Energy Finance and the Energy Transition

Bauer Department of Finance Brings Together Industry, Academia to Address Global Energy Transition

Published on June 13, 2023

A recent conference organized by the C. T. Bauer College of Business Department of Finance and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas brought together energy executives and finance experts for a deep dive into the strategic actions, mechanisms and public policy changes needed to guide the global energy transition while utilizing Houston’s existing energy assets.

The May 19-20 conference, “Energy Finance and the Energy Transition,” featured keynote speaker Bobby Tudor, Chairman of the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, as well as other industry leaders. Just as importantly, it also drew energy finance experts from Bauer College and other universities around the country who shared insights about funding and investment related issues in scholarly presentations.

"The transition to low-carbon energy production and distribution is one of the most important challenges facing us today,” said Senior Associate Dean and Cullen Distinguished Chair and Professor of Finance Praveen Kumar. Kumar and C. T. Bauer Professor of Finance Kris Jacobs organized the conference with the Dallas Fed.

Kumar added: “For this transition to be successful, the financial aspects are critically important.”

Tudor, Founder and CEO of Artemis Energy Partners, has taken the lead in detailing the many ways business sectors must retool, respond and reimagine in order for the Houston region to remain the Energy Capital of the World.

As governments and businesses work toward a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Houston is well-positioned to lead the shift toward increased reliance on renewable energy, Tudor said. He emphasized that government, industry, philanthropy and academia all have critical roles to play.

Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, a Senior Vice President for the Dallas Fed, noted in opening remarks that while much attention has been paid to the huge amount of investment capital needed for the transition, the financial evolution involved is far more nuanced.

“Perhaps because the investment numbers are so large, I think they sometimes distract people from the many other ways that the energy transition and the financial system will interact,” he said.

The wide-ranging conference agenda reflected that complexity, featuring researchers from Yale, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and other top universities leading discussions largely centered on price discovery and risk transfer.

Specific topics included environmental activist investment strategies, cap and trade legislation analysis and innovative applications of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) ratings frameworks.