Michael Pickens

S&P Global

Associate Director, Energy

Michael Pickens, Associate Director, Energy, S&P Global, is a specialist in North American power market fundamentals. He has over 12 years of energy industry experience, with particular expertise in power market analytics, regional supply and demand, wholesale power pricing, industry structure, and market policy in the North American regional power markets. At IHS Markit, Mr. Pickens focuses on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power market, providing quarterly outlooks and advising clients on regional dynamics. Previously, Mr. Pickens was with American Electric Power in the Strategic and Fundamental Analysis Group, responsible for the company’s 30-year power market outlook, providing analytical support and advice to senior and middle management on power market issues such as US Environmental Protection Agency regulations, federal policies, and fuel switching. He holds a BA from The College of William and Mary and an MBA from Otterbein University.

Sessions With Michael Pickens

Wednesday, 9 March

  • 07:30am - 08:35am (CST) / 09/mar/2022 01:30 pm - 09/mar/2022 02:35 pm

    Repowering Texas' Energy Future

    Panel Power & Renewables

    The Public Utility Commission of Texas is redesigning one of the largest wholesale electricity markets in the nation after winter storm Uri nearly collapsed the electric grid one year ago. The historic two-phased plan lays out ambitious reforms to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market rules to strengthen short-and-long term reliability. At the same time, ERCOT anticipates renewable resources could surpass the combined capacity of nuclear, coal, and natural gas before mid-decade. The intersection of these developments raises important questions for the industry. How will electric regulators balance reliability and affordability? How are power prices and existing power plants impacted by the new rules and the surge in low-cost renewable energy? What are the opportunities and challenges for new investment in the region? And how will the industry restore public trust in the electric grid?

Thursday, 10 March

  • 07:30am - 08:35am (CST) / 10/mar/2022 01:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 02:35 pm

    Making the Connection: Renewables & the grid

    Panel Power & Renewables
    Renewables such as wind and solar are becoming increasingly cost-competitive and are being rapidly deployed to meet decarbonization goals and growing customer and corporate demand for clean energy. At the same time, these resources tend to be located farther away from load centers—in areas where the wind blows hard or the sun shines bright. Transmission is therefore becoming increasingly important to integrate renewables onto the grid and ensure a reliable, affordable clean electricity system. Yet developing new transmission is often slowed down by complex planning and permitting processes, cost allocation issues, and/or legal challenges—with long interconnection queues and network upgrade costs delaying many new wind and solar resources from coming online. What solutions are available to facilitate new transmission development? What opportunities are there to boost existing transmission capacity? What are the roles of policymakers versus the private sector?