The outlook for global oil demand has changed dramatically over the last decade. New technologies and policy have energy experts forecasting that demand for oil will peak. Many tie this outlook to the advent of electric vehicles, but given that cars account for only one-fourth of world oil demand today, others factors will play an important role in peak oil, including the electrification of the transport sector and large vehicles, including trucks and buses.
To understand the outlook for electrification of the U.S. transport sector, host Jason Bordoff speaks with Ryan Popple, President and CEO of Proterra, a U.S. company that designs and manufactures fleets of electric powered buses, on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange.
Prior to joining Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins and one of the first 200 employees at Tesla Motors, where he was senior director of finance. He serves on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and he previously served in the U.S. Army.
Among the topics that Ryan and Jason discuss are: The economics of electrifying bus fleets and impacts of volatile oil prices; The outlook for battery technology; Electric bus performance today and in the future; The link between energy policy and electrification of the transport sector; and the outlook for electric vehicles outside the United States.
Discussions about U.S. energy policy typically focus on Washington, where the White House, Congress and agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dominate the headlines. This makes it easy to overlook the roles played by state regulators, whose vital decisions affect the flow of energy locally and how much consumers pay for electricity and natural gas.
With that in mind, host Bill Loveless sat down with John “Jack” Betkoski III, the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), to talk about challenges facing state regulators at a time when innovative technology, a changing climate and shifting public attitudes are disrupting traditional energy markets.
As Jack notes in the podcast, “We’re the ones in the trenches. We’re the ones who deal with utilities on a regular basis.”
Jack, the vice chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and Bill met outside NARUC’s 2018 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,000 state regulators and others gathered.
Among the topics that Bill and Jack discussed are: The energy-water nexus—the primary theme of Jack’s NARUC presidency; Recent actions by FERC on electricity resilience and reliability; Public opposition to new gas pipeline construction; Concerns over the volatility of recent storms; The outlook for renewable energy, nuclear energy.