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Overview of the Conference

 

Derek Nixon
Doctoral Candidate,
University of California, Davis

USAEE National Student Representative

 

The 37th IAEE International Conference in New York City was an unambiguous success, drawing 583 attendees from 44 separate countries. Attendees spanned across diverse sectors, with 454 energy professionals and 129 students. As IAEE president Omowumi Iledare said in his opening remarks, IAEE is approaching 5000 global members, and we are well placed to address global access to energy, energy best practices, and resource and environmental stewardship. A hallmark of our organization is within- and across-sector interaction of business professionals, government representatives and academia that helps us to solve global issues. The theme of the conference, “Energy & the Economy,” was timely in that the U.S. is anticipated to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest producers of natural gas and oil in the world in 2014. The conference explored the domestic and global implications of this shift, the extent to which the shale revolution will be replicated worldwide, and the benefits and costs such a global revolution would have.

Monday

Opening Plenary: International Implications of the U.S. Energy Renaissance

Monday morning, USAEE President Michael Canes presided over the opening session, a discussion focused on the U.S. shale revolution. A tribute to Mauri Adelman by Paul Joskow allowed IAEE members to remember a giant in the energy economics field and IAEE co-founder. A firm believer in the effectively inexhaustible supply of oil due to both technological innovation and the power of market prices, and early pioneer in the economics of industrial organization, Mauri Adelman’s ideas have been vindicated over peak-oil theories by the shale revolution, just as they were in the 1970s during the OPEC oil crisis. Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) (and past president of USAEE), focused on the impact of shale oil and gas on North America. Depending on the EPA carbon rules, shale gas may become especially timely in the electricity sector and a boon to industrial uses such as bulk chemical manufacturing. In transport, he believes we may be at the beginning of a revolution in adoption of CNG by heavy freight trucks and rail. Some rail companies are already experimenting with or deploying CNG-run operations. He believes pipeline natural gas exports to Canada and particularly

Mexico as well as new liquefaction exports to much of the Americas provide substantial business opportunities for U.S. and international companies. With Mexico’s new energy reforms and similar geography, he believes Mexico itself may experience a shale revolution in the near future. David Hobbs, the Head of Research at the King Abullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) pointed to the important role and wildcard factor in short-run oil markets of political uncertainty and instability. He noted expanded shale production had been good in introducing diversity of supplies from politically stable regions. He also emphasized the importance of resisting protectionism and trade restrictions. Internationally, he noted the converse implications of the U.S. shale revolution: traditional business partners to the U.S. such as Nigeria are having to rethink their long term oil business partnerships in a world where the U.S. may need minimal imports. Adding to this is the fragmentation of finished products: California and other regions are requiring different blends and emissions profiles of refined products.

Eirik Wærness, the Chief Economist of Statoil ASA concurred, noting that low or high potential oil production futures in Iraq that hinge on political stability have larger production differences than the entire U.S. shale oil revolution’s production put together.Eirik Wærness also discussed the shale revolution’s implications for Europe. Regardless of the scale of U.S. production, oil remains a world commodity and Europe will still be impacted by decisions and events of the Middle East, North Africa and Russia as before. He noted that both Europe and Asia have steady and growing demand for energy imports. Europe’s ability to replicate a North American shale boom is limited by a number of factors: location of the deposits, political opposition, and a much higher population density than most oil-producing regions of the U.S. Economically, however, the European economy is still benefiting, for instance with European manufacturing plants with energy intensive components of the supply chain physically located in the U.S. taking advantage of lower natural gas costs.

 

Dual Afternoon Plenary: Energy & The Economy

Mine Yucel, Vice President & Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and a past president of USAEE, presided over a discussion of energy prices and US economic activity. The panel addressed whether increased US oil and gas production from shale has impacted energy security, the trade balance and the effects of oil price shocks on the economy. Lutz Kilian of the University of Michigan and the Center for Economic Policy Research discussed the implications for producers, transporters and refineries of shale oil and gas within the U.S. supply chain. He said that while the total production has been impressive, refining and pipeline transportation constraints have limited full access of domestic oil producers to world markets. This has put refineries and rail companies in a position of bargaining power, meaning the increasing difference between oil production costs and the world oil price has mostly resulted in increased income for refining and transport companies capable of exploiting monopsony power as the sole connection between independent oil producers and the rest of the oil supply chain, a point also agreed upon by Philip K. Verleger, Jr., the President of PK Verleger LLC. Phillip Verleger believes future potential increases in shale gas production have been significantly underestimated by many existing forecasters. What has changed both in the opinions of Lutz Kilian and Prakash Loungani, an advisor to the research department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is that these wealth transfers now stay within the U.S. economy: when oil prices rise, they believe there is less of an U.S. economy-wide wealth transfer to oil exporting nations, with the potential to spur domestic recessions. Prakash Loungani pointed out that increases in shale gas production has led to lower natural gas prices decoupled from world markets since 2005 by export constraints that prevent a world-harmonized natural gas price. Prakash Loungani noted that the U.S. remains highly diversified in sources of oil, and perhaps the greatest domestic benefit of fracking has been an increasing diversification in natural gas supplies from different U.S. production fields relative to other countries.

 

Dual Afternoon Plenary: Renewables, Power Prices, and Grid Integration

A parallel theme of the conference was the growing need for solutions to climate change and the extent to which renewables are reshaping and straining electricity markets and infrastructure. To that end, Karsten Neuhoff of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) discussed the evolving needs of the European electricity markets in handling increased penetration of intermittent renewables. He believes reliance on day-ahead markets is becoming problematic; the value of a peak / off peak day ahead bid becomes less clear with each hour of a day potentially experiencing very different renewable output. Encouragingly, he said four to eight hour out forecasts of renewable production had significantly improved. Instead of bilateral electricity trading, he believed this might allow for additional centralized within-day or real-time auctions by fossil generation.

Jose Maria Valenzuela, the Director of Sustainable Energy, within the Mexican Secretariat of Energy provided an overview of current Mexican renewable and electricity reform policies. Mexico now has a target of 35% renewable electricity. While existing large hydropower is currently able to provide 10% of Mexico’s electricity demand, he believes wind and solar will be the renewables that provide the additional 25%. Mexico is currently implementing a modest tax on the carbon of heavy fuel oil of roughly $3.50 USD per ton. In his department’s modeling, this causes within fossil generation to shift away from fuel oil and towards increased coal and natural gas, whereas with a fixed and binding renewable target, renewable expansion remains unchanged. With growing renewables, intermittency is increasingly a challenge. In some hours of 2014, wind provided as much electricity to the Mexican market as nuclear. In cooperation with NREL, Germany and the European Union, Mexico is attempting to modernize its institutions in ways that will help the grid transition to greater renewables. Mexico plans to split apart the system dispatch planning from the central utility, so that an Independent System Operator will operate electricity markets, expanding the opportunities for the private sector to provide generating capacity. In addition, he believes this new ISO can facilitate the introduction of new ancillary services markets that could provide load support in the face of volatility.

Everett Whitaker, Managing Director of Policy & Planning for GE Energy Management’s Power Economics Energy Consulting, USA said that in an environment of increasing intermittent renewables, an expanding portion of the value of fossil generation was coming from its ability to provide load support. In studies GE has completed for different ISOs, electrical demand net of solar and wind production can be highly volatile particularly when total renewable capacity is high relative to average renewable output. He discussed GE’s R&D efforts, working to develop future generations of flexible natural gas turbine technology to help utilities and private generators operate efficiently in a high-renewable penetration market. A key feature of these new generators is their ability to start and stop electricity production more rapidly.

 

Tuesday

Dual Morning Plenary: International Shale Development: Prospects and Challenges

Benjamin Schlesinger, President of Benjamin Schlesinger & Associates and a past president of USAEE, presided over a plenary sessions that focused on the consistent theme throughout the conference that caution should be exercised in forecasting as rapid a shale boom in other nations as has occurred in the U.S. While shale resources are not by any means the exclusive domain of the United States, Surya Rajan, Director of Strategy for Baker Hughes specifically addressed the replicability of the U.S. shale boom in other nations. He noted that much of the ability to rapidly ramp up the North American shale oil and gas resulted from excellent infrastructure including a pre-existing transportation system of highways and roads that has facilitated low-cost movement of bulky extraction equipment. Clear property rights and a history of government-facilitated R&D funding on unconventional shale extraction have made the shale boom possible. The U.S. also has an extensive natural gas pipeline network in place closely mirroring the geographic locations of many shale fields.

On the other hand, Edward Morse, Managing Director and Global Head-Commodities for Citi Research (Citibank) noted that larger oil and gas players from the U.S. may be organizationally flexible in terms of targeting high-risk high-reward unconventional shale resources in other nations, replicating some of the success of smaller companies that pioneered the financially-risky initial development of U.S. shale resources. He pointed out that the financial sector has played an important role in shale-gas development, providing initial investment support as many of the early smaller players developed the mature technologies used today. Finally, Daniel Tormey of ENVIRON Corporation, in a sentiment echoed during the conference’s Energy-Water Nexus Workshop, discussed the necessity of a “social license to operate.” Community acceptance of shale gas at the local level has ranged from strong opposition to excited acceptance of local shale development. As an example, he noted California’s mandate to disclose fracking fluid mixtures might be helping industry to gain greater acceptance of shale and could have helped mitigate some of New York’s opposition and current ban on extraction.

 

Dual Morning Plenary: Transportation Developments

Sonia Yeh of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies pointed out the future challenge of and need for low carbon travel as substantial personal vehicle transportation becomes more affordable in more nations. She covered the multiple California-specific as well as three U.S. federal policies in place aimed at lowering the carbon intensity of transportation. California has implemented the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) aimed at creating a market place for alternative technology fuels, the Zero Emissions Vehicle Program that provides rebates for hydrogen and electric cars, and AB118 that incentives for low-carbon fuels refueling station deployment. These interact with the recently proposed fuel standards for large trucks, and the U.S. federal increased-fuel-efficiency (CAFE) standards and national renewable fuels standards. With these six policies interacting with each other, it will be important to monitor developments in California to identify the best policies that can be replicated in other regions.

Anthony Yuen of Citibank discussed trends in global natural gas vehicle (NGV) adoption, as well as natural gas use in marine and rail transportation. Current NGV adoption has been limited to date in North America but has advanced substantially in many Asian nations. As highlighted by Sonia Yeh, natural gas initially faces a chicken-and-egg refueling station infrastructure to natural gas vehicle adoption development challenge. Anthony Yuen believes the history of previous transportation technology adoption may point towards a potential tipping point and rapid adoption of NGV if the conditions are right. Diesel’s 70% increase market adoption in both North American rail from 1945 to 1955 and U.S. Class 8 trucks from 1950 to 1970 shows that increasing affordability can drive rapid market shifts. Asian demand for NGV is increasing at an exponential rate now.

Juan Miguel Velasquez of EMBARQ, the Transportation Program of the World Resources Institute,  pointed to another low-carbon solution, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).  BRT dedicates road lanes exclusively to buses. This ensures buses can quickly convey passengers to alleviate private transport’s growing congestion issues in many countries.  BRT is being increasingly adopted worldwide with Latin American and Asia leading the way. EMBARQ’s analysis shows that  BRT and other congestion and emissions reducing technologies could lead to substantial drops in transport-related air pollution health issues and costly traffic accidents.

 

Dual Afternoon Plenary: Oil & Gas Reserve Valuation & Financing      

The first dual afternoon plenary highlighted the difficulties in assessing the exact long-term value of U.S. shale fields. Sandy Fielden, the Director of Energy Analytics at RBN Energy noted that increasing volumes of U.S. oil production in response to the fracking revolution masks a decline in value per unit of US oil production. U.S. production is getting lighter, and thus less valuable, whereas reserves calculated by the federal government don’t make a distinction between (lighter) condensates and (heavier) more valuable crudes. He said shale wells often have a different quality profile and high uncertainty in ultimately recoverable oil despite high initial production. This quality changes over the well’s lifetime as well, so that a better approach than classifying an individual well’s quality is for companies to explicitly treat quality and production risk of their entire oil production portfolio.

W. John Lee, a professor and Cullen Distinguished University Chair at the University of Houston agreed that conventional methods of evaluating reserves aren’t appropriate for shale resources given higher uncertainty and risk in each well’s total recoverable oil. He showed the pace of production decline varies dramatically for new plays, and believes the many industry-standard decline curves can be reasonably backed up by historical production data, but that depending on the particular curve used, total recoverable oil estimates can fluctuate by over 200 percent. This makes interpreting industry-aggregate reserves very difficult. Ideally, each play could employ numerical simulation methods, but he said in practice these methods are often limited by scarce reservoir data and expense.

 

Dual Afternoon Plenary: Climate Change and Carbon Policies - International Lessons and Perspectives

The second dual afternoon plenary focused on regional climate agreements across the globe. Danny Ellerman discussed recent policy developments in Europe’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). Early on, policy makers were interested in the use of carbon offsets and credits. Now, they are starting to focus on linkages between Europe’s cap and other regional cap and trades. He said Europe also appears to be moving away from an emphasis on specific binding renewable electricity targets after 2020. He believes additional renewable expansion through a renewable complementary policy would put downward pressure on the cap and trade’s permit price, suppressing potentially lower-cost abatement in favor of renewables. He believes Europe is a strong example of multinational carbon legislation and as it links to other regions, it may provide the foundation for a more international carbon agreement. When asked about leakage of carbon-emitting industries out of Europe in response to the cap, he said there has been little evidence of leakage to date.

Karen Palmer of Resources for the Future discussed the recent Obama Administration’s targets for reduced carbon emissions from the electricity sector. With the electricity sector responsible for 32 percent of the US’ carbon emissions, the proposed legislation could significantly impact U.S. carbon emissions. Earlier analysis by Resources for the Future shows that multi-state regional cap and trades could offer relatively cost-effective means to achieve the carbon targets, and that based on preliminary Resources for the Future analysis, regional cap and trades would be viable options for compliance with the proposed regulation. Regional caps have the potential for unintended consequences however, in regions with lower carbon prices, higher carbon emitting power plants might increase electricity production partially offsetting reductions in production from plants in higher carbon-priced regions. This would be facilitated by transmission lines spanning multiple regional cap jurisdictions used to arbitrage electricity prices.

Zhang Xiliang of Tsinghua University (Beijing) spoke not only of China’s future plans for significant reductions in carbon intensity and emissions, but also on significant progress already achieved and underway, particularly at a national regulatory level. China has recently implemented six out of seven planned trial carbon cap and trade systems in two provinces and five cities. In addition, he reported that a three year debate on the merits of the construction of nuclear capacity recently decided in favor of substantial nuclear deployment, starting in 2015, providing business opportunities for nuclear developers. He believes China recognizes that addressing climate change is one of the ways China can be a leader at the international level.

 

Wednesday

Dual Morning Plenary: Energy Financing

Katherine Spector, the Head of Commodities at CIBC World Markets and Robert Levin, the Managing Director at the CME Group led an engaging discussion on the development of oil and natural gas commodities markets pre- and post-financial crisis. Katherine Spector noted that from 2003 to 2008, the risk-adjusted forward curves and spot prices of oil tended towards agreement at $20 per barrel of crude oil regardless of the then-current spot price. This has fundamentally changed, with a new agreement at around $100 post-crisis. She also noted the trend of increasingly risk-averse investing by macro hedge funds and institutional investors, as well as the recent net cash outflows of institutional investors from commodities. Robert Levin showed that the number of traders and total positions on the U.S. NYMEX exchange had remained constant pre- and post-crisis in oil and had steadily increased in natural gas. In a first-pass analysis he showed that a higher number of traders, regardless of the sector, was correlated with lower price volatility. In looking towards the future, this could be a concern: the potential for regulatory arbitrage and trading moving overseas would reduce NYMEX participation, a potential unintended consequence of tighter financial oversight. Both speakers believe U.S. energy commodity markets uniquely provides liquidity and transparency into world oil markets due to the best and timely information collection and dissemination of oil and natural gas data in the world through the Energy Information Administration. Much of this would be lost if trading moves overseas.

 

Dual Morning Plenary: Utility Business Model

David Newberry, former IAEE president and University of Cambridge economist spoke of how a lack of European policy credibility with regards to the operating environment of future electricity markets is hampering long-run European electricity investment. Investments in new coal plants are favorably influenced by low-cost U.S. coal supplies, but depressed by expectations of future, but unclear, carbon regulation. Likewise, natural gas investment is simultaneously difficult to justify given intermittent-renewables-influenced low wholesale prices that might induce construction of shoulder and peaking suppliers, but encouraged by its potential to provide low-carbon capacity services. He outlined a vision of an efficient European grid meeting the triple mandates of low-cost, low-carbon and highly-reliable electricity including location-specific pricing with hedging markets. He believes formalized competitively-procured capacity markets without price ceilings can ensure system reliability, but that to the extent inter-country electricity transmission networks are expanded, capacity market cost savings can be realized through more robust imports. In the near term, he pointed out two concrete steps towards more effective policy: first, relaxing geographic constraints on what regions renewables must be sited in, and second, introducing competitive long-run capacity contracts backed by government credit to reduce borrowing costs.

Ralph Izzo, CEO, President and COO of New Jersey’s PSE&G spoke of providing electricity under three constraints: higher reliability, lower-emissions electricity, and expanded freedom for customer-side technology choices such as renewables and demand-side management. He advocated for utilities providing service subject to these constraints with as much freedom as possible.  Jigar Shah of Sun Edison agreed with the concept of electricity as a service, but instead advocated for as much innovation as possible whether implemented by the utilities or by third parties such as his own and other renewable and demand-side technologies and contracts. He believes the primary future challenge is attaining cost-effective service as new technologies are jointly introduced into the grid to improve the attributes of electricity available to consumers. Michel Derdevet an ERDF Board Member of France closed the session agreeing with David Newberry’s assessment that significant challenges exist in Europe, but also calling for energy economists and the public and private sector to focus internationally as well, on the 1.2 billion people and large regions without any access to electricity. He challenged IAEE’s membership to come up with solutions, such as a new regional transmission network throughout the nations of East Africa, expanding on the World Bank’s efforts to create a national electricity transmission network in Ethiopia.

 

Department of Energy: Water and Energy Nexus

In a breakout conference session on water and energy sponsored by Rice University’s Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, Christopher Smith, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy discussed U.S. policy pertaining to water’s role in supporting sustainable and efficient electricity, oil and gas production. The need for solutions is clear; utilities in Connecticut were recently forced to shut down nuclear power plants as a result of a shortage of water at the right temperature necessary to sustain once-through cooling. He spoke of new DOE “cross-cutting” initiatives aimed at facilitating joint public-private partnerships developing carbon capture and storage technologies, advanced low-water fracking materials, and reduced water consumption in solar-thermal facilities. Carbon capture and storage in certain cases may result in a win-win with pressurized carbon supplying “Enhanced Oil Recovery,” or the ability to extract otherwise non-economic residual oil from oil fields. Additional initiatives are aimed at optimizing fresh water consumption efficiency, finding ways to best-manage risk in non-conventional arctic deep-water oil extraction, and providing technology transfer opportunities for U.S. exporters of energy technologies.

Fletcher Fields, an economist with the DOE outlined the primary findings of a new report on the interdependency of water and energy: “The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities.” He highlighted that the relationship between water and energy is intensely regional, resulting in location-specific mismatches of energy demand for water and the combined supply availability of precipitation and groundwater. With regards to electricity the report finds increasing risk exposure of an aging fossil-fleet but that while not ideal, retrofits and plant upgrades are opportunities to increase fossil resilience to a potential changing regime of future water scarcity and supply uncertainty.

 

Closing Plenary: Worldwide Future Demand Growth

While the opening plenary focused on the state of energy production in the present, the closing plenary looked forward towards the role of emerging markets in shaping our collective energy future. Frederik R. Janssens, COO Latin America for Origin Energy provided a framework for thinking about long-run energy demand growth. Energy and infrastructure projects often have a lifetime of 20 or more years: choices we make today are important for the future. This, and that 1.5 billion people are in regions where energy demand is tightly correlated with economic growth, mean there will be high pressure on energy consumption in the future, making an increasing disconnect between stated climate goals of 2 degrees Celsius warming and the current world trajectory with today's technologies and policies. Short run geopolitical hurdles also exist, with political instability such as Iraq impacting world energy markets today as noted by Jason Bordoff, the Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, SIPA at Columbia University.

Mauricio Tolmasquin, President of Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica (EPE) of Brazil discussed the importance to future energy markets of emerging markets in general and Brazil in particular. He projected that like other economies, as Brazil matures towards 2050, energy intensity will increase and energy use per unit of GDP will drop. He noted that Brazil already gets 41 percent of its energy from renewables, most notably hydropower, but that existing renewable capacity can easily be expanded even after excluding nature conservation and indigenous lands, 96 Gigawatts of potential hydropower opportunities remain to be developed. These additional hydropower units could provide grid stability paired with the 300 Gigawatts of large wind potential Brazil is also estimated to have. Wind capacity auctions in which the government strikes long term power purchase agreements with wind developers through competitive auctions have had great success in achieving low-cost wind development. With the world’s second largest uranium reserves, the state-owned nuclear electric operator has the potential to meet a significant share of Brazil’s electric demand growth. He believes Brazilian sugarcane has great potential as a biomass feedstock, with one ton of sugar cane having raw energy equal to 1.2 barrels of crude oil, of which .44 barrels comes from sugars and ethanol usable for transportation using today’s technology. By 2025, he expects Brazil to produce 5.5 million barrels per day of oil, mostly from as-of-yet undeveloped deep water (pre-salt) resources. This will be critical in meeting future demand growth.

Ying Fan of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP) with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) perhaps most directly highlighted the energy intensity, economic growth and climate change paradox facing today’s professional energy community. China remains only slightly more energy intensive per capita than the world average, at 2 relative to the U.S.’ 7 tons of oil equivalent per year. Encouragingly, energy intensity per unit of GDP rapidly dropped from 1980 to 2000, and slowly dropped from 2000 to 2012, yet with an expanding GDP, Ying Fan projected China will make up nearly double the U.S.’s energy demand in 2035, making up 31 percent of the net global energy demand growth from 2011 to 2035.

China’s energy imports are expanding, with Ying Fan projecting an increase from 20 to 40 percent natural gas import dependence and 45 to 80 percent oil import dependence by 2035. Ying Fan presented three scenarios for China’s energy consumption future: a reference case extrapolating future energy growth based on no change in existing policies, a lower carbon future, and a third policy future between the two. The lower carbon policies maintain the expanding use of natural gas but slightly decrease oil and significantly decrease coal absolute consumption levels in favor of a doubling of nuclear and renewable growth over forecasted growth with an extension of current policies. Even the low carbon future represents a doubling of CO2 emissions by 2030 over 2005 levels, however. Ying Fan projects renewables, led by hydropower and wind, to produce an increasing share of China’s energy. Ying Fan closed in hoping international cooperation could be reached between China and the rest of the world in achieving China’s energy growth plans as well as international environmental goals.

IAEE president Omowumi Iledare concluded the formal proceedings with thanks to the presenters and attendees, as well as the sponsors for making the conference, the largest in our history, a great success.

 

Student Involvement

In addition to the standard conference events, the New York City conference offered many great opportunities for students to showcase their research, formally and informally network with energy professionals, and expand their connections with other students about to launch careers in the many fields of energy economics. Student membership in IAEE continues to grow, and in the U.S. the newest local chapter recently formed was spearheaded by students from the Colorado School of Mines.

Special PhD Session

Sunday afternoon, five students presented their work in front of two referees during the PhD Session. After an initial presentation of topics ranging from taxation to renewable electricity to electric reliability in a developing nation, each student responded to questions and feedback from each referee. The event was well attended by around 40 other students. After the referee comments, students had chances to ask further questions. A break halfway through the conference afforded students a chance to catch up with IAEE students from prior events and introduce themselves to new students.

Student Mentoring Session

The Student Mentoring Session, an event previously available for IAEE conferences but new to USAEE, was held Sunday evening directly following the Baker Hughes opening reception. During the session, energy professionals engaged in academia, industry including oil and gas and utilities, and consulting sat around a room and met with small groups of, or one-on-one with, students to speak about life lessons and answer student-specific questions. Topics included times in their lives the professionals had considered important in shaping their careers’ success, what they viewed as important energy topics in the present and future, and opportunities and resources for the students’ future energy careers.

Student Breakfast Meeting

Monday morning afforded students an opportunity to connect again over breakfast in an event sponsored by Chevron. A short speech by USAEE’s President-Elect Troy Thompson of Chevron extended a warm welcome to students, and transitioned into Monday’s general conference opening plenary session.

IAEE Best Student Paper Award, Student Poster and Case Competitions

The IAEE Best Student Paper Award, Student Poster and Case Competitions challenged student finalists to showcase their research skills under the pressure of quick questions and feedback meant to feel not unlike a job market interview or consulting presentation. For each event, waivers of conference registration and substantial runner up and first place cash awards rewarded students for their efforts.

Student Happy Hour

Monday evening, after the first full day of conference activities and IAEE awards dinner, students were afforded an opportunity to enjoy the evening together in an informal setting. A happy hour, sponsored by the Norwegian School of Economics, was held from 9:30pm until late into the evening.

Night Out in New York City

Tuesday evening, students were free to meet up with colleagues, friends and recently-met students to explore New York City from the conference’s central downtown location. With an entrance to Penn Station across the street and the main Penn Station two blocks away, all of New York City was accessible for exploration.

Looking Forward to Seeing You Soon

With many conferences and opportunities to enrich your experience in energy economics, it's no wonder IAEE membership has expanded to its highest level ever.  Events like IAEE's 2014 Conference in New York City allow attendees the opportunity to learn about the most recent business trends, research and policy and to connect with leading energy professionals.  It is clear from the conference that finding ways to be the best possible stewards of the world's energy resources and put in place excellent policies for the future is very important.  IAEE and its local chapters offer many ways to get engaged in energy economics and to shape our collective energy future.  I look forward to meeting many of you again soon, whether at the 2015 IAEE Conference in Antalya, Turkey, the European Conference this year in Rome, or at USAEE's 2015 North American Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


 

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