PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Millennials and the New Workforce

Millennials, also known as the Digital Generation or Generation Y, are now the largest generational demographic in the U.S. workforce. It’s no exaggeration to say they represent your organization’s future. Are you assuming they’ll change jobs in a year, or are you preparing them for leadership roles in your organization and industry? The Millennial workforce wants a solid connection with the company they work for, meaningful contributions in their work, rapid career paths and flexible working environments. They seek work-life balance, learning opportunities, perks and frequent feedback. This panel will discuss the benefits and challenges of managing the Millennial workforce.

Regulatory Reform Under the New Administration

The new administration has proposed that every new regulation will first require two previous regulations be retired. Setting aside the question of whether this is feasible, given statutory mandates that created many existing regulations, this panel will discuss what regulatory changes are most likely and which would have the biggest impact. What can we take from the initial decisions made by the White House? What is the balance between federal regulation and potential initiatives from state regulators to moderate or countermand the federal changes?

Renewable Energy Growth Prospects Post 2020

Utilities face pendulum swings in energy subsidies and market mandates in the U.S. for renewable energy. Looking forward, how will renewable energy sources compete without subsidies? What are the prospects for continuing renewable energy technology improvements and cost reductions? If an energy provider’s customers demand renewable energy, how far should the provider go to meet those demands? Given the long-term changes in the aging fleet of fossil plants and the challenges of getting new gas pipelines into some regions, what strategies can utilities use to meet customer and regulatory demands while protecting shareholders and grid reliability?

North American Pipeline Infrastructure Session

This panel will discuss issues related to new pipeline infrastructure and safety trends, including President Trump’s reauthorization of critical pipeline infrastructure, other regulatory developments, and local political risks. Panelists will also discuss how these developments might affect future pipeline construction and operation.

The Aging Infrastructure Delivery System

How do aging energy delivery infrastructures affect the end-use energy customer? Do they share the energy provider’s view of the costs and risks of aging infrastructure? Do they understand the benefits that upgrade advocates assert? Is the customer willing to accept increasing costs for infrastructure upgrades? Are there any successful arguments to support new infrastructure investments? With little to no load growth, how can utilities justify cost increases and where else would it come from other than the ratepayer? Panelists will tackle these tough questions.

Utility Convergence: Electricity and Pipelines

Consolidations, mergers and asset reorganizations continue in the North American power industries with electric companies buying pipeline companies, generators closing or selling fossil assets and a variety of other expansions and acquisitions. This panel will assess the benefits of recent merger and acquisition strategies, including how they affect customers and employees, whether promised synergy benefits are realized and whether mergers and acquisitions affect the resulting entities’ strategies and success going forward.

North American Transmission Session

The North American transmission grid is the critical infrastructure backbone of energy transportation. New transmission lines are being built to access renewable power, less expensive power and new electricity sources. This panel will discuss the reliability and economic impacts of having utility-scale generation hundreds of miles from the load centers. What should be the proper balance between interstate transmission grids that bring energy from generation from long distances versus more local generation? Should a balance be mandated under federal jurisdiction to assure expected reliability? If local demand and generation sources reduce the need for new backbone transmission, should regional decision-makers proceed with a new backbone transmission project?

MORNING ROUNDTABLES

Utility Perspectives will start each morning with a roundtable. The discussions will bring together North America’s utility leadership from a variety of backgrounds to discuss various regional points of view and share industry insights on boardroom issues.

Global Trends and Impacts

Global trends affect energy companies and developments at national, regional and local levels across North America. Panelists will discuss issues ranging from increasing interest rates and financial challenges to increased investment and prospects for new infrastructure.

 

Utility – Energy Service Provider Relationship Trends

This panel will focus on the relationship between energy service providers and utilities. Both sides seek to build long-term, mutually successful relationships while addressing the loss of institutional knowledge, increasing financial pressures for cost control and stakeholder benefit on both sides, and proving the prudence of selecting a service provider and its recommended solutions.