The 9th Annual Hawaii Energy Conference will feature two keynote speakers to headline each of the days of May 10 and 12 as it explores the theme “Electrification: Where are we now? What does the future hold?” The conference will open with Abigail Anthony, Commissioner, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission speaking to the topic “When Tradewinds Blow: Maintaining Course during the Energy Transition.”
Commissioner Abigail Anthony is currently the Chair of the Commission on Energy Resources and the Environment of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the President of the Board of the New England Utility Cybersecurity Integration Collaborative. Previously, she was the director of Acadia Center’s Grid Modernization and Utility Reform Initiative, and the organization’s Rhode Island director. During her time as director of Acadia Center, Anthony was appointed to the Rhode Island Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, where she served from 2010 to 2017 overseeing the implementation of the state’s energy efficiency programs and policies.
On Day 2, Amy Myers Jaffe, Research Professor and Managing Director of the Climate Policy Lab at the Fletcher School of Tufts University will address the conference. Jaffe boldly declared recently in the Wall Street Journal, “The electrification of (almost) everything is coming, and we’re just not ready for it.”
A leading expert on global energy policy and sustainability, Jaffe previously served as senior advisor for sustainability at the Office of the Chief Investment Officer at the University of California, Regents and as executive director for energy and sustainability at University of California, Davis where she led research on low or zero carbon fuels and transportation policy. Jaffe has taught energy policy, business, and sustainability courses at Rice University, University of California, Davis, and Yale University.
Widely published, Jaffe is the author of “Energy’s Digital Future: Harnessing Innovation for American Resilience and National Security” and is co-author of “Oil, Dollars, Debt and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold.” She is chair of the steering committee of the Women in Energy Initiative at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy policy and a member of the Global Future Council on Net Zero Transition at the World Economic Forum (Davos).
Presented by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and supported by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, the Hawaii Energy Conference will be virtual and in addition to the keynotes will feature panel discussions, interviews and exhibits over the two days.
The program includes a conversation with Shelee Kimura, newly-appointed President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. Shelee previously served as senior vice president of Customer Service & Public Affairs and senior vice president of Business Development & Strategic Planning. She provided leadership for the company’s customer care initiatives through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, making equity and access a top priority while improving customer satisfaction and stakeholder engagement. She led the development of Hawaiian Electric’s 2015- 2020 Strategic Transformation Plan. During that period, she strengthened and grew the Hawaii market for affordable, clean energy resources and launched the electric transportation division, which will play a critical role to help decarbonize Hawaii’s economy.
Abigail Anthony, Commissioner, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
Amy Myers Jaffe, Research Professor and Managing Director of the Climate Policy Lab at the Fletcher School of Tufts University
Shelee Kimura, President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric
Panel topics to be explored over the two days are:
- Electrification and Battery Storage
- The Community and Electrification
- Electrification and Energy Efficiency
- Electrification and Transportation
- Electrification and Carbon: It’s a Math Problem
- Systemic Shocks and the Changing Pace of Electrification
- Electrification and the Cost of Resilience: Are We Prepared?
A study by Princeton University predicts that by 2050 electrifying transport and buildings could double the amount of electricity consumption in the U.S.
“There is no doubt that the push to Electrification will affect our way of life,” stated De Rego. “Electrification demands attention, among other things, to upgrading the grid, working out a reasonable and responsive regulatory framework, and responding to community needs and concerns.”
The virtual venue will be open up to a week in advance, encouraging attendees to network to connect and build important relationships prior to, during and after the conference. They will be able to visit the virtual exhibit hall where companies showcase their products and services and can connect with attendees via chat or video.