Top 10 energy events in the US in 2017
1: National Biodiesel Conference and Expo – January 16th- 19th 2017
The National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is being held in San Diego in 2017 and brings together industry workers from the United States to share ideas and network with other people in the energy industry. Attendees can meet and interact with those who are leading the biodiesel industry into the future. There are eight exhibitor pods at the conference next year, but they are only open to exhibitors who didn’t exhibit last year.
2: National Ethanol Conference – February 20th- 22nd 2017
The National Ethanol Conference (NEC) is the most widely attended executive level conference for the ethanol industry and has been running since 1996. NEC has been recognised as delivering accurate information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry. It has numerous networking opportunities and more business meetings are conducted and contacts made at this conference than any other ethanol conference. In 2016, more than 1000 industry leaders and professionals attended the NEC, representing 40 states and more than 20 countries. Networking and business development are the leading factors promoting attendance to NEC.
3: Intersolar North America – July 10th- 13th 2017
Intersolar North America was established in 2008 and has become one the most attended solar events and the premier networking platform for the North American solar industry. The event takes place annually at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. The event focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and solar thermal technologies. Intersolar has become an important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners in the global solar industry.
4: SEPA Utility Conference – April 24th – 26th 2017
The SEPA Utility Conference, formerly the Utility Solar Conference, is a utility-only forum to learn from experts, exchange ideas and talk through various strategies and service solutions. The Conference brings together utilities interested in improving, expanding or developing viable long-term distributed energy strategy and planning. Speakers include Kristen Ardani, Solar Technology Markets and Policy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Joe Barra, Sr. Consultant, Business Model Development at Portland General Electric, and Blake Beavers, Manager, Energy Services at Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
5: California Solar Power Expo – May 1st – 2nd 2017
The California Solar Power Expo is an interactive event designed for solar, smart energy and storage professionals who are working in and with the California solar market to make business connections. The event will have exhibitor-led training for distributors, installers and professionals, as well as networking opportunities.
6: Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference – April 23rd-26th 2017
The Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference will feature plenary sessions, panel sessions, technical papers and tutorials by experts on grid modernisation and smart grid applications. The theme of the conference is ‘Innovative Trends in Grid Modernisation’ and will include an emphasis on how to economically and reliably integrate distributed energy resources in system operation.
7: Distributech Conference and Exhibition – January 31st – February 2nd 2017
The Distributech Conference and Exhibition is being held in San Diego, California at San Diego Conference Centre. Speakers at the conference include Patricia Cruz, Trishia Swayne and Steven Rupp, all from Leidos Engineering; John O.Wambaugh, Executive Consultant at Z2Solutions LLC and Jared Hafer and Joe Tavormina, both from TAV Networks.
8: TechCon North America Conference – February 14th-16th 2017
The TechCon North America Conference is being held in Houston, Texas and is an educational conference for the high voltage transformer maintenance industry workforce. Speakers include John D. McDonald, from Global SmartGrid Strategy Group; Dr Michel Duval, from IREQ, Hydro-Qeubec; David Geibel, from ABB Alamo and Mark Goff, from Tennessee Valley Authority.
9: Electric Power Conference – April 10th – 13th 2017
The Electric Power Conference is being held at McCormick Place West, Chicago, Illinois. It is a place for generating companies to meet and network with others in the industry, and to learn how other plants operative efficiently and cost- effectively and how to mitigate risk while also ensuring safety and keeping the plant competitive.
10: International Conference on Manufacturing Technologies – January 19th-21st 2017
The International Conference on Manufacturing Technologies is being held in San Diego, and its aim is to present the latest research and ideas to people working in the industry. The conference also provides opportunities for networking and to exchange new ideas, establish businesses and get a better understanding of manufacturing technologies.
Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management.
As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient.
In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared.
“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner.
Establish a preparedness framework
Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.
Monitor the situation
It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.
Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out.
Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.
Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols
It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.
Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.
In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences.
Establish a communication programme
People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.
Review the impact on the operation
Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.
Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?
IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.
In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications.
Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response
Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.
Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.