Wednesday Keynote Speaker


The energy landscape is changing rapidly. That includes a renewed focus on energy security, and a redrawn map of geopolitics. It is now time to better understand these dynamics and how they inform policy and investment decisions.

Speaker Bio

Morgan Bazilian headshot.Morgan D. Bazilian, Ph.D.
Director, Payne Institute & Professor of Public Policy – Colorado School of Mines

Morgan Bazilian is the Director of the Payne Institute for Public Policy and Professor at the Colorado School of Mines. Previously, he was Lead Energy Specialist at the World Bank.  Dr. Bazilian holds a Ph.D in energy systems, and was a Fulbright fellow. His work has been published in Science, Nature, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Previously he was a senior diplomat at the United Nations. He was the EU’s lead negotiator on technology at the UN climate negotiations. He is also Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, and a member of Ireland’s Climate Change Council.

Thursday Keynote Speaker


Virtual Power Plants and Energy Justice – The replacement of conventional dispatchable power plants with renewable energy sources—including distributed energy resources (DERs)—presents new challenges for grid operators. Many existing research efforts focus on these challenges, and characterize DERs by their potential for causing adverse impacts for the grid. However, with an effective T&D coordination scheme, DERs can be harnessed to improve grid operations. This work examines how virtual power plants (VPPs) can be effectively deployed and managed in a T&D framework through foundational theory development and business model evaluation. The work further explores how the grid resources provided by VPPs might reduce the use of peaker plants, and improve the air quality in neighborhoods near these plants. VPPs may have a positive impact on environmental and energy justice as these plants are often located in low income, historically marginalized communities.

Speaker Bio

Adam Warren headshot.

Adam Warren, PhD
Director, Accelerated Deployment and Decision Support Center – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Co-Director, Advanced Energy Systems Graduate Program – Colorado School of Mines / NREL

Adam Warren is the Director of the Accelerated Deployment and Decision Support (ADDS) center within the Energy Systems Integration directorate at NREL. ADDS focuses on the later stages of research, development, demonstration, and deployment. His team addresses the technical, policy, and financial hurdles to developing resilient, advanced energy technologies at scale. The center supports government agencies, utilities, communities, and corporations meet ambitious clean energy goals while informing the direction of research and analysis at NREL.

Adam also serves as the co-Director of the Colorado School of Mines Advanced Energy Systems graduate program. This interdisciplinary program prepares researchers at the doctoral level and energy professionals at the master’s level to address the full complexity of the accelerating energy transition.