2009 EIA Energy Conference

Sorry for the long gap in posts, but I haven’t had much Internet access this week. Now I am freshly arrived back in the U.S., so I thought I would just quickly touch base.

The 2009 EIA Energy Conference is scheduled for April 7th and 8th, and I have been invited to be on a panel session called Energy and the Media. Lots of familiar names will be speaking; at least familiar to me. I have mentioned Paul Sankey from Deutsche Bank here a couple of times. I have spoken with Steve Mufson from the Washington Post on energy issues, and he will be on the panel with me. Of course former TWIP author and friend of R-Squared Doug MacIntyre will be there, and I look forward to finally meeting him.

I can’t imagine that the RFA’s chief lobbyist Bob Dinneen is going to be happy that they have invited an “energy blogger” to participate, given that he finds us such an “unsavory lot.” Maybe he can set his ad hominems aside for long enough to answer some serious questions during his panel session Renewable Energy in the Transportation and Power Sectors. That may be asking a bit much from someone who is paid $300,000 a year to say nice things about the ethanol industry – and nasty things about those who are critical of ethanol policies.

Anyway, the conference is free, so if you happen to be in the area, be sure to drop by.

5 thoughts on “2009 EIA Energy Conference”

  1. At EIA maybe you can provide a short list basic questions reporters need to ask whenever they are doing a story on any new biofuel study or claims. Most of the stories just spit back the talking points of researchers or the investors (e.g., Khosla et al). Or worse, groups like the DoE Sandia lab releases talking points and have press releases, but never release the full study! That’s what they did with their recent ’90 billion gallon’ study. Reporters need to have a basic list of questions could help them get the real story. Or maybe you could revisit the hype behind Khosla’s corn ethanol ‘bets’, the now close to bankruptcy Pacific Ethanol and Altrabiofuels. Or why his Range Fuels cellulosic project is already 18 months behind schedule barely 18 months after it started.

  2. Hope it goes well Robert! Really interesting subject you ‘ll be talking about. Dont forget to stick it to Time Magazine for that preposterous article they had on Jatropha.


  3. I hope you state the truth…that amidst all the blogging, there are diamonds in the rough, way, way, way before even business media and other astute reporters get to them. The blog has it crackpots, but anyone interested in energy would do well to check in on three or four websites every day.
    I see the same thing in local real estate in Los Angeles. The blogs and websites have totally eclipsed local real estate reporters. The volume, depth and insights on the web vastly exceed the mainstream media.
    An interesting issue: Who finances certain well-known websites? And, investor beware: There are no laws about front-running in commodities. Thus, it is legal for a websites to tout a commodity, and take a position in that commodity.
    We also don’t know if certain websites are tied to sovereign wealth funds, or commodity traders. We know that some websites practice censorship, and I am talking about profanity. There is no disclosure.
    It is a wild frontier…but lots of insightful commentary, if you know where to look.

  4. No need to apologise for the gap Robert.

    Articles are appreciated as, and when, they appear.



  5. EIA statistics can be useful for understanding trends. California is the self proclaimed leader in renewable energy. So how are they doing and what does that mean for the bigger picture of the US and the world.

    I read an article about how well California’s RPS is promoting new projects with more than 500 MWe of new capacity resulting. I opened the report the article was based on at the CPUC web site just to be greeted with the typical jargon filled smoke screen that you get from California. However, there was a spread sheet that listed the names and location of the projects.

    So how much of the new projects completed in 2008 were outside of California? Drum roll please!

    About 430 MWe of the capacity was built someplace else. About 45 MWe was new in California, the rest were repower projects. Another PNW IOU is considering selling their wind generation to California. Their projects were developed for their customers but if California will pay more they will sell the electricity to California. With the national PTC, wind projects are economical based on the PNW wind resources and the cost of natural gas.

    Since I no longer live in California, it is none of my business. However, I find it interesting in the context that this story is not being reported. The Southeast is wind poor and coal rich. Some estimates of Obama polices project an increase electricity by 40% in some places.

    I am in favor of a national PTC that reduces use natural gas because we all share the beneficial aspects of lower natural gas prices. I am also in favor of modest state RPS based on the state’s renewable energy resources because it creates local jobs and provides experience that may someday lead to renewable energy being an important part of the energy mix.

    The issue is creating national policy that is benefits a few and punishes others. State RPS and national PTC are working. Feed in ates like in Germany appear to work too. I do like the anti-regulations. We still depend on oil, natural gas, and coal for energy. Making fossil fuels more expensive hurts everyone. Incentives for alternatives are working to create projects.

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