Tuesday 2019

Tuesday, February 5 – Emerging Technologies and Solutions

Panel Discussions | Keynote Interview | GAIN Networking Event

8:00 – 9:00


9:00 – 9:15

Opening Remarks

9:15 – 10:15

Panel 1: The Tipping Point for Electric Vehicles
According to the International Energy Agency, the global fleet of electric vehicles grew 54% in 2017 and will skyrocket from 3 million to 125 million by 2030. From sustainable policy initiatives, to the decreasing price of batteries, to the development of EV charging infrastructure in some areas, various factors may help catalyze this trend. However, many remain skeptical of the long-term affordability and feasibility of EVs. On this panel, three experts with experience in EV charging infrastructure and finance, market analytics and energy efficiency, and oil and gas will discuss the future of electric vehicles and the transportation sector.Click to view PDF slides
Dave Tuttle, Research Associate, UT Energy Institute (Moderator)
Brandy Brown, Senior Evaluation Consultant at CLEAResult
Lin Khoo, Senior VP Strategy, Greenlots
Edmond Young, Consultant, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Infrastructure, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

10:15 – 10:30


10:30 – 11:30

Panel 2: The Future of Building Energy Efficiency: Smart Building or Building Smart?
Panel sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin Student Chapter of ASHRAE
Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption in the United States. In the growing age of ‘smart’ technologies and sustainable design, how do these influence energy usage in commercial buildings? This panel will assess current design and technology-based solutions for their energy saving capabilities in existing and new commercial buildings and project the future of the industry. Discussion will also touch on the following questions: What does ‘smart building’ look like now, and in the future? What are barriers to adoption and challenges to implement tech-based solutions? How will standards and certifications (e.g., AEGB, ASHRAE, LEED, WELL, Living Building) evolve to make way for these changes?
Zoltan Nagy, Assistant Professor, Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, UT Austin (Moderator) • Click to view PDF slides
Michael Sweeney, Associate Principal, Arup • Click to view PDF slides
Sarah Talkington, Project Manager, Austin Energy – Commercial Green Building • Click to view PDF slides
Allison Wilson, Sustainability Director, Ayers Saint Gross • Click to view PDF slides

11:30 – 1:00

Lunch and Keynote Interview
Japan’s Energy Future: A Case Study
Fred Beach, Assistant Director for Policy Studies, UT Energy Institute (Moderator)
Hisanori Nei, National Graduate Institute For Policy Studies

1:00 – 2:15

Panel 3: Clean, Green or In-between: Competing visions of a decarbonized economy
The most recent IPCC report suggests that immediate action is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the impacts of climate change. What remains unclear is the path towards achieving this goal. Can the electric grid be comprised of 100% renewable energy sources or will other clean energy sources be needed for this transition? This panel will discuss which energy technologies are vital for this transition as the penetration of intermittent renewables continues to increase. The panel will also discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with rapidly scaling up new emerging technologies such as battery storage, small modular reactors and carbon capture and storage.
Asher Price, Energy Reporter, Austin American-Statesman (Moderator)
David Petti, Director of the Nuclear Fuels and Materials Division – Idaho National Laboratory • Click to view PDF slides
Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists • Click to view PDF slides
Vanessa Nunez-Lopez, Research Scientist, Gulf Coast Carbon Center & Bureau of Economic Geology, UT Austin • Click to view PDF slides

2:15 – 2:30


2:30 – 3:30

Panel 4: Sustainability and Economic Pressures in the Petrochemical Industry
To maintain competitiveness in international markets, the chemical industry must continuously seek to promote sustainability while reducing costs, especially to improve public brand perception in light of growing concern over the environmental impact of plastics. In meeting this sustainability challenge, feedstock and process energy sourcing has become increasingly important with the advent of cheap shale gas drilling and advances in other non-traditional feedstocks such as biomass and CO2. This panel seeks to address how these emerging feedstock and process energy technologies compare in cradle-to-grave environmental footprint and overall economic viability with regards to governmental policy.
Thomas Edgar, The George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Engineering, UT Austin (Moderator)
Edward Stones, Global Business Director of Energy and Climate Change, Dow Chemical • Click to view PDF slides
Schweta Karwa, Process Evaluation Engineer, Shell
Jeff Henze, Energy and Infrastructure Management, BASF Corporation • Click to view PDF slides

3:30 – 3:45


3:45 – 5:00

Panel 5: Unconventional Oil and Gas: Opportunities for Future Development and Managing Above-Ground Challenges
The United States has seen resurgence in petroleum production, mainly driven by improved hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling techniques for natural gas production from shale formations. Application of these technologies enabled natural gas to be economically produced from shale and other unconventional formations and contributed to the United States becoming the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2009. However, the rapid expansion of tight oil and shale gas extraction using high-volume hydraulic fracturing has raised concerns about its potential environmental and health impacts. These concerns include potential direct impacts to groundwater and surface water quality, water supplies, and air quality. In addition, some have raised concerns about potential long-term and indirect impacts from reliance on fossil fuels and resulting greenhouse gas emissions and influence on broader energy economics. This panel will examine the broader view of developing unconventional oil and gas. Can the success in the US be replicated elsewhere in the world? What is the most likely course of future shale gas? What are the externalities related to shale gas that we can be further managed to minimize its impacts?Click to view PDF slides
Bill Fairhurst, Project Manager, The Bureau of Economic Geology (Moderator)
Charles Sternbach, President, Star Creek Energy
Colin Leyden, Senior Manager, State Regulatory & Legislative Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund
Sheila Olmstead, Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin
Richard Chuchla, Director, Energy & Earth Resources Program at UT Austin (Moderator)


GAIN networking event