Advancing the Grid
To be held on June 28 in Washington, DC, the half-day conference will include:
- Neil Chatterjee, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- Eric Lightner, the Department of Energy’s director of the smart grid task force
- Peter F. Green, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory deputy director, science and technology
- Christopher Colbert, the chief strategy officer of NuScale Power
- P. Rodney Blevins, Dominion Energy chief information officer
- Caitlin Durkovich, an infrastructure security expert with Toffler Associates
- Dave McCarthy, Potential Energy DC founder and executive director
The power grid is at a crossroads.
The nature of the challenges before us – and the path forward for our electric infrastructure – will be explored at a half-day conference, Advancing the Electrical Grid, at the National Press Club in Washington, on June 28.
Limited seating still available at the conference. Reserve your seat now!
The electric grid looms as one of the most expensive elements in the U.S. economy.
It has long been touted as overarching all other engineering marvels of the past century as the most important fixture in our modern lives.
It powers our lights, our cell phones, our defibrillators.
Yet it now is challenged, like never before, to knit together solar and wind energy resources that are fast multiplying, to fend off malicious hackers from Russia to North Korea, to accommodate energy storage and a surging fleet of tens of thousands of new electric vehicles, buses and trucks coming down the road.
Research and development on a moonshot scale is needed.
Yet Bill Gates and a few others have warned that we are not investing enough in energy research and development.
He pointed out that energy companies spend about 0.4 percent of revenue on R&D compared to the 11.5 percent spent by aerospace and defense and the 20.5 percent spent by pharmaceutical companies.
“… the federal government should adequately fund long-term research, roughly tripling energy R&D to $16 billion a year from the current $5 billion a year,” Gates wrote in June 2014. “Energy would then represent 6 percent of the total federal R&D budget.”
The June conference will update his message and measure our success – and shortcomings – in implementing that vision.
Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Eric Lightner, the Department of Energy’s director of the smart grid task force, and Peter F. Green, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory deputy director, science and technology, will give the view from the federal government side of our energy system.
Representing the private sector will be Christopher Colbert, the chief strategy officer of NuScale Power, a leading player in the development of a new generation of small modular nuclear reactors. They promise to be affordable and safer than our existing fleet of aging mega-reactors.
Rodney Blevins, Dominion Energy chief information officer, will discuss how utilities – some more than a century old – view the technological challenges ahead and how they will spur new technology deployments while embracing new business models.
Caitlin Durkovich, an infrastructure security expert with Toffler Associates, formerly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will discuss how the grid must evolve to fend off disastrous, unprecedented external physical and cyberattacks.
Dave McCarthy, Potential Energy DC founder and executive director, will speak of the ferment of new high-tech start-ups poised to build a new, cleaner energy grid. He will reports on the young professionals ready to leap into the electricity business that for years has had to cope with an increasingly aging workforce.
“I’m optimistic that science and technology can point the way to big breakthroughs in clean energy and help us meet the world’s growing needs,” Gates said.
“It would unleash significant new investments in basic energy science, advanced nuclear fission, efficiency, renewables, improvements in the electricity grid, and more,” he said.
Reserve Your Seat Now!