Fed Conference Assembles Experts to Explore Outlook for Traditional and Renewable Energy Sources
The fourth annual joint energy conference led by the Federal Reserve Banks of Kansas City and Dallas examined the outlook for the global crude oil market, the future of renewable energy, transitions in energy finance and several other topics.
The conference, titled “Energy and the Economy: Markets in Transition,” took place Oct. 18, 2019, at the Kansas City Fed’s Denver Branch. In previous years the conference has taken place in other cities with strong energy economies: Houston, Oklahoma City and Dallas.
Chad Wilkerson, vice president, economist and Oklahoma City branch executive, conducts energy research and helps organize the conference each year. He explained the natural fit for the Dallas and Kansas City banks to jointly lead the event.
“A key reason for moving the conference around is to reach new local audiences each year,” Wilkerson said.
“We have a group of attendees who come regardless of location, but a sizable part of the audience is local. Our partnership with the Dallas Fed on this event has been great, and it makes sense because nearly half of total U.S. energy activity in the country and over half of oil and gas activity occurs in our two Districts.”
The conference featured presentations by energy experts and a panel discussion with industry executives.
David Rodziewicz, a senior risk specialist at the Kansas City Fed who contributed research to the conference, talked about how energy conversations are shifting.
“We are broadening the lens on how we think of energy,” he said. “With the research and outreach we’ve conducted in recent years, we have a much better sense of how oil and gas affects the regional and national economy. Renewable energy—wind and solar electricity generation are newer entrants in the energy landscape, both regionally and nationally. These sources of energy fall in the power utility sector of the economy and have different investment and labor dynamics than we see with oil and gas. They are two different structures.”
The seven-state region that comprises the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District reflects a variety of forms of energy production, from legacy coal mines, natural gas and petroleum to solar power and wind farms.
Rodziewicz is researching how new energies interplay with traditional forms of energy. For example, natural gas in recent years has contributed to the displacement of coal more than renewable energy sources. However, with lower costs of production, renewables are expected to take a larger share of electricity generation in coming years.
Denver is viewed as an ideal place for conversations about energy because of the knowledge base for all aspects of energy (fossil fuels and renewables) in the Rocky Mountain region.
“Denver is in the cross-currents for all of it—oil and gas, as well as people pushing the envelope on renewables,” Rodziewicz said. “The themes for this conference reflect this.”
View presentations from the conference under the Agenda tab on the Energy Conference page.
See conference video featuring energy experts and Fed economists, including the Kansas City Fed’s Chad Wilkerson.