By: Jeffrey Chen
The largest student-organized energy event in New York City - the 14th Annual Energy Symposium - took place at Columbia University on February 7th and February 8th, organized by a consortium of graduate student organizations, including the SIPA Energy Association, CBS Energy Club, the Green Business Club, and the Engineering School Energy Club.
The theme of this year’s symposium was “Energy Sector Transitions,” underscoring the key changes that are taking place within the industry on a domestic and global level. The event convened more than 500 energy professionals, students, faculty, leaders, and executives representing industry, government, and civil society, to explore and advance insights into today's challenging energy questions.
In his opening remarks, David Sandalow, inaugural fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, noted that “there has never been a more exciting time to work on energy and there is no better place to do it than at Columbia SIPA.” Angelique Mercurio, EnerKnol CEO, and Alan James, chair of Macquarie Capital’s Infrastructure & Energy Group, delivered keynote speeches on energy policy data analysis and utilities sector transitions. Meanwhile, Peter Freed, head of Facebook’s energy strategy, joined Michael Eckhart, global head of environmental finance at Citigroup, to discuss corporate energy procurement in a fireside chat.
The Symposium comprised of a career fair, case competition, venture showcase, and panel discussions. More than 20 employers and 100 students attended at the career fair, drawing a broad range of companies from the energy and financial sector. Eleven teams representing seven universities participated in the case competition, including one international team representing Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. There were also six panel discussions on utilities, electrification and development, energy security, tech innovation, renewable investment trends, and women in energy.
The Symposium was made possible by key partners, who contributed both their expertise and resources to support the event. Columbia University sponsors include CGEP, EGSC, the SIPA EE concentration, and the CBS Tamer Center. External sponsors include Rystad Energy, NRG, Quebec, West Monroe, Cosan, Whitehall, NYSERDA, and the Incubator Program at Stony Brook University.