The development of energy as we know it, from production to conversion to end-use, whether from fossil-fuels, renewable power or other sources, results from an ongoing dynamic interaction between market needs and preferences, progress in technologies and public policy initiatives. Cutting across this to make sense of the ever-changing landscape is the analysis and language of energy economics: the essential ingredient that brings a common understanding of the forces and drivers in play.
The 38th annual USAEE/IAEE Conference provides a forum for informed and collegial discussion of how energy economics is contributing to the current and future thinking of businesses, consumers, technology developers and public policy institutions in North America and around the world as they drive towards the future world of energy.
In 2020, our conference takes place in Austin, Texas. Texas is a state rich in the history of energy as well as a vibrant proving ground for major changes in energy markets. In oil and gas, Texas was the home of the historic Spindletop discovery early in the 20th century; was at the heart of the US oil and gas developments for its first 70 years; and where the Texas Railroad Commission became a globally important regulatory authority. More recently, Texas has seen the birth of the US unconventional oil and gas business with the Barnett Shale in north Texas and the prolific Permian basin. Downstream, Texas is home to major refining and petrochemical plants as well as hosting new LNG export facilities. In electric power, Texas was a pioneer in opening up the market to retail competition and remains one of the few jurisdictions in the US where this remains the norm. And Texas has seen a huge build-out of low-carbon power generation, particularly wind energy, making the state a leader in this field. And last, but not least, Texas institutions like The University of Texas, Rice University, and Texas A&M, have been at the forefront of thinking and research about energy science and economics. There is indeed much to discuss and study just in relation to Texas energy markets and we expect conference delegates to benefit from this context.
As in previous years, the conference will highlight forward-looking energy themes at the intersection of economics, technology and public policy, including those affecting energy infrastructure, environmental regulation, markets, the role of governments, and international energy trade. Participation from industry, government, non-profit, and academic energy economists will enrich a set of robust, diverse and insightful discussions.