School of Public Affairs hosts First Friday Breakfast event themed on Colorado’s Energy Future
Panelists discuss Colorado’s current energy mix and how the transition looks moving toward the future.Emma Martz | School of Public Affairs Oct 11, 2019
Listen to an audio recording of the panel discussion. (Please note that due to technical difficulties, the recording finishes before the end of the event.)
The panel included Jeff Lyng, Director of Energy and Environmental Policy at Xcel Energy; Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado; Lance Titus, Managing Director of business development, origination and structured transactions at Uniper Global Commodities; and Will Toor, Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office. This four-member panel came together to discuss Colorado’s current energy mix and how the transition looks moving towards the future. The discussion was co-moderated by Mark Safty, Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development at CU Denver School of Public Affairs, and Yosef Bonaparte, Director of the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities at the CU Denver Business School.
Each of the panelists presented views of Colorado's energy future from their various perspectives. Lance Titus offered thoughts on broad-scope issues in the fossil fuel markets, mentioning that the Oil & Gas sector will be critical and relevant in the years to come. Jeff Lyng provided a thorough review of his company's de-carbonization plan announced in late 2018 and spoke extensively about the “last 20%” of the transition away from fossil fuels in the electricity sector, noting that this last stage will require advancements in technology. Kelly Nordini noted that her organization’s primary goal in the energy sector is to continue to inform and encourage state policy leaders to support and carry forward the extensive portfolio of energy and conservation related bills passed in Colorado's last legislative session, and to support and encourage the de-carbonization efforts of Xcel energy and other Colorado utilities. Will Toor provided comments and information about the priorities of the Colorado Energy Office and its role in implementing recent legislation.
What these panelists agreed upon is that there are challenges that face the state moving forward, but there are also many solutions available as long as steps are taken to get the state there. According to Nordini, we have “11 years to get on the right path” in order to hit important trajectories in regards to de-carbonization and that the “next couple of years are critically important to lay the policy foundation.” Lyng expressed that his idea for a solution stems from a technology that has not yet been designed or improved. The key message at the close of the panel discussion was that great plans have been put in place, but now is the time to begin implementing policies in order to move Colorado’s energy future in the right direction.