Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Decarbonization Strategies & Pathways
December 9-10, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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In a world where citizens are increasingly concerned over the consequences of anthropogenic climate change, decarbonization has become a defining goal,   Many, perhaps even most, traditional utilities are embracing the necessity for innovations with their customers and in their business models to support decarbonization strategies.

This virtual conference will explore different pathways for decarbonizing the energy sector, evaluating the decarbonization regulatory and policy landscape across the country.  A diverse group of subject matter experts will explore different pathways for deep decarbonization, evaluating resource planning strategies to reliably integrate higher renewable penetrations and associated economic and equity considerations, while emphasizing the utility’s evolving role in supporting decarbonization goals.   This program will objectively assess a broad range of opportunities to decarbonize the electric and gas systems – highlighting electrification trends in transportation and buildings – while also assessing other options, including the viability of renewable gas resources.  Attendees will come away with detailed knowledge of the multi-faceted decarbonization landscape, seeing for themselves that it will truly take a combination of diverse approaches, collaboration, and resources to achieve these goals across the country.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review trends in state and regional decarbonization and electrification programs
  • Evaluate a variety of modeling scenarios for deep decarbonization pathways and the future generation mix
  • Assess the impacts of decarbonization goals on electric load & natural gas capacity demand
  • Identify utility execution strategies for beneficial electrification and emerging technology projects
  • Discuss short and long-term resource adequacy and grid reliability under different decarbonization strategies
  • Assess how transportation and building electrification can help achieve decarbonization mandates
  • Analyze associated risks of natural gas investment in an increasingly decarbonized world
  • Evaluate options to decarbonize the gas system through renewable gas and energy efficiency
  • Hear from progressive cities who are mandating decarbonization requirements, and the impacts these policies have for energy generation and infrastructure
  • Review important regulatory and economic considerations to achieve grid decarbonization goals

Who Should Attend

This program will inform professionals at:

  • Utilities, local distribution companies (LDCs) and other load-serving entities (LSEs)
  • Independent power producers (IPPs)
  • Federal, state, city, and municipal agencies
  • Consultants
  • Attorneys
  • Renewable energy & storage providers
  • Natural gas providers
  • Non-profits & associations focused on environmental policy

Whose expertise supports the following functions:

  • Resource and long-range planning
  • Risk management and reliability planning
  • Regulatory, policy and governmental affairs
  • Environmental and GHG planning and compliance
  • Investment, markets and finance
  • Renewable and storage development & management
  • Natural gas plant development & management
  • Generation, load, and transmission planning
  • Portfolio and asset management
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental markets



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.



Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In and Welcome

9:00 – 9:05 a.m. :: Conference Introduction & Overview

9:05 – 10:00 a.m. :: The U.S. Landscape of Decarbonization – Impacts to the Energy & Gas Systems

  • How will the outcome of the Nov. 2020 election impact the decarbonization landscape?
  • Trends in regulatory and policy mechanisms incentivizing decarbonization and electrification
    • Policy trends at the city, state and national level
    • Diversity and inclusion programs
  • How decarbonization initiatives will impact:
    • Electricity system, grid operations & power supply planning
    • Natural gas resource planning, infrastructure, pipelines
  • How electrification goals will reshape the economy
    • ‘Beneficial Electrification’ trends and initiatives
    • Transportation electrification – electric vehicles
    • Building decarbonization – electric heating
  • Decarbonizing the gas system – risks of continued investment in new natural gas power plants?
  • The changing regulatory & legal landscape for natural gas

Michael Henchen, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Lauren Shwisberg, Manager – Electricity Practice, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Modeling Deep Decarbonization Pathways & The Outlook for The Future Generation Mix

  • Impacts of decarbonization goals on electric load and natural gas capacity demand
  • Utility resource planning strategies for meeting state decarbonization goals
  • Projections on generation capacity penetrations in deep decarbonization scenarios
    • Renewables
    • Thermal fleet
    • Storage and other technologies
  • Economic & cost considerations of different decarbonization strategies
  • Operational and reliability considerations and needs in decarbonization scenarios
    • Short and long-term resource adequacy and grid reliability under different decarbonization strategies
    • Economical means of meeting peak demand
    • Increasing grid flexibility
    • Managing renewable variability – options for a clean baseload
  • Where does natural gas make sense in the short and long term under deep decarbonization scenarios?
    • Bridge fuel vs. necessary capacity?
    • Renewable gas opportunities

Paul Hibbard, Principal, Analysis Group

Michael Colvin, Director, EDF

Jonathan Adelman, Vice President – Strategic Resource & Business Planning, Xcel Energy (invited)

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. :: Break for Lunch

1:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Beneficial Electrification – A “Win-Win” Strategy for Utilities & Decarbonization Goals

Beneficial electrification has the potential to increase the sale of electricity while also reducing carbon emissions on the grid, heightening the role of the electric utility business model in a decarbonized future.  It is a process that involves replacing direct fossil fuel use (e.g., propane, heating oil, gasoline) with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs. This session will discuss the many opportunities for beneficial electrification across residential and commercial sectors, highlighting work utilities are already doing to advance beneficial electrification projects:

  • Beneficial Electrification opportunities and project applications with:
    • Commercial and residential buildings
    • Electric appliances
    • Heating electrification
    • Transportation (light, medium & heavy duty)
  • Strategies to develop and use low and zero-carbon technologies in the energy and transportation industries to meet regional clean energy and carbon neutrality goals
  • Utility case studies on designing utility effective beneficial electrification programs
    • Incorporating diversity & inclusion goals
  • Developing on-site renewable generation as a part of beneficial electrification initiatives
  • The role of beneficial electrification in the ‘smart city’ movement

Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, Director – Beneficial Electrification, Fresh Energy

Ladi Ogunnubi, Principal Project Manager – ComEd Smart Grid & Emerging Technology, Exelon

Ann Kirkpatrick, Channel Manager – Residential Rebate Team, Xcel Energy

Representative, Pacific Gas & Electric (invited)

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Natural Gas Utility Decarbonization Initiatives & The ‘Renewable Gas’ Opportunity

  • The changing regulatory and legal landscape for natural gas – how gas utilities can be proactive
    • Where does investment in gas generation make sense in longer term?
    • Prospects for gas pipelines in the clean energy era – are building new pipelines a prosperous or necessary investment?
  • How natural gas as a resource can be a productive part of climate change initiatives
  • Strategies to reduce and manage the carbon footprint of natural gas in utility operations
    • Energy efficiency, conservation and demand side management (DSM)
    • Elevating best practices & carbon reduction pathways
  • Evaluating the viability of ‘renewable gas’ resources as a decarbonization strategy
    • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)
    • Green hydrogen
  • Renewable gas opportunities to utilize existing infrastructure – a big cost-benefit opportunity
    • Avoiding stranded assets
  • Promoting environmentally friendly practices for natural gas while maintaining:
    • Stability and reliability
    • Affordability for customers
  • Engaging as a natural gas utility in climate change & carbon reduction initiatives
    • Collaborating with cities on decarbonization goals
  • Mechanisms of effective carbon reduction policy – consistent treatment of emissions, regardless of fuel source

Robin Lanier, Renewable Gas Director, Southern Company Gas

Tanya Peacock, Public Policy and Planning Manager, Southern California Gas Company

Tiana Smith, Director of Climate Strategies, Vermont Gas

Thursday, December 10, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Optimizing the Regulatory & Policy Environment to Actualize Decarbonization Goals

Electrification is a clear pathway towards meeting long term greenhouse gas reduction targets. The convergence of technological advances and success in reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation presents a viable path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and buildings. Commissioner Abigail Anthony from Rhode Island will argue that electric ratepayer-funded rebate programs designed to incentivize people to purchase electric cars and heating systems are not a sustainable solution to achieving high levels of vehicle and building electrification. Commissioner Anthony will discuss the right role for the electric utility and the hierarchy of solutions for advancing electrification.  After the Commissioner’s presentation, she will be joined in a panel discussion, evaluating:

  • The importance of gaining regulatory support for decarbonization & renewable investment energy planning processes
  • What regulators are looking for in grid modernization proposals and decarbonization initiatives
  • Key considerations for effective policy design to benefit decarbonization initiatives:
    • fostering new technology and innovation
    • ensuring reliability and cost-effective benefits
    • recognizing low and zero-carbon resources
  • Meeting decarbonization target deadlines – regulatory challenges and opportunities
  • Policy design case studies
  • Regulatory innovation necessary to actualize decarbonization goals
  • Strengthening critical infrastructure through regulation and investment

Abigail Anthony, Commissioner, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission

Kelly Ziegler, Section Manager – Customer Energy Solutions, Con Edison

Alejandra Mejia Cunningham, Building Decarbonization Advocate, Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: City Leadership in Decarbonization

Cities and counties across the country are encouraging decarbonization through a variety of policy programs and mandates across industry sectors.  This session will look at the landscape of city decarbonization initiatives, discussing:

  • How cities are becoming more involved in decarbonization initiatives
    • Electrification of transportation and buildings
    • Regulations to encourage GHG emission reductions
  • Different approaches to city building decarbonization programs:
    • Efficiency-oriented
    • Renewable-oriented
    • Building electrification/ fuel-switching
  • City of Boulder case study: how the outcome of the November 2020 vote on municipality will impact the city’s decarbonization strategy
    • working as a municipality vs. collaborating with a state utility to achieve decarbonization

Carolyn Elam, Energy Manager, City of Boulder – Climate Initiatives

Duane Jonlin, Energy Code and Energy Conservation Advisor, City of Seattle

12:30 p.m. :: Program Adjourns


  • Jonathan Adelman, Vice President – Strategic Resource & Business Planning, Xcel Energy (invited)

  • Abigail Anthony, Commissioner, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission

  • Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, Director – Beneficial Electrification, Fresh Energy

  • Michael Colvin, Director, EDF

  • Carolyn Elam, Energy Manager, City of Boulder – Climate Initiatives

  • Michael Henchen, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

  • Paul Hibbard, Principal, Analysis Group

  • Duane Jonlin, Energy Code and Energy Conservation Advisor, City of Seattle

  • Hannah Kaye, Manager of Grid Edge, Strategy Formulation & Regulatory Relations, Pacific Gas & Electric

  • Robin Lanier, Renewable Gas Director, Southern Company Gas

  • Joanne Mello, Director – Sustainability & Energy Policy, Southern Company Gas

  • Ladi Ogunnubi, Principal Project Manager – ComEd Smart Grid & Emerging Technology, Exelon

  • Tanya Peacock, Public Policy and Planning Manager, Southern California Gas Company

  • Kelly Ziegler, Section Manager – Customer Energy Solutions, Con Edison

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - Decarbonization Strategies & PathwaysUS $ 1295.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 5,180.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 9,065.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 15,540.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before November 06, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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