2015 SYMPOSIUM

HIGHLIGHTS

Keynote Speakers

  • Commissioner Anne E. Hoskins, Maryland Public Service Commission

  • Erika Karp, Founder and CEO, Cornerstone Capital, Inc.

  • John K.S. Wilson, Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement & Research, Cornerstone Capital Group

  • Jan Stuart, Global Energy Economist, Credit Suisse

Development of Global Natural Gas Markets

 

Global natural gas markets are in a state of transformation. New suppliers pose a challenge to entrenched incumbents and established pricing systems. Core demand is shifting, LNG is growing, and trade routes are being redrawn. How will U.S. and Australian LNG projects affect global natural gas prices? How will Japan’s re-start of nuclear reactors affect global demand? Is China serious about its natural gas targets? How will burgeoning LNG markets impact Russia’s relationship with Europe and East Asia?

Moderator

Jonathan Chanis, Columbia SIPA and New Tide Asset Management

Panelists

Oliver Tuckerman, Cheniere

Patrick Haischer, A.T. Kearney

Leslie Palti-Guzman, Rapidan Group

Transforming the Energy System Towards a Low-Carbon Future

 

Coordinated policy efforts are needed within the energy system to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Debates encircle finding the best policy mechanisms to enable the transition to a low-carbon energy system. What role can smart financing mechanisms play? Can holistic international policies be effective? What should we expect from COP21? How do costs, carbon abatement, and the inherent time lag in investment flows affect policy decisions?

Moderator

Michael Gerrard, Columbia Law School

Panelists

Jakob Thomae, 2 Degrees Investing

Laura Segafredo, Deep Decarbonization Pathways

Katherine Kennedy, NRDC

David Sandalow, Columbia SIPA

Financing the Solar Energy Future

 

The solar industry has grown exponentially over the last decade and is now cost-competitive with conventional energy sources in many U.S. markets. This growth is due in large part to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which has brought down the cost of capital for investors and helped provide readily accessible project financing for renewable energy developers. On December 31st, 2016, the ITC will drop by 2/3 for commercial projects and will no longer be available for residential projects.  This panel will examine the potential repercussions caused by the loss of this financing tool, as well as the possible solutions necessary to maintain the stable growth of solar energy in the U.S.

Moderator

Travis Bradford, Columbia SIPA

Panelists

Nick Blitterswyk, UGE

Aruna Kalyanam, US Congress

Alfred Griffin, New York Green Bank

Incorporating Innovation into the Power Grid

The panel will focus on the latest state of innovation in the utilities space, including the state of distributed generation, recent initiatives in energy efficiency, and developments in energy storage.  The panel will discuss the evolving economics of these investments, as well as touch upon the effectiveness of various state renewable incentive programs.  Considering all these factors, the panel will discuss and predict the most likely and significant changes to the power grid over the next 3-5 years.

Moderator

Bruce Usher, Columbia Business School

Panelists

Scott Jennings, PSEG

Sergej Mahnovski, ConEdison and Columbia SIPA

Swami Venkataraman, Moody's 

City of the Future
 

Disruptive innovations within the energy sector pose opportunities and challenges to cities and planning. This panel explores the nexus of urbanism, climate change, renewable energy, and buildings. How might urban engagement be utilized to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How can renewable energy be integrated into new urban designs? How can cities be designed to take advantage of natural resource and improve energy efficiency?

Moderator

Craig Schwitter, BuroHappold Engineering

Panelists

Cameron Thomson, Arup

Luke Leung, Skidmore Owings & Merrill

Tom Bailey, C40

Politics of U.S. Energy: Looking ahead to November 2016
Energy policy in the U.S. has been a key component of the current President's agenda. Given recent trends, the next President will need to act quickly and decisively to address the geopolitical and economic forces currently shaping U.S. energy policy. As the campaigning for the 2016 Presidential elections intensifies, this panel will look to identify what potential policies may arise as a result of the upcoming election. 

Moderator

Jason Bordoff, Center on Global Energy Policy and Columbia SIPA

Panelists

Heather Zichal, Atlantic Council

Jeffrey Kupfer, Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College

Navigating the Low Energy Price World
 

It is now over a year since the beginning of the rout in oil prices, and the ramifications of a low commodity price world are beginning to manifest themselves.  The panel will assess the current business conditions of companies across the oil and gas supply chain, discuss ways companies have been coping with far lower commodity prices, and offer projections of how the oil and natural gas production profiles in the US will change over the next few years if low prices persist.  Additionally, the panel will take time to describe the current financing environment and question whether there will be any permanent or long term changes to how E&P and OFS companies are capitalized.

Moderator

James Guidera, Credit Agricole and Columbia SIPA

Panelists

Kassia Yanosek, McKinsey

Emanuel Grillo, Baker Botts LLP

Thomas Rinaldi, Wood Mackenzie

Daniel East, The Carlyle Group