Austin Electricity Conference Draws Another Distinguished Group


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz were among the participants in the Second Annual Austin Electricity Conference, held at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center on April 4th and 5th. The conference was an invitation-only affair, bringing together scholars, industry representatives and policymakers each spring to address cutting edge issues in the energy industry. This year's conference theme was "Climate Change, Clean Energy and Electricity;" last year's conference focused on the "Smart Grid."

This year’s conference included academic participants from Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, and University of California at Berkeley, among others, as well as environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. Also represented were companies and governmental organizations including ERCOT, the Texas Public Utility Commission, Oncor, AEP, Austin Energy, CalISO, Calpine, among others.  University of Texas panelists included David Spence of the McCombs School of Business, David Adelman of the University of Texas School of Law, Ross Baldick of the Cockrell School of Engineering, and Varun Rai of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

During the first day, conference participants focused on renewable energy, including an exploration of the effects of state renewable portfolio standards as drivers of investment in renewable energy, as well as an examination of the problems of integrating renewable sources (such as wind generation) into the electric grid. The second day focused on the future role of traditional electricity sources, such as natural gas.

The 2012 conference was co-sponsored by the UT Law School's Energy Center, the McCombs School of Business’ Energy Management and Innovation Center, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, as well as the Pecan Street Project and the University of Texas Energy Institute. The conference website contains a complete list of conference participants, as well as photos and the full conference agenda.


The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily The University of Texas at Austin.

About The Author

David Spence

Professor, Business, Government & Society,

Professor Spence's research and teaching focus on business-government relations with emphasis on energy and environmental regulation. He received his...

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