Columbia University’s Energy Symposium

CU energy symposium 2014There’s a lot of good energy, as it were, at Columbia University all the time:  they’re working on climate and sustainability, and have a wealth of world-class educational programs.  I went to this year’s tenth annual energy symposium staged by the students from the business school, law school, and SIPA.  I’ve been to a few of these over time, including last year’s.

The night before the symposium, I went over to a “cleantech startups showcase” to check out some really innovative projects.  I heard the mini-pitches from folks working on fuel cells and on cellulose for bioplastics. One startup has developed a cheaper and easier way to conduct energy Continue reading


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Columbia Energy Conference

cgep_banner_home_main3_0I was up at Columbia University Thursday for the Spring 2014 Energy Policy Conference convened by the Center on Global Energy Policy.  The very interesting line up of experts included the head of Statoil, Helge Lund; the former head of Duke Energy (the nation’s largest electric power utility), Jim Rogers; and superstar energy analyst and author, Dan Yergin, among a number of other worthies.  I came to hear John Podesta, Counselor to President Obama, and the White House point man on climate and energy. Continue reading


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Where Are We Going With Energy?

future now Students at Columbia staged a very informative, sometimes provocative symposium last week.  Old energy (oil and gas) made new (by fracking and horizontal drilling), new energy (renewables and the “negawatts” of energy efficiency), the old grid versus the new “smart” grid, questions of geopolitics and finance, policy and practice were all on the table.  Although two prominent speakers in particular highlighted the looming climate crisis, the symposium was, in my view, darkened by the fact that the first keynote speaker was Ken Cohen, Flack-in-Chief for the Exxon Mobil Corporation.  I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t know exactly what he was going to say: Continue reading


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