“The Emerging Role of Data in the Energy Sector” event at the Google Office in San Francisco on Monday, October 24th from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

There are many critical operational challenges around integrating renewables across different markets. However, with these challenges arise opportunities for new flexible technologies. Data has the power of connecting energy to the consumer instantly, putting the power at the hands of the consumer. The impact on the power sector from the convergent forces of changes in customer behavior, new forms of competition, renewable and distributed energy and regulation is creating new opportunities and challenges. The power of data in this energy transition is becoming more evident and important, this panel discussed the role it’s playing as it is not a question of whether the business models pursued in the sector will change but rather what new forms they will take and how rapidly companies will have to alter course.

It was a great discussion, touching upon issues such as the fourth industrial sector to machine learning to the idea that electricity could be be free in the next 15 years and that instead of paying for electricity consumers will pay for the services around it.

Thank you to all who attended and asked such stimulating questions. I loved moderating this panel and a big thank you to all the panelists.

Nancy Pfund: Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Investors- Spoke about why energy data transparency is important and why are we talking about it now. She gave examples from the non-energy sector like Pandora and said that she thinks Florida and the roof-top solar bill there is one of the most exciting states to watch.

Jennifer Didlo, Market Business Leader for the Western Portion of the United States for AES & President of AES Southland and AES Hawaii-talked about what drives the diverse business models, state to state, around customer’s access to their energy use data and why does it matter. She gave examples of the work that AES is doing in Indiana.

Kate Brandt: Lead for Sustainability, Google- Talked about this issue of the fourth industrial revolution, and how Google and Alphabet technologies are creating great insights into energy and environmental data by using machine learning and other data.

Debbie Raphael: Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment talked about the biggest challenges facing her as the environment director for the City of San Francisco, which has very ambitious Climate targets and how they are using data to help reach those reduction targets.

Emily Wimberger, Chief Economist, California Air Resources Board tackled the issue by discussing the data collection across regulations and pollutants due to the recent passage of AB 197 (passed in tandem with SB 32). She also discussed the issue that while agencies are collecting data, are they collecting the right data and how and who should help decide what the right data is given privacy laws.