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: The response of U.S. shale production to the global oil price collapse, including factors that have dramatically improved well productivity;What the future holds for oil and gas prices and the factors that will drive price movements;How global geopolitical events, such as a supply contraction in Venezuela or the Middle East, might impact the oil market;The relative market influence of U.S. shale production compared to the Middle East;The impact that electric vehicles might have on the oil market and demand growth in the long term;And many more.
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:How Exelon distinguishes between trends and fads in a changing market;Whether more acquisitions of regulated utility companies are on Exelon’s agenda;The future of Exelon’s nuclear fleet and what it would take for Exelon to build another nuclear plant;Efforts by state regulators to balance the interests of rooftop solar homes and power companies;And many more.
Dr. Michael Webber, Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, on the Energy-Water Nexus (8/1/16)
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: How are our energy and water systems connected? In what ways is water used in energy production, transportation and consumption? And how is energy used in the lifecycle of water used by society?What role does policy play in the energy-water nexus? What should policy do to address potential vulnerabilities--from energy production to climate impacts to aging infrastructure?Are there parallels to be drawn from designs for carbon pricing? How should we differentiate between water used for basic survival vs. luxury purposes?How can we manage the impacts of energy production on water quality and supply, specifically from shale oil and gas production?How can new technologies enhance protection of water quality, improve efficiency of water use in energy systems, and reduce energy intensity of water systems?How will the impacts of climate change affect the energy-water nexus?And many more.
Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner, on Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Electric Grid (7/25/16)
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: What is the state of the US electric grid today?What is the role of FERC and the federal system in terms of electricity regulation?How do changes in information technology and networked systems impact cybersecurity risks? What role is FERC playing to improve the security of a digital grid?How is the penetration of renewable energy in the resource mix changing the economics of electricity?Are there new or different reliability issues as a result of the increased use of natural gas in the power sector?What role can or should the Federal government play to mitigate physical risks to the grid, whether from natural disasters, extreme weather or simply aging infrastructure?And many more.
China is the world’s largest energy producer, energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter. Many analysts believe that this year, China will surpass the US to become the world’s largest oil importer. China has the world’s largest shale gas resource and leads the world in the deployment of solar panels. On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host David Sandalow sits down with Fu Chengdu, who recently retired as Chair of Sinopec, a Chinese state-owned oil and gas company and the second largest company in the world according to Fortune Magazine. Among the topics they discussed: What impact will China have on global oil markets in the months ahead?Can China develop its enormous shale gas resource?What steps is China taking to clean the air in its cities and address climate change?And many more. This conversation was originally recorded on July 1, 2016.
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