Friday, October 20
WVU College of Law
The energy industry in the U.S. is undergoing a significant transformation. Utilities are responding to the changing economics of electricity production and to the demands of their largest customers for a low-cost energy supply. Consumers, the environmental community and regulators are placing increasing expectations that a greater proportion of that supply come from renewable sources, and through more environmentally responsible and less carbon-intensive extraction and production processes.
Electric utilities currently face a wide array of resource options to complement their historical reliance on coal-fired generation, including natural gas turbines (to take advantage of access to plentiful gas supplies from the Marcellus Shale), cost-effective renewables such as wind and solar, as well as improved energy efficiency. On the customer side of the meter, consumers are increasingly proactive, whether through generating their own power with distributed solar, using technology to control their energy usage, or demanding that utilities procure sufficient renewable energy to meet corporate sustainability objectives, and that the environmental costs and consequences of that production be reduced.
This conference will focus on these trends in West Virginia, bringing together all parties in this discussion to examine the measures open to policymakers to better position the state to become a leader in developing an environmentally responsible and viable energy future.