hill that says energy policy under Trump will be a boon for Americans and business.  Byers says the Chamber GEI’s Energy Tracker highlights high-profile actions and the collective impact from scores of other measures that illustrate the President’s consistent emphasis on advancing U.S. energy for economic growth.  The tracker provides a unique and detailed look at these individual actions that are an easily-forgotten part of the bigger picture.

Unions Weigh in Heavily on Refinery Bankruptcy – A number of key unions say the recent bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions will hurt unions members in PA that were key to President’s election victory in PA.  The United Steelworkers, the United Association Pipefitters and Boilermakers have issued statement raising concerns about the bankruptcy on their members.  Steelworkers: “Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake.”  The Pipefitters wrote to Trump: “you made a promise to protect every American manufacturing job. In light of the previously mentioned circumstances, we are urged you to keep that promise and take immediate action to control skyrocketing ring cost. Union jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country depend on it.”

WSJ Addresses PES As Well – Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted the PES bankruptcy putting the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies.  The Journal quoted Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers. “We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does,” he said. The renewable fuel standards are “like a lead weight around the company,” he added, and “we want the President to live up to his word.”

Study Says Wind Neighbors Like Wind – A 3-year national lab study published today found that of the 1.3 million homes in America that are within five miles of a wind turbine, a majority of the neighbors have a positive attitude towards the turbines. The survey, led by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, found that inside that range, only 8 percent of respondents had a “negative” or “very negative” opinion of the turbine. For those within half a mile of a large turbine, that percentage grew to 25 percent. The study also asked respondents whether they heard noises from nearby turbines, if they were “annoyed” by any sounds they did hear, and if they perceived the turbine planning process to be fair. A summary and results of the study can be found here.

DOE Starts Solar Manufacturing Effort – Following Last week’s tariff decision, the Department of Energy announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

US Wind to Surpass Hydro – EIA reports that Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year.  Wind is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.  Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4% of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5% in 2018 and 6.6% in 2019.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ag Directors Head to DC – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will hold its annual winter policy conference today through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.  The event will feature remarks from FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who addresses the Group Wednesday.

NAS Panel to Look at Natural Disasters – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) will host a workshop tomorrow on deploying sustainable energy after human caused and natural disasters.  Workshop participants will discuss specialized social, economic and engineering challenges and opportunities to deploying sustainable energy in areas that are rebuilding, after major disasters, including California, Puerto Rico, and other areas. The workshop will also explore how regions are building renewable energy into their longer-term planning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

House Science to Look at Energy Department – The House Science Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Department of Energy and its management and priorities.  Witnesses include DOE science undersecretary Paul Dabbar and DOE undersecretary Mark Menezes.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting tomorrow to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

House Resources to Look at Bears Ears – The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to focus on legislation to codify Trump’s presidential proclamation last month shrinking the Bears Ears monument’s footprint by 85%.  Witnesses will include Utah AG Sean Reyes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs John Tahsuda, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management Casey Hammond, former Ute Mountain Tribe councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee official Tony Small, Zuni, NM councilman Carleton Bowekaty, Hopi Tribal Council’s Clark Tenakhongva, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye and San Juan County Commission vice chair Rebecca Benally.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Ceiling Fan Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will mark up bipartisan legislation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that align compliance dates for new ceiling fan standards with those for ceiling fan light kits. Two current standards have compliance dates that are about a year apart, which has created unnecessary challenges for companies. The bill would harmonize compliance dates for both appliances to Jan. 21, 2020.

State of the Union – President Trump addresses Congress at 9:00 p.m. on tomorrow, January 30th.

FERC Commissioner Headlines Power Conference – The 31st annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium will be held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Midtown on Wednesday and Thursday. The event is an executive conference from S&P Global Market Intelligence that brings utilities, power generators, renewables, and Wall Street together to set the tone for strategic decisions for the year.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and EEI Head Tom Kuhn will all speak, among others.

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

CSIS to Look at India Energy Policy – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Energy & National Security Program host Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Abhishek Jain, who will present evidence using on-ground primary data and policy analysis undertaken at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, South Asia’s leading policy research institution, to answer address these questions. Dr. Kartikeya Singh will moderate a discussion following the presentation. India is undergoing several energy transitions, each of which will matter for its human development and global sustainability. It must undertake programs at scales and within timelines not witnessed anywhere else, create appropriate market conditions to give direction and confidence to technology innovators and investors, and ensure energy security within a rapidly shrinking carbon constraint.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

WEN Set to Launch 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Energy Network holds a reception to kick off our 2018 event series at 6:00 p.m. at Vinson & Elkins. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking.

Climate Activists Groups Meet at GWU – On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, the activist group Climate Hawks Vote will host Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance.  FFF will feature organizers who’ve led successful campaigns for 100% renewables in their cities, activists who are fighting fossil fuel projects like pipelines, and elected leaders who are pushing for climate action. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP and many more will deliver the state of the climate movement.

French Embassy to Address Climate Policy – The French Embassy is hosting another French Series panel discussion event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. looking at climate change policy issues.  The event will be moderated by our friend Dean Scott, Senior climate change and Capitol Hill environment reporter for Bloomberg Environment.  Panelists include Brookings climate experts David Levaï and Adèle Morris, as well as WRI’s Jennifer Layke.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Coal – On Friday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a discussion of energy policy in India and the role of coal, featuring Harvard Kennedy School doctoral student Rohit Chandra, who is studying energy policy and economic history. Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  The keynote speaker will be Steve Forbes.  With all the talk of Paris, this just seems like a good NPR story: global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling.  Other speakers will include White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, AHRI head Steve Yurek and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa – Next Tuesday morning February 6th, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday February 6th at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday February 7th at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday February 9th at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Energy Update: Week of May 8

Friends,

Another exciting Kentucky Derby on Saturday. As I said, with Lookin At Lee and Battle of Midway sloshing through the mess to Place and Show respectively, the payouts were HUGE on the $2 exacta ($336.20), trifecta ($8,297.20) and superfecta ($76,974.50).  I was hopeful at the top of the stretch as Always Dreaming led and both McCraken and Irish War Cry were positioned to pressure, but both ran into a wall of mud-packed horses and faded – along with my chances for winning anything. It was an impressive, clean run for Always Dreaming as he went to the front from the 5 hole and barely had a speck of mud on him or John Velazquez.  Now horse vans and TV trucks head to Baltimore for the Preakness on May 20th at Pimlico.  And you know who else is headed to Baltimore this week:  Metallica to launch its WorldWired Tour on Wednesday at M&T Bank Stadium.  We are headed to Wellesley to pick up Hannah – first year complete – so we will catch them up in Detroit in July.

While everyone is focused on the health care legislation and what the Senate will do, in the energy space we are focused on the Paris Climate agreement – especially with technical talks restarting today in Bonn.  The Wall Street Journal has a Kevin Cramer op-ed today looking at whether the US should stay in the Paris agreement.  Tomorrow, there is expected to be another meeting between First-Daughter Ivanka and EPA head Scott Pruitt and maybe a decision, but maybe not.

Businesses are out in force with a number of letters urging support for staying in Paris and 19 companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Johnson Controls and National Grid are running full-page ad in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others this week urging the Trump administration to stay in as well.  Meanwhile, CEI has coordinated a letter from 40 free-market and conservative groups urging President Trump to follow through on his campaign vow to withdraw from Paris.   Obviously, we are following closely and will be happy to discuss.  Finally, among the many pieces that have been written, David Roberts has a good explainer in Vox that clearly highlights the recognition that the agreement is voluntary that relies on the power of transparency and peer pressure.  Speaking of Vox, congrats to our friend Brad Plumer who is moving to the New York Times.

It is also getting close to the deadline for the Methane CRA which has been another interesting battle.  No vote scheduled yet, but we’ll see what happens.  On the Hills, Senate Energy takes hydro and other energy legislation Wednesday while Senate Environment gets into state views of the Endangered Species Act.

Finally, today and tomorrow, the EE Global energy efficiency summit – hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy – is being held at the Washington Convention Center in DC.  This afternoon, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson headlines a panel on energy efficiency technologies and their impact on businesses and manufacturers.  Then, tomorrow at lunch, there will be a great panel on whether the changes to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs will have a significant impact on energy efficiency.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined. Each new modern wind turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so the turbines we installed in just these three months represent nearly 40,000 job years for American workers.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, in releasing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report.

 

IN THE NEWS

American Wind Power Reports Best First Quarter Since 2009 – America’s wind power workforce installed 908 utility-scale turbines in the first quarter of 2017, totaling 2,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This is the wind industry’s strongest start in eight years, according to a new report released last week by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).  The early burst of activity reflects how 500 factories in America’s wind power supply chain and over 100,000 wind workers are putting stable, multi-year federal policy to work. The industry is now in year 3 of a 5-year phase-down of the Production Tax Credit, and Navigant Consulting recently forecast a strong 2017 for wind power, similar to 2015 and 2016.  New wind turbine installations in the first quarter spanned the U.S. from Rhode Island and North Carolina to Oregon and Hawaii. Great Plains states Texas (724 MW), and Kansas (481 MW), led the pack.

Sasse CoS Named to Refiners Govt Affairs Head – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) announced that Derrick Morgan will join the organization as senior vice president, federal and regulatory affairs. In this role, he will oversee the government relations, regulatory affairs, and petrochemical departments. Morgan comes to AFPM from the office of Senator Ben Sasse, where he served as chief of staff. He previously held several positions at the Heritage Foundation including vice president for the Institute of Economic Freedom and Opportunity, where he managed a research division, and as the chief of staff to the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Feulner. During the Presidency of George W. Bush, he served on Vice President Dick Cheney’s senior staff in several capacities, including assistant to the vice president, special counsel, and staff secretary. Additionally, he also served as a policy analyst and counsel to the U.S. Republican Policy Committee under Senator John Thune, providing analysis to all Republican senators on energy, environment, labor, and agriculture bills, amendments, and policy.

Platts Looks at OPEC Agreement – Platts Capitol Crude this week is joined by its London-based OPEC team to discuss the historic supply cut agreements as its expiration nears. The deal had no noticeable impact on prices, so was it a failure? Is an extension a guarantee? What impact is it having on US shale growth? Eklavya Gupte, Paul Hickin and Herman Wang answer these questions and more on today’s podcast.  Our friends at SAFE can also help by calling Leslie Hayward at 202-461-2361.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

UN Climate Talks – Bonn, Germany today Through Friday.

Technologies, Policy Topics Headline EE Global Summit – The EE Global energy efficiency summit is being held today and tomorrow at the Walter Washington Convention Center in DC.  EE Global is hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy – a coalition of business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders. As my friend Mark Drajem Points out, there will be a great panel tomorrow at lunch which look s at whether the changes to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs will have a significant impact on energy efficiency.  Our friend David Calabrese of Daikin is on the panel.  Also, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson headlines a panel on energy efficiency technologies and their impact on businesses and manufacturers.  Other speakers include DOE’s EERE Deputy Kathleen Hogan, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, ASE’s Kateri Callahan, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Navy Asst Sect and ACORE head Dennis McGinn, GM’s Dan Turton, and Senate Energy Staffer Franz Wuerfmannsdobler. See the full agenda HERE.

Forum to Look Saudi Aramco – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for a discussion on the outlook for the Saudi Aramco IPO, its potential impact on financial markets, implications for oil markets, and possible responses from producers.  The event features a conversation with Phillip Cornel and Jean-Francois Seznec of the Atlantic Council, as well as Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group.  Our friend Amy Harder will moderate.

Senate Environment to Look at ESA – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to hear state views on the need to modernize the Endangered Species Act. Witnesses include Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Larry Voyles, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department; and Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Senate Energy Takes up Hydro, Other Energy Bills – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Power is holding a legislative hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to hear testimony on hydropower and other energy legislation.

Webinar Set to Discuss Whole Power MarketsPower Markets Today will host a webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at state policies and federal wholesale markets working together.  The event will provide a balanced view of the biggest debate in electricity markets from Exelon Senior Vice President of Competitive Market Policy Kathleen Barrón, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Dynegy Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Dean Ellis and ISO New England Vice President of Market Development Mark Karl.

POSTPONED – CSIS to Host EU Climate/Energy Head – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program has postponed an event featuring Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m. for a discussion on the main opportunities and challenges for energy and climate change policy facing Europe in the coming decade.  The European Union (EU) remains one of the largest producers and consumers of energy in the world and thus a central voice in the global discourse on climate change. Climate action continues to be a fundamental piece of the EU’s policy agenda, which over the last few years has consistently championed ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets via renewables, energy efficiency, and sustainable development.

Forum to Address Deep Decarbonization – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute

will hold a forum on deep decarbonization. This seminar will present the results of two recent studies of pathways to long-term deep decarbonization for the United States, and the legal framework they operate within. The United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization report was released in November 2016 by the Obama Administration, and From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy, was released in December 2016 by the Risky Business Project. The Mid-Century Strategy report was submitted to UNFCCC as part of the follow-up to the Paris climate agreement. From Risk to Return is the latest report by the project co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer. Both studies explore pathways to 80% reductions in GHG emissions by 2050. Panelists will include Michael Burger of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, as well as WRI’s Karl Hausker and Noah Kaufman.

Energy Forum Set for Infrastructure Discussion – The George Mason Energy Symposium will be held on Friday focused on Energy Infrastructure at its Johnson Center in Fairfax, VA.  The forum will highlight cross-disciplinary collaborations on energy science, research, policy and education across Mason Campuses and with regional government academic and private sector partners. The symposium will showcase and give awards to posters as well as feature key discussion panels.

Forum Looks at Infrastructure Report – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing on Friday at noon in 2261 Rayburn looking at America’s infrastructure needs and the business case for investing in long-term reliability and sustainability. In this briefing, infrastructure experts will help answer these and other questions and discuss the value of building for resilience.  Every four years, ASCE releases an Infrastructure Report Card assessing the state of the nation’s infrastructure in 16 major categories and assigning a letter grade to each one and to America’s infrastructure as a whole. In the recently released 2017 report, the overall grade is a D+, just barely above failing. Transit infrastructure came out particularly poorly in ASCE’s report, with a grade of D-, the lowest of any category. Eleven categories-more than two thirds-got a D rating: Aviation, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Roads, Schools, Transit, and Waste Water. Four categories eked out a C (Bridges, Ports, Public Parks, and Solid Waste), and just one, Rail, earned a B. No category was awarded an A.  The speakers for this forum are Tom Smith of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), John Stanton of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and expert Mariana Silva.

Air Liquide to Headline Fuel Cell Forum – The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum 2017 is set for Friday at noon in the 217 Congressional Visitors Center.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell and hydrogen advancements. Discussion will cover fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen fueling, power generation and materials handling equipment.  The Forum will feature a range of industry representatives as they provide updates on the latest fuel cell and hydrogen energy advancements.  There will be speakers from Air Liquide, FuelCell Energy, Plug Power and Toyota.

 

IN THE FUTURE

BPC Forum Looks at Power Sector – Next Monday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a discussion on how digitization can improve the efficiency and performance of the power sector across the entire value chain, from electricity production to transmission and distribution. Experts will discuss the benefits of digitization, as well as the policy challenged it faces.  Speakers will include GE Power’s Steve Bolze, Exelon’s Chris Crane, NYPA’s Gil Quiniones and BPC President Jason Grumet.

Forum to Look at Energy Emergency Preparedness in States – Next Monday in 334 Cannon at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing about the key role played by the 56 governor-designated State and Territory Energy Officials, other state agencies, the private sector, and DOE.  In this briefing, NASEO and state energy directors will discuss the concept of energy assurance-as well as key mitigation actions-and how State Energy Offices partner with state and local agencies and the private sector to rebuild after a natural disaster, prepare for future emergencies, and improve resiliency with energy efficiency and renewable energy. The speakers for this forum are NASEO head David Terry, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Kylah McNabb and Kelley Smith Burk of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

WAPA to Host Jeep Presentation – On May 16th at Osteria Morini (near Nationials Park),  the Washington Automotive Press Association will host Jeep® for the introduction of its latest and highly anticipated compact-SUV:  the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle lineup as it will be built in four countries for consumers around the world. As the most capable compact-SUV ever, the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a sophisticated design that evokes the premium side of the Jeep family, outstanding on-road dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, and a host of advanced safety and technology features.

Hopper, Others Headline Solar Summit in AZ – Greentech Media hosts its 10th annual Solar Summit 2017 on May 17th and 18th in Scottsdale, AZ.  Our friend Abby Hopper of SEIA will be among the speakers.

Powelson to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson next Tuesday at noon as the guest speaker at its next luncheon.  Powelson has served as the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission since 2008. During his tenure as Chairman from 2010-2014, he helped transform the Commission into one of the most dynamic regulatory agencies in the nation.

Forum to Feature JP Morgan Chase, TNCThe Harvard Business School Club of Washington, D.C. will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to explore the current state of investment in fields such as energy, environment, and resource efficiency. Additionally, the speakers will discuss what financial, technical, and policy innovations are needed in order to continue to grow investment in the clean and resilient economy of the future. The panel will feature The Nature Conservancy President & CEO Mark Tercek, JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Sustainable Finance Matt Arnold and Hannon Armstrong President & CEO Jeff Eckel.  This event will kick-off an ongoing series of programs and roundtables on sustainability-oriented business opportunities and initiatives.

Faison, Murkowski Featured in ACCF Forum – The American Council on Council Formation will hold a forum on May 17th at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler will discuss energy strategies aimed at innovation and production, rather than regulation.  The panel will be moderated by POLITICO Deputy Energy Editor Nick Juliano.

CSIS to Host Book Talk by SEJer Lisa Palmer – On Thursday, May 18th at 4:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a book forum for our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer as she continues the launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet.  Palmer shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

Energy Economist to Hear From Schlumberger Exec – On Friday, May 19th at 12:00 p.m., the National Capital Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a forum on shale and tight oil with Schlumberger exec Robert Kleinberg.  The geography of the earth has changed radically over its history.  Some of those changes are responsible for the accumulations of oil and gas we find today.  Using the principles of organic geochemistry, Robert will show how the collision of continents hundreds of millions of years ago created the great Devonian and Mississippian shale plays: Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, and Barnett.

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim on May 22nd to 25th.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday May 25th that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Methanol Institute will hold its Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.