You remembered your No. 2 pencil. The quiz is this: How often is “D: All of the Above” the correct answer?

My guess is in a world of conflicts, bias, and setbacks, your approach to an “All of the Above” answer comes with a little hesitancy. However, in the field of renewable energy sources, the answer may be more common than you think. There is no single “silver bullet” solution to our future energy needs.

The Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association is tackling today’s energy setbacks with tomorrow’s collaboration, bringing state and national leaders to San Antonio’s Omni Colonnade to discuss a diversified energy infrastructure at the Texas Renewables 2013 conference Nov. 11-13.

TREI banner

“All of the Above” – it’s a real possibility, and many national and state leaders in the renewable energy market are already thinking about it.

Keynote speaker Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), sees a diversified, intelligent energy infrastructure in America’s future.

“NREL is leading the research that will take us to the next step in our energy future — finding ways to maximize using renewable resources like the sun and wind, while maintaining the reliability of today’s energy systems,” NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. “Systems research will provide the technology foundation for a more flexible and intelligent energy infrastructure that enables the United States to adopt new technologies that provide critical energy services through highly interconnected fuels, electricity, and thermal systems that are tailored to local and regional needs.”

An arial view of the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Its LEED renovation projects included a green (landscaped) roof, a 50 KW solar array, and energy efficient AC mechanisms. Photo by Mark Menjivar, courtesy of Ford, Powell & Carson architects.
An arial view of the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Its LEED renovation projects included a green (landscaped) roof, a 50 KW solar array, and energy efficient AC mechanisms. Photo by Mark Menjivar, courtesy of Ford, Powell & Carson Architects.

This point of view is shared by CPS Energy CEO Doyle N. Beneby, the keynote luncheon speaker who will shed light on his “All of the Above” energy-generating portfolio that currently boasts 1059.1 MW of wind-generated and 44.8 MW of solar-generated electricity in commercial operation.

The coupling of fossil fuels and renewable energy resources takes into account the future economics of all industries and the vast supply of natural gas, oil, wind, and solar Texas has in plenitude.

“Going forward, Texas will reap huge economic and environmental benefits as the market learns how natural gas and renewables complement each other,” said former Texas Sen. Kip Averitt, chairman of the Texas Clean Energy Coalition.

The ideas and collaborations are out there. Newly designed water infrastructures could have the dual purpose of producing hydrothermal power; researchers are debating the geothermal power possibilities in Eagle Ford Shale fracking development; and nightly wind power production could power brackish water treatment centers.

The conference is for anyone interested in exploring San Antonio’s role in the new energy economy, and offers multiple networking opportunities for attendees to discuss future collaborations.  Among the speakers on the schedule:

Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Doyle N. Beneby, President and CEO, CPS Energy

Kipp Averitt, former State Senator, Chairman, Texas Clean Energy Coalition

Dan Reicher, Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford

Phil D. Hardberger, Former Mayor San Antonio

Dr. Jurgen Weiss, Principal, The Brattle Group

Brigadier General Robert D. Labrutta, Joint Base San Antonio

Doug Arent, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, a coalition of five universities, including MIT and Stanford

Tony Dorazio, Chief Executive Officer, OCI Solar

Dub Taylor, Director, State Energy Conservation Office

For full speaker listings, visit

“All of the Above” – it’s here, at the Texas Renewable 2013 conference.

Register here.
Capri Schafner is a San Antonio native and proud Aggie. She works for theTexas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and is learning with her community about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and environmental change. When she isn’t working with college students, she trains for upcoming races and completed her first half marathon this year. 

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