Distinguished Leaders Series Closes Out Fall Semester With Panel Discussion on Future of Energy

Published on November 18, 2013

The Future of Energy is a Shift to Natural Gas, Panelists Say

Chris Ross, executive professor of Finance, C. T. Bauer College of Business

Chris Ross, executive professor of Finance, C. T. Bauer College of Business

Alumni, students and members of the Houston business community gathered for the final installment of the Distinguished Leaders Series of the fall semester at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston on Nov. 6 to discuss the future of electric power generation.

Among the featured panelists were Chris Ross, executive professor of Finance, C. T. Bauer College of Business; Berney Aucoin, vice president, Structure and Strategy at Sequent Energy Management and J.D. Burrows, vice president, Marketing at GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA.

Ross opened the evening with a short talk on the nation’s shift from coal to natural gas, the costs of renewable energy to consumers and energy companies and what’s being forecasted and proposed for the future.

“The International Energy Agency is an offshoot of the Organization for Economic Cooperation,” Ross said. “They annually forecast the future of energy demand and supply and what they want is to see more gas and more renewables in the Americas and more gas and much more renewables in Europe.”

Berney Aucoin, vice president, Structure and Strategy at Sequent Energy Management

Berney Aucoin, vice president, Structure and Strategy at Sequent Energy Management

Aucoin spoke about natural gas, explaining the slight shift in the market from coal to natural gas and the rise in demand across different areas of North America.

“We should see some of our own energy resources leaving the country and becoming competitive globally,” Aucoin said, referring to potential results of the steady production and prices of natural gas.

Wrapping up the panel discussions, Burrows focused on the many factors that go into natural gas pricing and where GDF SUEZ and the United States is headed in gas and other energy sources.

J.D. Burrows, vice president, Marketing at GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA

J.D. Burrows, vice president, Marketing at GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA

“When GDF SUEZ thinks about this challenge, how to build power plants, there are four things we think about: economic growth, renewables, what fuel are we going to use and technology,” Burrows said. “[Technology] is where I spend most of my time right now. Trying to figure out what the newest technology is going to be, so that I know what the GDP growth and power demand growth is going to be.”

By Ann Lynd

Distinguished Leaders Series: “The Future of Electric Energy”

Alumni, students and members of the Houston business community gathered for the final Distinguished Leaders Series of the fall semester at the C. T. Bauer College of Business on Nov. 6, where panelists from the energy industry discussed “The Future of Electric Power Generation.”

Among the featured panelists were Chris Ross, Bauer executive professor of Finance; Berney Aucoin, Sequent Energy Management vice president of Structure and Strategy and J.D. Burrows, GDF Suez Energy Resources NA vice president of Marketing.