In 1976, Amory Lovins wrote a 10,000-word essay in Foreign Affairs that proposed a radically different path for America's energy future. Rather than continuing to rely on nuclear and fossil fuels, Lovins suggested what he called the “soft energy path” – one of efficiency and renewable energy. It has been 40 years since Lovins, now Co-founder & Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, wrote his seminal article. CGEP Director Jason Bordoff sits down with Amory to discuss the evolution of hard and soft energy paths and the choices now facing the US and the world.
The changes in U.S. oil and natural gas markets over the past 10 years have been among the most dramatic in the energy world. The development of technologies that have allowed U.S. companies to produce oil and gas directly from source rocks transformed the energy narrative of the U.S. from a major importer to, increasingly, an energy exporter. Along the way the shale boom provided a boost to the domestic economy, altered geopolitical relationships and raised serious and important environmental and climate questions.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange our guest is Rusty Braziel, President and Principle Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, LLC and author of The Domino Effect: How the Shale Revolution Is Transforming Energy Markets, Industries, and Economies. Almost two years into an oil price collapse that has hit the U.S. shale industry hard, Braziel and host Jason Bordoff discuss the current state of oil and gas markets in the U.S. as well as future expectations for domestic production, transportation, storage and demand and their influence on physical markets. Among the items they discuss:
Electric power companies across the U.S. are going through a period of unprecedented change. Low-cost natural gas, new technology, rapid expansion of renewables, and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions are some of the major factors shaking up the electricity sector. Moreover, for some power companies, keeping their nuclear power plants alive is another big challenge.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, we welcome Chris Crane, the president and CEO of Exelon Corp., a Fortune 100 energy company with the most utility customers in the U.S., and the nation’s leading operator of nuclear reactors.
Crane talks with host Bill Loveless about the ways in which he is piloting his company through this transformation. And on a timely note, they discuss a new clean energy standard in New York that would keep Exelon's nuclear plants in the Empire State running, and perhaps set a standard for other states to follow. Other topics include:
Turning on a light or filling a glass with water from the kitchen tap are two of the simple conveniences we often take for granted. While energy and water are essential resources, the ways in which they are interconnected is generally not well understood. If a country or region lacks one of these resources, that can limit its ability to access supplies of the other. Producing energy can impact water supply and quality. And producing useable water where its needed takes a lot of energy. Population and economic growth, climate change, government policies, and much more can all further strain access to water and energy, which is becoming ever more critical as developing economies seek access to them for their citizens.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Michael Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, to discuss the energy-water nexus, which is the topic of his recent book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival. Among the topics of they cover:
The National Academy of Engineering has called the American power grid the “supreme engineering achievement of the 20th century.” A network of generation, transmission and distribution, the grid brings reliable and affordable electricity virtually all the time to virtually all Americans, providing a service essential to the nation’s economy, security and wellbeing. But the structure and management of the grid are both changing rapidly. Information technology and increasingly networked systems, distributed generation and more intermittent energy sources, smart grids and new technologies that link our appliances, cars, and smartphones to the grid, provide great benefits but also pose potential risks. Threats of cybersecurity, physical security, natural disasters must be addressed, as well as local opposition to new infrastructure and simply aging infrastructure and limited resources. All of these make maintaining the reliability and affordability of electricity services a daunting challenge.
On this episode of Columbia energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the grid today. Among the topics of they address:
This conversation was originally recorded on July 1, 2016.
One year ago, the United States and its partners concluded their negotiations with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement intended to reduce the threat from Iran's nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Implementation of the agreement began in January 2016. Richard Nephew, program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy, who was the lead sanctions negotiator for the United States from 2013-2014, has written a report on six months' implementation of the nuclear deal, particularly with respect to sanctions relief. He concludes that sanctions relief has been stalled as much by concerns over residual sanctions as domestic regulatory factors and low oil prices globally.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Nephew to discuss his report and the status of the Iran agreement's implementation at 6 months. Among the topics they discuss are:
U.S. energy policy has gone through many twists and turns over the past 40 years, as the nation transitioned from gasoline lines to an abundance of oil, natural gas and renewable energy. No one has been more involved in shaping and analyzing energy policy than Phil Sharp, having spent 20 years as one of the leading lawmakers on the topic and the last 11 as the President of Resources for the Future, Washington D.C.’s oldest think tank devoted exclusively to analysis of energy and the environment. Sharp recently joined the Center on Global Energy Policy as a Fellow.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Sharp about his time as a lawmaker in D.C., when Congress worked on a bipartisan basis to enact policies addressing concerns over the production of energy and how we consume it. During the conversation Sharp recalls some of the biggest battles over energy policy on Capitol Hill, the dramatic changes in U.S. energy fortunes, and what we can learn from these experiences, including:
Global energy markets are in the midst of a historic transition, from the Paris climate agreement and rapidly falling renewable energy costs to the collapse of oil prices and the US shale boom. The changing dynamics highlight why collecting and analyzing the fundamentals of the global energy market is critical for developing sound energy and economic policy. This task has only become more difficult with the pace of technological change in the energy sector, growing climate policy efforts, and the shifting dynamics of geopolitics.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), to discuss future trends in energy and the way EIA collects and analyzes data. Among the topics they discussed:
This podcast was originally recorded on June 9, 2016.
Since the 1930’s when oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain -- have been key players in the global oil market. While their vast endowment of oil resources has enhanced the region's economic and geopolitical importance, it has also linked its fate to the cycle of oil prices. The rapid pace of change in the energy sector today, from the rise of US shale and the historic collapse in oil prices to the growing international commitment to address climate change, poses key challenges for the GCC. How the countries deal with these issues will have profound implications for them and the world as a whole.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, Jason Bordoff, the director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, sat down with Nader Sultan, the former CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, who is now a Senior Partner in the company F&N Consultancy as well as the Director of the Oxford Energy Seminar. The discussion touched on a range of topics, including:
This conversation was originally recorded on June 14, 2016.
Seven years ago, David Sandalow pitched an idea that’s turned into one of the biggest international gatherings on clean energy. While an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandalow proposed to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu an annual meeting of energy ministers from around the world to help accelerate the transition to clean energy technologies. The first Clean Energy Ministerial was held in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2010.
Recently, the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial took place in San Francisco. Delegates from 23 governments and the European Union participated. Thousands of business leaders, NGO leaders and members of the public attended the public meetings and trade show at the Ministerial. Sandalow, the Inaugural Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, was in San Francisco and, not long after returning, joined Bill Loveless on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast. Among their topics:
Breakthrough technologies can transform the way that energy is produced and consumed. But pursuing them is often beyond the means of the private sector for a host of reasons. Enter the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, a program at the US Department of Energy founded in 2009 that supports high-potential, high-impact technologies with funding, technical assistance and market preparedness. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, to discuss the future of energy technology.
This conversation was originally recorded on May 26, 2016.
When it comes to energy, Colorado has it all, with an abundance of oil, natural gas and coal, as well as solar and wind power. With all of those options to choose from, the Rocky Mountain state has seen its share of both controversy and compromise, and may offer a lesson for other states responding to new energy and climate challenges.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Bill Ritter, a former Democratic governor of Colorado, about his new book: “Powering Forward: What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution.” Governor Ritter joined the podcast from the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which he launched in 2011.
This interview was originally recorded on May 20, 2016.
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted the 2016 Columbia Global Energy Summit on April 27. Structured as a half-day forum, the Summit included keynote remarks, interviews and plenary conversations with senior energy and climate leaders focused on key issues and questions at the intersection of energy policy, financial markets, the environment and geopolitics.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sat down with three of our Summit participants: (0:48) Bill Reilly, a former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency; (17:12) Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund; and (35:29) Ralph Izzo, CEO of the Public Service Enterprise Group, owner of the largest utility in New Jersey.
These interviews originally took place on April 27, 2016.
The electric utility business in the USis undergoing fundamental changes, with new forms ofcompetition, new technologies and new demands to provide powerthat's cleaner than ever before while maintainingreliability and keeping costs down. For utility executives,that means different ways of doing business.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host BillLoveless sits down with Mary Powell, President and CEO ofGreen Mountain Power, who since assuming her role in 2008 hasbeen shifting the Vermont utility from simplyproviding electricity to offering a broader rangeof services, including saving energy. She joined the programfrom New York after spending time with studentsfrom the Center's Women in Energy Program.
This interview was originally recorded on April 21, 2016.
Japan ranks as the world's largest liquified natural gas importer, second largest coal importer and third largest net importer of oil. In the years immediately after its nuclear fleet was shutdown, Japan's imported fuel costs swelled, raising concerns that its environmental ambitions might be scaled back. Market dynamics have now shifted again, however, with the collapse of oil prices, the global LNG market looking to be glutted in the years to come and international attention shifting to climate change after the Paris COP21 agreement. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Ken Koyama, Managing Director, Chief Economist, Strategy Research Unit, for the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, to discuss these and other aspects of Japan's energy and climate landscape.
This interview was originally recorded on April 7, 2016.
Around the world energy markets are in flux. Laszlo Varro, the new Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, has the job of making sense of it all, from the historic oil price collapse and outlook for coal to sharply declining renewable costs and the historic Paris climate agreement. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Mr. Varro to discuss these and other transformations happening across the global energy system.
This podcast was originally recorded on April 14, 2016.
What's happening in China? Its a question top of mind for everyone trying to make sense of the energy and climate outlook. Has Chinese coal demand really peaked? How soon might we see peak carbon emissions? What is China doing on climate policy and how will it ramp up those policies post-Paris? Will China continue to be the great driver of global energy demand? The news coming out of China often raises as many questions as it answers. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Sun Xiansheng who just stepped down as President of the Economics and Technology Research Institute, the in-house research arm for China National Petroleum Corporation, the state energy giant.
This interview was originally recorded on April 1, 2016.
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Victor Abate, Chief Technology Office and Senior Vice President at GE, to discuss how technology is changing the ways we produce and use energy -- "from dinosaurs to dining room tables."
This podcast was originally recorded on April 1, 2016.
Energy markets are in transition. The oil market is in the midst of one of its steepest price collapses in history, the first-ever shipment of US LNG from the lower 48 recently set sail, renewable costs are falling dramatically and nearly 200 nations came together in Paris to agree to change the energy mix as we know it. On top of these changes the global economic outlook is as uncertain as ever. How are we to make sense of all these changes and what they mean for the future of the energy landscape? To help answer that question, host Jason Bordoff sat down with Christof Ruhl, Global Head of Research at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, on the latest episode of Columbia Energy Exchange.
This interview was originally recorded on February 21, 2016.
The 2014-2015 oil price collapse may have reached its bottom with the recent price rally. Myriad factors will shape the outlook, from talk of an OPEC production “freeze” and geopolitical risk to the resilience of US shale output and demand uncertainty. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sat down with Bobby Tudor, CEO of Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., to discuss the critical issues facing the US oil patch and global oil markets right now.
This podcast was originally recorded on February 25, 2016.
The evolving energy landscape is raising many questions about how best to build energy infrastructure across the United States to transport electricity via power lines and oil and gas through pipelines. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, Tony Clark, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), sat down with host Bill Loveless to discuss the future of energy transmission.
This interview was originally recorded on March 10, 2016
Iranian elections on February 26, 2016 appear to have empowered reformist and moderate-leaning candidates, notwithstanding attempts on the part of hardline members of the Iranian government to steer the elections decisively in their own favor. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, Richard Nephew, Director of the Economic Statecraft, Sanctions, and Energy Markets program at the Center on Global Energy Policy, joins us to discuss the implications of the elections for Iranian domestic politics, Iran's return to the oil market, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
This podcast was originally recorded on February 29, 2016.
On February 22, 2016 the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Medium Term Oil Market Report, projecting how global oil supply, demand and trade will evolve over the next five years at a time of historic upheaval in the global oil market. And oil is just one of the ways the global energy system is being transformed by new technologies, shifts in traditional supply and demand dynamics and growing concerns about climate change and energy poverty. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, sat down with host Jason Bordoff to discuss these and other changes shaping the global energy outlook.
This podcast was originally recorded on February 23, 2016.