34th IAEE/USAEE North American Conference Session Descriptions



Grand River Dam Authority Tour

8:15am - 5:30pm • Meet in front of hotel to board the coach
Sponsored By: Grand River Dam Authority

This tour will be an opportunity to meet with GRDA’s senior management team and learn more about the decisions which went into GRDA’s unique mix of generation consisting of natural gas, conventional hydro, pumped-storage hydro, wind purchase contracts, and coal. Buses pick up from the hotel's main entrance, 2nd Street.

More Information

Case Competition Session

4:30pm - 6:00pm • Promenade Ballroom B Room

Parth Vaishnav (Presiding)
Research Engineer
Carnegie Mellon University

Team #1 - Solar Solutions International
Arash Saboori
Ben White

University of California, Davis
(View Presentation)

Team #2 - CEEP@Delaware
Joseph Nyangon
Nabeel Alabbas

University of Delaware
(View Presentation)

Team #3 - The Pittsburgh Pascals
Apratim Vidyarthi
Pritham Aravind
Raafe Khan
Suyash Kela
Stephanie Beels

Carnegie Mellon University
(View Presentation)


Opening Plenary Session: Energy Policy - Competing Visions from the Two Parties

9:00am - 10:30am • Tulsa Ballroom South

Both the Senate and House are working on comprehensive energy legislation. If it becomes law, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016 will have far reaching implications for virtually all sectors of the energy sector. The goal of this session is to get an update on the status of the legislation from key staffers on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Will the legislation help us become more energy self sufficient? What will the legislation mean for modernizing our infrastructure? What are the goals for increasing the share of renewables? Increasing exports of domestic oil and natural gas? And if the legislation is not yet finalized by the time of the conference, what is the likely future of the legislation during the final two months of 2016?

Inaugural Government Track Session 1 and Concurrent Sessions 1-6

11:00am - 12:45pm

Dual Plenary Session: Managing in a Low-Price Environment

2:30pm - 4:00pm • Tulsa Ballroom South

There has been much discussion and media coverage of the implications for the oil and gas industry as a result of the extended low-price environment that we find ourselves in. However, different segments of the industry have been affected differently and have dealt with the conditions in different manners. The panel of industry participants will discuss what the effects have been on their segment and what they have done to address changes so they survive the current market and prepare for the future.

Dual Plenary Session: Challenges and Opportunities in the Transport Sector

2:30pm - 4:00pm • Tulsa Ballroom Central

Some targets are easier to hold up than to hit, and doubling US vehicle mileages in nine years is no exception. This session will explore the economic, policy and technical implications involved in vastly increasing vehicle efficiencies, the role markets will play, and how quickly changes can take place while still keeping the nation moving. Top vehicle builders and transportation economists will debate prospects and costs for further petroleum engine efficiencies and lighter vehicle materials, as well as emerging electric vehicle (EV) technologies, falling battery costs, and electricity generation and delivery system economics – all amid persistently low fuel prices.

Inaugural Government Track Session 2 and Concurrent Sessions 7-12

4:30pm - 6:15pm

Poster Session & Networking Reception

6:30pm - 8:00pm • Promenade Ballroom B, C, D and Foyer


Inaugural Government Track Session 3 and Concurrent Sessions 13-18

8:30am - 10:15am

Dual Plenary Session: U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Exports - How have the economics changed?

10:45am - 12:15pm • Tulsa Ballroom South

The oil and natural gas industries are facing uncertainty as the rate of demand growth has failed to match either expectations or that of supply. The resulting low prices have damaged the economics of investments worldwide, with many factors having led to the change in industry dynamics. How will oil and natural gas and their roles in the larger energy mix, in both domestic and international markets, evolve to regain balance and provide new arbitrage opportunities? Are export market incentives necessary to promote domestic energy self-sufficiency? Our panel of experts will aim to provide insights into the changing conditions and answers to these questions.

Dual Plenary Session: Challenges and Opportunities for Renewables

10:45am - 12:15pm • Tulsa Ballroom Central

The real-world promise and challenge of integrating large volumes of variable renewable energy are driving change in the center of the US. This panel is composed of a leader of the emerging transmission industry conveying that energy to market, a leader of a regional system operator integrating that energy in a reliability-first grid, and a leader of a major utility struggling with the market effects of that integration, moderated by an expert on renewable energy cost trends. What are the real market economics of renewables in today's power sector, and what further change should be expected?

Concurrent Sessions 19-23

2:00pm - 3:45pm

Dual Plenary Session: Shale and the Future of World Oil

4:15pm - 5:45pm • Tulsa Ballroom South

Our expert panel will discuss how the advent of shale oil is likely to impact OPEC’s strategic role in the world oil market. Implications for long-term price trends, market structure, and international trade patterns will be considered, in addition to the prospects for, and potential significance of North American self-sufficiency in petroleum.

Dual Plenary Session: Clean Power Plan - Implications and Strategies

4:15pm - 5:45pm • Tulsa Ballroom Central

In 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Clean Power Plan, an ambitious regulatory plan to reduce electricity sector emissions 32% by 2030. This panel will discuss critical issues and implications of the plan, including its costs and economic efficiency, effects on energy markets, current legal challenges, and utility strategies for implementation.


Dual Plenary Session: Across the Borders - Updates from Canada and Mexico

8:30am - 10:00am • Tulsa Ballroom South

Recent political developments in Canada and Mexico may impact energy markets and North America energy trade. The new left-of-center government in Alberta has been taking a very different view of the oil sands operations in that Province, while the new Canadian Federal government is also intending to change policies toward the energy sector. Meanwhile, Mexico has begun to implement significant new policies affecting the Pemex monopoly on oil and gas development, while it has also embarked on a radical restructuring of its electricity industry. How might these developments affect North American energy markets and trade in oil, natural gas and electricity? How might developments in energy markets in turn influence political developments in both countries longer term?

Dual Plenary Session: On the Other Side of the Meter - Demand Side Issues

8:30am - 10:00am • Tulsa Ballroom Central

In the past, discussions of the electricity sector have been mainly focused on supply-side issues. However, in recent years demand-side considerations have become increasingly important. With advances in technology, policy developments, and increased efforts to understand consumer behavior, the time is ripe to investigate the 'other side of the meter'. An expert panel will convene to discuss these demand-side considerations for individual households and users as well as their impact on the electricity system as a whole.

Concurrent Sessions 24-28

10:30am - 12:15pm

Closing Plenary Session: Outlook and Global Perspectives

12:15pm - 1:45pm • Tulsa Ballroom South

The US remains a growing presence in global energy markets just as these markets are playing a growing role in on the US energy scene. Pulling together the various strands running through the previous two days requires both a broad view and long experience in energy markets as represented on the panel before you and among the audience of which you are all a part. This is meant to be a participatory session, with panel interaction and hopefully ample audience participation. Each of the four panelists will spend about five minutes laying out what they think the key energy issues are, where they think things are going globally and how that will affect the US.