Volatility is the Start of Good Things!

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Volatility is a good thing. If prices were predictable no one would make any money. Volatility is the heart beat of the market. When volatile events or ‘fears’ about bad stuff happen we take action to ‘hedge our bets’ or cover our assets. Without such rational behavior every trading day would be carnage. The sum of millions of individual decisions is called ‘market equilibrium’—the balancing of supply and demand—and the world depends upon it.

I’ve written before about the factors driving oil price volatility and its impact on the economy so I’ll spare you the sermon and go straight to the benediction:

  • Fear is up because the global economy is weak. China worries about bubbles, corruption, choking air, rising costs and falling exports. The US worries our best days are behind us, that our government is choking us with regulations, that we are getting weaker abroad and inviting trouble ahead.
  • We need economic growth to purge evil spirits in market psychology so we can see opportunity as well as risk in the markets. While OPEC hates it—oil is on sale at low prices and we cheer every time we fill our gas tanks.
  • The election is OVER, it is time for our politicians to perform or be very afraid. Voters think the country is going in the wrong direction and we want to throw the bums out making each candidate sweat. The rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders was a vote of no confidence in partisan behavior as usual of scoring points rather than fixing our problems. Now is is time for them to get going or get gone.
  • We need normal again with interest rates that reflect the real cost of money in the economy, as an incentive to save and to invest and begin to have normal business cycles rather than just artificial peaks and death defying valleys. The great recession is over and the end of FED quantitative easing is still un-easing. We realize the stock market is way up because interest rates have been way down for so long. But volatility may bring stocks lower as the Fed eventually raises interest rates to smooth the rhythm of the market to something approaching ‘normal’.

There is good news out there, people! Energy—we got that! And despite the politically correct politicians, we’ve got lots of it. The US is leading a revival of energy production. Gone is the fear of peak oil—we are not running out of oil. Gone is natural gas prices soaring into the stratosphere—natural gas is at below historic average prices and creeping back to market replacement levels. The US government threatens to regulate coal out of business but the rest of the world still needs coal.

Meanwhile US technology innovation is leading a clean energy revolution driving down the cost of solar panels (with help from China), accelerating research and applications of battery storage and electric cars, and aligning the big data analytics and machine deep learning potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) into a digital revolution where abundant energy, innovation in technology and markets returning to “normal” equilibrium point the way in the build up to the next boom if we can use the 2016 election to get the government off our backs and out of our way.

You get the message right, low oil prices are good news.  We save money until ‘normal’ kicks in and prices return to market equilibrium. Normal is probably oil prices higher than we see today but not as high as we’ve seen. Normal is when fear is balanced by a perception of opportunity. When VIX is running wild, traders are running around like their hair is on fire dumping good stocks for CYA protection. Normal is when we see those same traders buying up stocks as low priced values are snatched up and held once again as they appreciate.

Normal is when we appreciate appreciation once again. Normal is good but first we must purge the evil spirits of market fear and government interference so markets are allowed to work the way they are supposed to work—find market equilibrium and it will reward you with a fair price!

‘Uber’ the Distributed Energy Future

George Russell. Sunday, July 11, 2010. Smart meters.

The future of the electric power energy value chain is being transformed by distributed generation technology, renewable resources, better battery storage, and a revolution in the century old regulated utility business model to democratize the energy value chain.

There technologies and California’s Community Choice Aggregation law empower customers to drive their distributed energy resource future (DER).   San Mateo and Santa Clara are the latest Bay Area counties launching customer community choice aggregation giving retail energy customers an alternative to their traditional monopoly utility PG&E joining Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties.

Virtually all commercial and industrial (C&I) customers are now in play. Technology, customer choice and changing market rules are converging to speed the transformation of traditional energy markets as well as beyond-the-meter self-generation with changes to business models, regulations, solutions and services.

California is ground zero in the West for distributed energy transformation with 50% of US private solar systems—more than half a million businesses and homes; more than 200,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEV)—40% of total PEV sales—with a goal of 1.5 million by 2025.

Fundamentals still matter but politics and technology drives prices. We need actionable insight across the energy value chain to improve operational visibility and control to manage this disruption. Technology change is playing a big role in this transition. But weak electric power demand growth is starving the industry and forcing rationalization of capital investment, operations and the search for new solutions.

Disruptive innovation is the power of data, analytics and insight to change or disrupt usual patterns of business to create competitive advantage and manage risk.

  • Scale growth to improve valuation in anticipation of a strategic exit transaction,
  • Improve the quality of earnings using recurring revenue business models,
  • Launch software and analytics products focused on cloud-based IoT, AI markets,
  • Refine the company brand or marketing message to stand out in a crowded field,
  • Leverage IP and expertise into services for wallet share growth.

While we’ve seen advances in analytics and big data learning curve and market penetration many firms are still where no one wants to be– ‘XLS Hell!’ 

This isn’t criticism of Microsoft. In reality much of the data we still need every day to get the job done still lives in XLS spreadsheets somewhere. IoT and AI-driven analytics help to mine that big data using machine learning cloud performance analytics solutions to sense reality now, predict future operating risks and prescribe solutions and hedges to improve performance when we need it most to confront the challenges of markets.

Turning data into insight is not enough—we must make that insight actionable and agile to improve operational visibility, control and security. 

Data, new technologies and analytics apps must learn to work together seamlessly in real-time to simultaneously balance energy supply with demand across the grid. As regional markets give way to global supply chains we must be secure in the supply and demand balancing that is essential to clear markets.

We need better performance in the distributed energy resource (DER) future as the traditional utility business model ‘morphs’ into a competitive energy services markets where utilities become integrators of nanogrids (buildings), microgrids (campuses and neighborhoods) and choreograph service areas into regional grids in ways that improve security, reliability and accessibility to customers and suppliers.

Disruptive Tech will ‘Uber’ the DER Future. The rapid shift to the distributed energy resource future is playing out in response to the business need of large corporate energy users to have secure expected energy resources that assure reliability, adequacy of supply and live into their sustainability pledges to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and optimize costs in the emerging competitive DER market place.

Sustainability began as a politically correct business pledge to ‘ do good’ . But business realized that tech advances and falling DER prices improve operational visibility and control while lowering total energy costs.

Enter the DER Contract for Differences Deal Structure. DER experiments with new deal structures for DER include long-term corporate deals by Apple, Google and Kaiser Permanente that first made headlines in February 2015 with 300 MW of renewable energy from projects in California. Hailed for sustainability the deals also helped speed up policy shifts from traditional utility business model to competitive DER future.

The deals were not traditional bilateral energy purchases where wind, solar or battery-stored energy is delivered to the buyer. Instead, DER enters the regional grid at its source and offsets retail supply delivered elsewhere using a contract for differences (CFD) deal structure to lock in an agreed purchase price or sustainability hedge for corporate buyers both large and small.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a $845 million over 25 years to buy half the output from a 280 MW solar park owned by First Solar in Monterrey County, California.
  • Google signed a 20-year contract with NextEra Energy Resources for wind power from a 43 MW installation at California’s Altamont Pass or enough wind to offset power use at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.
  • Kaiser signed a 20-year deal to buy 43 MW of NextEra’s updated Altamont wind farm. It also has a 20-year contract to buy the power from NextEra’s 110 MW solar project in the Mojave desert at Blythe.

Each deal used long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) with a contract for differences (CFD) deal structure to navigate the regulatory and financial requirements. Doing so allows them to retain their current retail energy supply in place while hedging against expected price increases for fossil power supply from higher natural gas prices and/or carbon fees. The CFD model allows the companies’ access to wholesale DER from across the grid off-site generators.

  • CFD is a long-term PPA for DER bought at wholesale and resold to the grid for the buyer’s benefit. The deal structure allows the buyer an energy price hedge and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset the retail and carbon footprint.
  • CFD is negotiated with a wholesale DER supplier to set a fixed purchase price for the power — the “strike” price and serves as the reference price to determine the net profit or loss — the difference — buyers realize after power is resold to the grid.
  • CFD buyer settles with DER supplier monthly paying the purchase price minus the difference from wholesale grid sales (i.e. spot market prices) during settlement period. The difference results in a credit if grid prices are higher than the average strike price; or the buyer’s account is debited if average spot prices are lower than the strike price.
  • CFDs allow corporate customers to buy green power without taking physical delivery of the energy at the company’s load centers or without changing existing retail utility or grid connections.
  • Corporate buyers use a financial hedge against future electricity price increases, and get the environmental benefits from the DER. The financial hedge’s long term purchase power price is locked in for the DER offsetting future electricity price increases if retail electricity rates rise with higher fossil fuel costs for wholesale power. The CFD often results in a higher profit from the resale of DER to the grid.
  • CFDs include environmental rights from renewable energy certificates (RECs). The certificates are transferred to the buyer based on each MW of DER purchased. The RECs are the accounting method the buyer uses to show that it is delivering as much or more DER to the grid as it is taking from the grid at its retail locations. The RECs also offsets greenhouse gas emissions from the grid. With CFD benefits demonstrated in deals such as these expect to see its use expand.

Governor Jerry Brown signed four bills to encourage energy storage and DER. California regulatory policies are profoundly changing the power grid and powergen infrastructure sometimes before either markets, regulations or customers are ready for such changes. Among other things, utilities must add 500 MW more energy storage beyond the current 1.3 GW target under previous regulations.

  • AB 1637 adds $249 million in Self Generation Incentive Program funding; 75% goes to energy storage.
  • AB 2868 requires the CPUC to direct California IOU’s to speed up distributed storage by up to 500 MW.
  • AB 2861 authorizes the CPUC to resolve disputes over interconnecting distributed energy into the grid.
  • AB 33 directs CPUC and CEC to assess long duration bulk energy storage, such as pumped hydro, to help integrate renewables into the grid.

These community customer aggregation entities will do for residential customers what CFDs are doing for commercial and industrial customers—speed the shift to the DER future.

U.S. Shale’s War Games: Energy Economy Animal Spirits @ Work

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Each day a typical oil or gas drilling rig equipped with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensors collects about 8 terabytes (1TB=1,024GB) of operating data to continuously assess performance and make real-time prescriptive analytics adjustments in response to optimize well performance. Multiply that by dozens or even hundreds of wells across shale or light tight oil and gas plays in the US and you see why OPEC flooding the market with oil was not sufficient to destroy the economics of the US shale revolution.

The US Shale Revolution is driven by US technology and the animal spirits of the US oil & gas industry wildcatters, engineers, traders and entrepreneurs betting their future—with their own money.

By mid-2014 OPEC leader Saudi Arabia was feeling the pain of weak oil demand in a global economy with anemic growth rates. On top of that weak growth there was the constant cheating on production targets by OPEC members. The cheaters had been conditioned by Saudi tradition of using its swing productive capacity advantage to balance the market even if it meant cutting its own production level and revenue.

Then the Saudi’s said ENOUGH! In mid-2014 oil prices fell like a rock. You know the rest of this story—oil prices tanked around the world and all oil producers felt the pain.  Speculators stored oil in ships and every other available place betting that falling prices would spell financial ruin to onshore US shale growth and slow investment in offshore oil drilling projects enough to balance the market thus driving prices higher faster on the rebound.

A funny thing happened on the way to the poor house—the US shale players used their entrepreneurship and animal spirits along and US technology to drive down the break-even point for new onshore production. As drilling costs went down production continued in the best onshore plays.  Financial hedges cushioned the impact. So did higher prices for natural gas liquids produced by the wells.  US export demand for the light tight condensates continued as Canadian oil sands producers used it as diluent to thin heavy crude enough to flow in the pipelines toward US Gulf Coast refineries.

OPEC spent a fortune in a failed effort to stop cheating at home and savage shale competition abroad. US onshore producers got more efficient and today are even fiercer competitors in global markets.

The 2016 US Presidential election unleashed emboldened the animal spirits so evident in the onshore energy industry and told the rest of the economy to roll-up our sleeves and get ready to go back to work. US shale production growth and technology advances had positioned the US for another industrial revolution.

The US Shale Revolution was an energy war game designed to show the rest of us the power of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship if government policies and regulations are better aligned to unleash the animal spirits within us once again.

Augmented Reality as a Service

Crime Predictive Analytics
Predictive Analytics Visualization of Crime Patterns

The graphic above is a visualization of expected crime patterns in Santa Cruz, California from a Santa Clara University research project to help police improve crime prevention, decide staffing assignments, and anticipate where crimes might happen. This is not ‘1984’ or anything spooky, it is the next stage of augmented reality technology applied to solve practical problems. Get used to it, this is big!

In every aspect of our lives new technologies are changing the way we do things. Sometimes this can be scary. Will robots and AI take our jobs? Is the government or big business tracking my every move?

But increasingly we find ourselves wondering—how did I ever find my way around without Google maps and Siri directions? How did I get along before we had (fill in the blank) —-mobile phones, internet, digital cameras, online shopping.

You get the point. Disruptive technology innovation is both wonderful and challenging as we learn to make sense of the complexity that swirls around us.

  • It is not just data; it is the context in which stuff is happening that changes the insight we get from the data.
  • It is not just volatility; it is the rapid “what if” trade-off analysis we make even in the face of fear of making wrong choices.
  • It is not a lack of new software, devices, or more apps we crave; it is the convenience that better user experience brings in putting it all together fast enough, visualize options, and make split second choices that makes the difference.

The best balance between completeness and simplicity is a solution that integrates good tools, good data, good analytics methods for fast, easy, transparent, consistent actionable decisions. The miracle of turning water into wine is in the judgment to inform, shape, and target our decisions to fit the circumstance—-and the courage to say DO IT!

The reason that artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality solutions are making fast inroads into our mainstream activities is our need to quickly, seamlessly and consistently integrate vast streams of data with the context, choice and convenience filters used to make sense of it.

The 5 V’s we face:

  1. Volume-how much data and information is involved and where are you getting it?
  2. Velocity-how fast is it changing?
  3. Veracity-do you believe the data? How frequently is it updating? Is that sufficient?
  4. Visualization-can you put this stuff together and assess it to gain actionable insight?
  5. Value-is the insight you gain useful, sufficient, timely and credible enough to make informed decisions—does it empower your judgment, experience decision?

Enterprise-scale business intelligence and predictive analytics solutions help us deal with the first three V filters in the list above by slurping in big data and quickly organizing it in data structures that are searchable with other user friendly software algorithms. These solutions rely on a common data framework, consistent analytics methods, scenarios or stochastic risk analysis to help create a fast, efficient, repeatable, integrated basis for decision analysis.

These solutions are huge improvements over previous generations or business analysis done in spreadsheets and pivot tables by people. But automating and integrating it into enterprise systems has been hugely expensive, time consuming and makes the business unreasonably dependent upon the enterprise software vendor and system integrator for mission critical operations success. From the customers’ perspective, the problem is the process can easily overwhelm and defer the value. The business pain point is that to get to value you seek you must find a way around complexities that prevent you from seeing the big picture.

‘Everything as a Service’ is the emerging business model of choice enabling startups and others to avoid expensive time consuming enterprise software projects that stand in the way of going to market faster. The promise of the tech transformation requires finding a solution. This is the ‘where’s the beef?’ question in every discussion of value.

Energy Industry Example of Disruptive Change. There is a tsunami of data washing over us. Instead of monthly energy meter readings of static start/finish consumption data, for example, we have 15 minute pulses of data 24/7 enabling pattern analysis, data feeds from customer side of the meter sensors, and the meter may spin both ways as net metered customers both buy and sell energy produced to the grid at dynamic prices.

Smart grid is almost always meant smart meter deployment. But smart meters are only one factor in getting to the promised benefits of smart grid. The other components are dynamic pricing, transmission access for renewable energy projects, and peer-to-peer clean energy transactions from customer choice aggregation and direct sales ahead.

Most end use energy customers are still billed on an average cost basis for energy use. States are slow to implement dynamic pricing because it scares utilities, regulators and politicians who fear customers backlash over price volatility. Like surge pricing with Uber, demand pricing is becoming more common in the electric power sector. But residential customers hate utility bill price volatility and most utilities still have “budget plans” which offer level billing to avoid rate spikes. This completely defeats the policy and economic intent of dynamic pricing.

And let’s face it, introducing dynamic energy pricing is a BIG change not likely to win many friends or votes. And then there is the problem of the utility business model. Only a few states have “decoupled rates” so that utility earnings are not dependent upon selling more kWh of energy. But unless rates are decoupled the incentives are in conflict and few will see many benefits worth the hassle.

A goal of getting more of our energy supply from clean and renewable sources such as wind and solar is a popular. Many states have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) requiring utilities to buy ever larger percentages of their energy consumed from renewable sources. But shifting power to customers to choose energy options also brings risk and potentially reliability issues.

The business challenge ahead as many states and their utilities near their RPS goals is will the state ‘declare victory’ or do as California has done and raise the target. The rate consequence of higher targets is substantial and when combined with rate increase pressures from smart meter deployment, emissions reduction and other regulatory demands make declaring victory an attractive but not politically correct decision.

Renewable energy cost more than traditional ‘least cost, best fit’ power supply options. Those higher costs have been offset by subsidies, tax credits and leasing options. But the future of subsidies long term is uncertain.

The political reality is solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels prices have fallen rapidly as the market is flooded with supply and energy demand growth is flat. Have wind and solar prices dropped enough that we don’t still need subsidies? This prospect of lost subsidies terrifies the renewable energy industry causing consolidation of the players. Meanwhile, competition ruthlessly and efficiently forces every player to get to grid parity pricing to be sustainable as prospect for energy industry business model and regulatory changes usher in competitive, peer-to-peer energy services markets to replace the traditional utility average cost business model. Think: like from a Ma Bell land line to multi-carrier iPhone.

So what about the value and benefits to customers?

Everything as a Service. From regulated monopolies and government control the disruptive technology revolution is giving us choice but getting to the value we seek from putting all that data, analysis and user-friendly apps together requires that we MAKE CHOICES! To put it all together involves all the complexities of V1-V3, but so far it has been hard to organize and visualize all this data and get to insight sufficient to make decisions.

The energy industry like many others faces the triple threats of rapidly changing technology, highly volatile, competitive business conditions, and the systemic loss of talent and expertise when it can least afford it. It needs new solutions that help bridge the gap and enable energy choice consumers to make informed, prudent decisions.

Augmented reality technology helps us quickly assemble, organize, analyze and choose between options recommended by algorithms, automatically comparing, updating with new data and experiences, evaluating probabilities and presenting it visually so it looks easy. The result is good stuff happens, bad stuff is avoided and both are made actionable by solutions that put all these moving parts together to enable us to just DO IT!

Our world is full of disruptive technology that is replacing old ways of doing business with new tools and capabilities we could scarcely imagine only yesterday. This continuous process of change empowers us. Augmented reality and other disruptive tech solutions harvest the data, knowledge and our experiences and apply it so we can visualize it all together and quickly analyze our options and trade-offs.

Energy Customer Choice Power to the People

Technolog09759y is empowering customers to drive the distributed energy resource future (DER). San Mateo County is the latest Bay Area county launching a customer community choice aggregation giving retail energy customers an alternative to their traditional monopoly utility PG&E joining Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties and Santa Clara county is about to launch. This means that virtually all customers across the greater Silicon Valley area are now in play. Technology, customer choice and disruptive market rules are converging to speed the transformation of traditional energy markets and beyond the meter self-generation forcing changes to business models, regulations, solutions and services.

California is ground zero in the West for energy transformation with 50% of US private solar systems—more than half a million businesses and homes; more than 200,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEV)—40% of total PEV sales—with a goal of 1.5 million by 2025. California regulatory policies are also profoundly changing the power grid and power gen infrastructure sometimes before either markets, regulations or customers are ready for such changes. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed four bills to encourage markets for energy storage and DER. Among other things, utilities must add 500 MW more energy storage beyond the current 1.3 GW target under previous regulations.

  • AB 1637 adds $249 million in Self Generation Incentive Program funding; 75% goes to energy storage.
  • AB 2868 requires the CPUC to direct California IOU’s to speed up distributed storage by up to 500 MW.
  • AB 2861 authorizes the CPUC to resolve disputes over interconnecting distributed energy into the grid.
  • AB 33 directs CPUC and CEC to assess long duration bulk energy storage, such as pumped hydro, to help integrate renewables into the grid.

The challenge facing public policy is to re-define sustainability to include the cumulative economic costs of regulation and the impact on jobs growth. What changes do we embrace, which one should we resist and when should we just ‘get out of the way’ and let the market work to encourage stronger sustainable economic growth?

The distributed energy future so many in California dream about is bearing down on them. When technology and customer choice aggregation plays out one of the first consequences will be that customers will look out for their own self interest and they may not like the politically correct choices that California policy makers and regulators have chosen for them. The inevitable outcome is a peer-to-peer energy marketplace where neighbors sell their excess power to others is a kind of energy farmers market. More than the traditional utility business model is at risk—so are the politically correct policies and regulations imposed by the state as customers decide what is sustainable and what is not based upon the economics of their own self interest. Sound crazy? Welcome to California!

U.S. Shale Revolution Animal Spirits

Each day a typical oil or gas drilling rig equipped with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensors collects about 8 terabytes (1TB=1,024GB) of operating data to continuously assess performance and make real-time prescriptive analytics adjustments in response to optimize well performance. Multiply that by dozens or even hundreds of wells across shale or light tight oil and gas plays in the US and you see why OPEC flooding the market with oil was not sufficient to destroy the economics of the US shale revolution.

The US Shale Revolution is driven by US technology and the animal spirits of the US oil & gas industry wildcatters, engineers, traders and entrepreneurs betting their future—with their own money.

By mid-2014 OPEC leader Saudi Arabia was feeling the pain of weak oil demand in a global economy with anemic growth rates. On top of that weak growth there was the typical cheating on production targets by OPEC members. The cheaters had been conditioned by Saudi tradition of using its swing productive capacity advantage to balance the market even if it meant cutting its own production level and revenue.

Then the Saudi’s said ENOUGH! In mid-2014 oil prices fell like a rock. You know the rest of this story—oil prices tanked around the world and all oil producers felt the pain. Speculators stored oil in ships and every other available place betting that falling prices would spell financial ruin to onshore US shale growth and slow investment in offshore oil drilling projects enough to balance the market thus driving prices higher faster on the rebound.

A funny thing happened on the way to the poor house—the US shale players used their entrepreneurship and animal spirits along with US technology to drive down the break-even point for new onshore production. As drilling costs went down production continued in the best onshore plays supported at first by higher priced natural gas liquids produced by the wells and then by the export demand for the light tight condensates used as diluent by Canadian oil sands producers to thin their heavy crude enough to enable it to flow in the pipelines toward US Gulf Coast refineries.

OPEC spent a fortune in a failed effort to stop cheating at home and savage shale competition abroad. US onshore producers got more efficient and today are even fiercer competitors in global markets.

The 2016 US Presidential election unleashed the animal spirts so evident in the onshore energy industry and told the rest of the economy to roll-up our sleeves and get ready to go back to work. The US shale revolution and the IoT and other technology advances position the US for another industrial revolution. The US Shale Revolution was an energy war game designed to show the rest of us the power of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship if government policies and regulations are better aligned to unleash the animal spirits within us once again.

Boom and Bust is Alive and Well

Energy Business Cycle 2

Several lessons are emerging from the impact of low oil and gas prices encouraging market participants to adapt to the business cycle change, stay agile, and maintain operational visibility and control for what comes next in price movements.

What are the lessons?

  1. The cure for low prices is low prices. Lower prices provide the pressure to make decisions and take action—or else. Cuts in rig counts, deferred CAPEX and delaying projects mean impairments, write-downs, volatility and fear of future supply disruption. But action works to bring the market back into balance and eventually stabilize supply with demand.
  2. US shale producer productivity surprised everyone even in the face of falling rig counts. If Saudi Arabia thought it would drive US shale producers out of business it miscalculated. US oil production is now falling, but it has taken a lot longer and cost KSA a lot more to get to this point. US imports are creeping up as a short-term tradeoff against producing higher cost output.
  3. Deep cuts in CAPEX are creating a deep hole in reserves that threatens the ability of even the large players to meet future demand. This is classic boom and bust behavior alive and well in global markets. The worry is that the deferrals and cancellations will go too far and result in future supply disruptions if and when demand picks up faster than supply can recover.
  4. Saudi’s feel the pain of market share battles increasing competition inside OPEC and with non-OPEC producers. BRICS are in deep trouble with weak economic growth in China chilling global demand. Corruption problems plague many of the BRICS and other OPEC and non-OPEC producers. In a supply-short market customers may put up with corruption to get supply—but not in oversupplied markets as the crooked are learning.
  5. Technology is still US advantage and everyone wants it. We should see increases in M&A volume as weaker players are bought by stronger ones. Consolidation ‘sweats the fat out’ from over-extended players larded with debt. It also encourages investment in technologies to create advantage for the next boom in the market. Good deals and good technology attracts foreign buyers. It also raises cyber threats. Big changes also loom from IoT, machine learning, and cloud computing that are the next big things in advanced technology.

The bottom line is low prices are shifting market sentiment from worries about excess supply to worries of future shortage—classic boom and bust with contango. The longer prices stay this low the deeper the hole in future reserves and the more pressure market participants will face to get back to work or be ‘left behind’. The seeds of the next market boom are being planted now in the fears of being left behind in the current bust in oil and gas prices.

Scrambling the Eggs in the Energy Value Chain

Low energy prices, weak demand, and costly regulatory drivers are scrambling the eggs in the energy value chain but the recipes in traditional utility business and regulatory models prevent customers from creating a better tasting omelet.

Technology advances and the ingenuity of non-energy industry players promise quick and easy omelet recipes offering endless mealtime possibilities. Loaded with your favorite meats and vegetables (read: added cost services) these omelets are sure to satisfy.  But will customers see the value from the new dishes on the energy menu?

  • Will the energy utility go the way of mobile phones? We’ve seen this movie before! In 1984, the Bell Telephone System was broken up into regional carriers.  Technology advances in cellular communications competed head to head with traditional landlines.  Fast forward to today—landlines are a dying business line.  Mobile phone companies ruthlessly compete with each other to aggregate customers.  And the most influential ‘phone company’ isn’t one—it’s Apple!  The graphic above shows you Duke Energy’s view of the rapidly changing energy industry future.
  • Will our energy future focus on Smart Homes, Smart Cars, and Smart Buildings? Navigant’s Energy Cloud: Emerging Opportunities on the Decentralized Grid white paper describes an energy industry transformed into a modular microgrid powered network of networks far more sophisticated than the traditional grid model today. The multiple mega-trends transforming our energy future is expected to be cleaner, distributed, and will use the Internet of Things and cloud computing to deliver smart, predictive to prescriptive self-healing services. Stuff is happening fast to rewrite the rules of the traditional energy market place as profoundly as it did to mobile phones, newspapers, airlines, retail, computing and other industries.
  • Will energy cost savings be worth the hassle for customers? Oracle is acquiring OPower at a 30% premium over its stock price of $10.30 per share, which is less than half of Opower’s $23 IPO price in April of 2014. This is both a good price for OPower and a great value for Oracle. Oracle gains access to OPower’s behavioral science apps for energy efficiency and demand response strategies that enable utility customers to use energy data to compare their energy usage to other users. The bet is customers will take action to save energy and thus money.
  • Who is the customer for these new energy services? Big energy data applications are music to the ears of Oracle investors seeking to leverage cloud computing and enterprise software solutions. Opower focused on scalable energy efficiency programs by partnering with leading utilities ranging from National Grid in the East to Pacific Gas & Electric in the West.  Utilities are working on their own models of the future.
  • Will utilities be permitted to reinvent themslves? Southern California Edison is developing a consultancy business model with a white paper titled “The New Energy Future – Challenges and Opportunities in Corporate Energy Management.” Among the findings: a quarter of companies do not accurately understand their total energy spend, and 94% believe there are remaining opportunities for them to save.  SCE’s new unregulated business is focused on serving these corporate business needs.
  • Will Community Customer Aggregation targeting residential customers work? Community Choice Energy (aka Community Choice Aggregation) has been taking hold in California, with Marin Clean Energy (2010), Sonoma Clean Power (2014), and Lancaster Choice Energy (2015) currently offering service. CleanPowerSF (San Francisco county) began service in April 2016 and Peninsula Clean Energy (San Mateo county, targeting 10/1/16) are among several new Community Choice Energy options coming soon.  Community aggregation enables cities and counties in California to create ‘joint powers authorities’ to offer group purchasing of renewable energy resources to residential customers in their jurisdictions. The incumbent investor owned utilities hate the idea, of course, but have been unable to derail the law empowering it.

Taken together these experiments are rapidly altering the energy landscape, but success is by no means assured. But doing nothing also seems an unlikely option.

Stay tuned.

Gary Hunt Credentials

San Francisco Bay Area
925-352-8548

ghunt94526@gmail.com or gary@techandcreativelabs.com

Gary Hunt is a strategic adviser on energy technology and market transformation to companies in the energy and information services verticals.  His “sweet spot” is go to market product strategies using disruptive innovation technology at the convergence of information and operations technology.

As a founding partner and managing director at Tech and Creative Labs LLC (TCLABZ) Gary helps software, data and information services companies turn intellectual property into high value-added recurring revenue products.

  • TCLABZ creates disruptive innovation solutions to turn strategy into results leveraging best in class advanced analytics software in artificial intelligence, data visualization, social and learning software, mobile and remote data gathering and synching, and visual network analysis .
  • Gary’s Scalable Growth Strategy Advisors consulting practice is the foundation for TCLABZ energy advisory solutions business leveraging Gary’s experience as a “C’ level trusted adviser on strategy and operations in energy information services.

In a recently concluded engagement, Gary helped Deloitte turn strategy into action at Deloitte MarketPoint. After serving as an Executive in Residence at Deloitte Investments, the venture capital arm of Deloitte, on energy technology issues associated with its acquisition of MarketPoint,Gary served as General Manager, Deloitte MarketPoint (2012-2014), leading the transformation of its aging desktop software product line into a modern software as a service (SaaS) platform integrated into Deloitte Consulting Innovation.

As Ventyx division president from 2000 to 2008 as the firm grew by M&A transactions Gary led its global energy analytics, consulting and advisory products business worldwide.  He organized and integrated the Ventyx professional services organization transforming it from a pure business process analysis consulting team into a high performance integrated software, data and applications group providing installation, advanced customer support, business analysis and applications development services across the Ventyx products line.

Gary is an expert in energy analytics and renewable energy project finance. His practice provided independent market opinions in project finance transactions valued at $50+ billion on 90,000MW of power generation assets as President of Global Energy Advisors division of Ventyx; as Vice President, Global Analytics & Data at IHS/CERA, and Regional & Energy Economics Principal at S&P.

Gary served as a public utility regulator in Minnesota, Illinois and Texas. He directed the public staff in utility rate cases before the Minnesota Public Service Commission and was General Manager/ Chief of Staff  at the Illinois Commerce Commission. In Texas where original jurisdiction in natural gas regulation was a municipal function Gary served as the natural gas regulatory official for the City of Austin providing regulatory supervision of Southern Union Gas and Lone Star Gas subject to appellate review of City Rate Cases at the Texas Railroad Commission.

Gary has experience as a utility executive in all three US power grids.

PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENTS

Principal in a successful operations and analytics software start-up scaled intoVentyx with #1 market share in integrated operations and analytics software services for the information services vertical. Strong P/L results: Bookings: 126%; revenue: 109%; margin: 106%; EBITDA: 182% of plan in final year before Global Energy Decisions was sold toVentyx which was itself acquired by ABB in a $1 billion transaction in 2010.Participant in a dozen M&A transactions to scale growth, build market share, develop fast go-to-market strategies for market leadership with successful exit strategies including:

  • Due Diligence for IHS acquisition of Global Insight provided due diligence, product mapping, and synergies for integration into one IHS insight business line.
  • Strategy Adviser to Emerging Energy Research assisting the CEO position his renewable energy advisory business to be attractive to strategic buyers.
  • Recapitalization Software Product Strategy for Nexant providing a Smart Grid-enabled product roadmap driven by a successful $43 million recapitalization.
  • Ventyx integration combining rivals New Energy Associates and Global Energy Decisions into an integrated Ventyx Energy Advisory Services Group.
  • Seven ‘tuck under’ acquisitions in five years to scale start-up Global Energy Decisions to market leadership in integrated software, data and analytics solutions.

Scalable growth with recurring revenue products strategies with high value-added solutions used by more than 200 utility, integrated energy and investment banking clients.

  • Ventyx recurring revenue product champion for Ventyx Suite advisory products: http://www1.ventyx.com/advisory/energy-advisory-services.asp . As a software company we sought to scale our market growth by developing repeatable solution applications to make our analytics products faster, cheaper and easier to use for our clients. These recurring revenue products helped scale our business to #1:
  • Power Market Advisory Service (2000-2008) While competitors did simulation analysis as custom consulting jobs, we “productized” our regional market analysis to create an independent, consistent, transparent long term regional expected price energy forecast service for 76 price zones in North America and Europe updated twice yearly long term and monthly short-term creating a ‘#1 market share killer app” with recurring revenue sales from more than 250 clients.
  • Power Generation BlueBook (2002-2008).  A portfolio screening and risk solution for investment banks, we leveraged the power market reference cases to produce a high value-addedcash flow analysis screening tool for banks, hedge funds and portfolio managers with coverage for more than 6000 electric power generation plants across North America from 2002 to 2008.  This was one of the early software as a service (SaaS) solutions.
  • Renewable Energy: The Bottom Line (2005)We were among the first to provide consistent, independent analysis to validate the market potential for renewable energy with this pace-setting study of nine technologies across 12 markets.  Our methodology and transparency made this study a baseline for credit analysis and project finance market opinions among the major investment banks and rating agencies.
  • Putting Competitive Power Markets to the Test (2005) As utilities divested power generation in exchange for stranded cost recovery we tracked the transition performance of those power plants comparing before and after results to provide an independent analysis of the impact of wholesale competition across regional markets.  Our work was included in testimony before FERC’s Electric Energy Markets Competition Task Force in Docket No. AD05-17-000 and cited by Congress as independent validation that wholesale power competition delivered cost effective benefits to consumers.
  • Can Coal Deliver? (2006)  To independently validate the changing fortunes and potential for coal, we produced this analysis of North America’s coal productive capacity, transportation, changes in regulations, technology and other factors affecting the use of coal for power generation. Our work product was a benchmark in the portfolio analysis of clean coal technology.
  • Global Fuels Advisor (2000-2008) Many consultants do fuel forecasts but most are tied to forward price strips that often lack sufficient liquidity to be valid.  We created an integrated fuel modeling framework based upon fundamentals that included our Coal Reference Case, Natural Gas Reference Case, and Emissions Forecast each using our power model fuel demand for power generation and expected prices as inputs to model fuel volume and expected flows for a tightly integrated resource planning solution.
  • Global Energy Horizons (2003-2008) Our investment banking clients wanted to stress test portfolio options across alternative scenarios.  We designed Global Energy Horizons as a crowdsourced platform as a service (PaaS) to provide simulation analysis of portfolio options across alternative scenarios of the electric power industry future. The service allowed users to modify basic assumptions like fuels prices and rerun the simulation to reflect their changes. It was quickly adopted as an independent benchmark and starting point for integrated resource planning by investor owned utilities and state regulators.

CORE COMPETENCIES

“C” Level Global Business Trusted Advisor

Energy Market Strategy & Risk Advisor

Deep Information Services Domain Knowledge

Renewable Energy Market Expertise

Corporate Strategic Planning Expertise

Enterprise Software Product Management

Cleantech Business Models

Go-to-Market Product Champion

M&A Due Diligence & Integration Expert

Analytics Consulting Practice Leader

Recurring Revenue Business Models

Global Market Analysis

Quantitative and Qualitative Analytics

P&L Management Performance

CAREER HISTORY

Founding Partner, President, Tech&Creative Labs  (09/2011 – present)

TCLabz is a disruptive innovation pioneer—a new kind of company leveraging proven technologies seamlessly integrated to create innovative, fast-to-market, easy to use enterprise scale solutions without the enterprise software cost or hassle. I lead TCLabz product strategy and development in the energy vertical.  Our clients are energy and utility companies, Fortune 1000, and investors needing strategic analysis and insight, content and end-to-end solutions for:

  • big data organization and analysis,
  • visual network analysis and security,
  • artificial market simulation and data visualization,
  • social networking and community collaboration
  • knowledge capture and pattern analysis and
  • remote data gathering and access access solutions.

Managing Director Scalable Growth Strategy Advisors,(now a unit of TCLabz) (02/2008 to current)

Independent strategy adviser to energy technology and information advisory company CEOs focused on smart grid, renewable energy and power generation portfolio strategy and risk.  I help companies leverage their assets and turn intellectual property into actionable recurring revenue solutions that help scale their business growth such as:

  • Smart Grid Go-to-Market Software Product Strategy for a Silicon Valley-based software company developing smart grid-enabled meter data management, energy efficiency tracking and dynamic pricing solutions needed help sharpening it product roadmap for a $40+ million recapitalization.
  • Emerging Technology Positioning Strategy for a Cambridge, MA based global renewable energy research advisory firm seeking to attract strategic buyers and enhance its valuation in the resulting transaction.
  • Utility Strategic Growth Plan focused on expanding its growth potential from leveraging its transmission assets, strategic location and back-up generation potential to expand  investment opportunities in renewable energy and unconventional oil and natural gas plays.
  • Energy Industry Strategy and Issues Blog Commentator for SNL Financial Services providing industry and market insight on events and trends affecting investors in the energy and information services verticals.
  • Scalable Growth from Insight Services for a large information services company seeking to integrate its numerous acquisitions into one insight business line that re-purposed components from all its companies to create new, high valued added products and services.  I provided he product mapping, synergy analysis and a roadmap for creating new products from existing components across its business lines.
  • Competitive Positioning Strategy for a large solar firm competing in a market with rapidly falling imported photovoltaic panel prices seeking to differentiate itself from commodity  resellers by offering value-added products and services.

Vice President, Global Analytics & Data, IHS/CERA, (04/2008 to 11/2008)

Strategy consultant providing due diligence in M&A transactions and product R&D for solutions for evaluating sustainability risk in a power generation portfolio:

  • Alliance pilot for IHS environment products in SAP enterprise solutions,
  • Acquisition of Global Insight and its integration in IHS Insight business line.
  • Third Party Arbitrator, Valuation, Beaver Valley Nuclear, First Energy (IHS/CERA)

President, Ventyx Global Energy Advisors Division, Ventyx, an ABB Company (05/2000-02/2008)

Officer for integrated software, data and advisory services company providing power market and risk analysis, integrated resource planning and market opinions in project finance deals.

  • Power Generation Strategy and Risk Adviser to investors and portfolio managers.
  • Market forecast adviser to more than 200 energy industry clients.
  • Structured project finance transactions valued at $50 billion on 90,000MW of assets.

Director, Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) (05/1996-09/1999)

Research director and strategy consultant, my results included:

  • Principal investigator in CERA Electric Power Scenarios development process;
  • Product Manager for CERA Retail energy Forum Strategic Advisory Service
  • Engagement manager for major energy client projects worldwide.

Assistant General Manager-Operations, East Bay Municipal Utility District (05/1993-/05/1996)

Chief operations officer responsible for day to day water and power power operations, portfolio supply & risk, system reliability, and environmental compliance:

  • Managed completion of long range integrated resource plan;
  • Negotiated hydropower relicensing settlement with FERC and interveners.
  • Directed hydropower and water service operations serving 2 million customers

Principal, Regional Economics, Standard and Poor’s (05/1990-05/1993)

Principal in regional economics practice at S&P/DRI for utility and government clients:

  • Demand Drivers, Econometrics, and Regional Economics Services for utilities;
  • Cost-benefit analysis of economic strategy investment options for States.

General Manager, Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (04/1988-05/1990)

Turnaround CEO for wholesale power producer with 1000 MW portfolio of assets and contracts to serve municipal distribution utilities across New England.  Results:

  • Settlement with Seabrook joint owners to cap to-go costs and end litigation;
  • Restored investment grade credit rating following suspension;
  • Developed a long term power supply plan to guide future resource negotiations;
  • Served as member of NEPOOL Management and Executive Committees.

Assistant City Manager-Utilities & Finance, City of Austin, TX, (01/1985-04/1988)

Senior executive in charge of Austin Energy, Austin Water regional utilities and corporate finance in this fast-growing state capital of Texas.  Accomplishments included:

  • Growth management adding 25,000 meters/year for 3 years stressing the system.
  • Doubling T&D capacity in four years with major transmission construction;
  • Debt management and capital finance capacity to meet growth demands;
  • Negotiated long term water supply agreement with LCRA to assure reliability;
  • Managed and championed one of the nation’s most successful renewable energy and efficiency programs which made Austin a leader in cleantech.

Chief of Staff/General Manager, Illinois Commerce Commission (09/1980-01/1985)

Deputy State Director of Public Service, State of Minnesota (05/1979-09/1980)

I served as a state public utility regulator in three states first at the Minnesota Department of Public Service, then Illinois as chief of staff and General Manager for five years at the Illinois Commerce Commission managing utility rate cases and regulatory proceedings. As Assistant City Manager in Austin Texas I served as the chief regulatory officer for the Austin City Council in its role having original jurisdiction of rates and regulatory supervision for Lone Star Gas and Southern Union Gas companies subject to appellate jurisdiction  at the Texas Railroad Commission. I also represented Austin regulatory policy interests in matters before the Texas Water Commission, ERCOT, and the Public Utility Commission of Texas

Professional City Manager

I began my career as a professional city manager serving as assistant city manager in Albany, OR (1971-73) and Overland Park, KS (1975-78) and as City Manager in Lincoln City, OR(1973-74) and New Brighton, MN (1978-79)before shifting my focus to the energy and information technology verticals.

EDUCATION

MPA, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, HUD Graduate Studies Fellow

B.A., Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

LINKS:

LINKED-IN Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gh8431

Gary Hunt’s Blog: TCLABZ Trends

Gary Hunt’s Digital Resume: https://garylhunt.wordpress.com

Recommendations

These are the recommendations to date you may find on my Linked-In profile from customers, colleagues, supervisors and others I have worked with:

Scalable Growth Strategy Advisors

Ongun Alsac, President, Alsac, Inc.
hired Gary as a General Contractor at Nexant in 2009

“I have met Gary about two-and-a-half years ago while I was managing Nexant’s Software & Information Systems Division. At that time, we had engaged him as a consultant to help us with our growth plan and marketing strategy. Not only he did a fantastic job in assisting us, but he also impressed people in the group with his wide industry experience, extensive software products and services knowledge, extraordinary understanding of organizational and strategic issues, profound wisdom to solve problems, and extreme professionalism. Since then, I am a big admirer of Gary and continue to follow his work through his blogs, postings and publications, and definitely look forward to other opportunities to collaborate with him again.” January 31, 2011. Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative

Thierry Godart, Vice President & General Manager, Siemens Energy
hired Gary as a Business Consultant at Nexant in 2009

“I enjoyed working with Gary at Nexant. Gary was hired as a strategic adviser and created a roadmap for growth, including a thoughtful review of the sales and marketing organization. Gary’s experience in the domain of software products and services for the energy industry was a great asset to us. I recommend Gary to any executives looking for outside independent advise on organization and strategy.” April 13, 2010. Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Creative

Douglas Welsh, Vice President, Nexant
hired Gary as a Business Consultant in 2009

“Gary has outstanding industry knowledge and a knack for being able to leverage that to his clients’ advantage. He’s very professional and I enjoyed working with him. I would definitely hire him again.” April 8, 2010. Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Creative

Vice President, Global Analytics & Data, IHS/ CERA

George Retelas, Student, San Jose State University
was with another company when working with Gary at IHS/CERA

“Gary Hunt has been an insightful mentor through his example of leadership and patience. His wisdom has been invaluable during my graduate studies and he is a great role model for any organization.” November 25, 2008

President, Global Energy Advisors Division, Ventyx, an ABB Company

Hind Farag, Manager, North American Power Services, Wood Mackenzie
worked indirectly for Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“In total, I worked for Gary for about six years of my ten year career in the energy industry. Among other leaders I worked for, Gary has many unique traits. He exemplifies the true sense of leadership. Gary appreciates the value of talent and capability to advisory businesses and invests in obtaining, developing and retaining the best of class. He then places his utmost confidence and respect in his employees, guiding but setting no limits to their growth and development. Gary is also a strong visionary with a great ability to identify and capitalize on growth opportunities. Gary has managed to stay calm and find opportunities in the most difficult of situations. Interestingly, he orchestrates all of this with an extremely simple and down to earth attitude inviting all stakeholders to own the future of the business and its success. In addition to the exceptional professional growth I experienced under Gary’s leadership, I have definitely gotten my life lesson from him on basics of visionary and inclusive leadership.” August 14, 2010

Bill Caruso, Director, Sales, SolArc, Inc.
worked with Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary and I toured the continent together for about 5 years; we had a great working relationship, Gary producing some of the best forecasts in the Marketplace and me selling his forecasts. We competed with and beat all the likely suspects. We also worked together to execute on some of the most successful consulting projects in our space including projects that are still being cited today. We were as successful in selling consulting as we were his forecasts and advisory services. We sold and delivered projects in every NERC Region in North America. I would work together again with Gary Hunt any day!” June 17, 2010

Mark Venardi, Partner, The Venardi Elam Firm LLP
was a consultant or contractor to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“I represented Gary. Gary is one of the smartest, creative, and ethical people I have had the pleasure of representing. He does the right thing even if it is not necessarily in his own personal interest. He is a high energy, super high intellect, and high capacity guy. The kind of leader that I would have running my company, or alternatively, the kind of boss for whom I would be honored to work. I am certainly proud to have been his lawyer. Throughout my representation of Gary, I became acquainted with a number of his peers and people that had previously worked with and for him. Without exception, they all felt the same way as I described above. That should tell you something about this exceptionally fine fellow.” February 11, 2010

Benson Joe, Manager, Enterprise Management Solutions, Black & Veatch
worked indirectly for Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“In these uncertain times Gary is the type of visionary that can navigate the choppy waters of the new energy economy. As the practice leader at Global Energy Decisions Gary took a stale business model and transformed the group into a profit center. Gary provided strong direction and developed innovative products that were highly valued by our client base. I enjoyed working for Gary during my time at Global Energy Decisions.” March 6, 2009

Peter Bell CFA, MS, BS, Senior Manager, The Structure Group
worked indirectly for Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary Hunt, a visionary leader and compassionate mentor, was instrumental in growing Global Energy’s energy consulting practice to the world-class organization it is today. The organization Gary built and led delivered exceptional services and products to some of the largest utilities and energy service providers in the United States and abroad. I am proud to say I had the privilege of working with Gary.” May 6, 2008

Carlos A. Romero, Senior Director and General Manager, Utilities Practice, SAS
worked with Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary is a complete leader, with great personal and technical skills. He is indisputably recognized as an industry expert in the electric markets. Customers, colleagues and employees always have the best things to say about his work and professionalism.” April 5, 2008

Doug Buresh, Sr. Vice President, Indiana Municipal Power Agency
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“It has been my extreme honor to work for Gary, an incredibly gifted leader and visionary. When I think of Gary, comparisons to great coaches like Bill Walsh and Dean Smith quickly come to mind. A talented motivator, Gary promotes a culture of respect, teamwork, individual freedom, and innovation that translates directly into success for all stakeholders. Simply put, everyone who works on Gary’s team gives their absolute best effort because they know Gary is doing the same for them.” March 2, 2008

Hans Daniels, Vice President, Market Analysis & Strategy, Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“It’s been a pleasure working for Gary. His vision for the product lines and the overall company is one of the primary drivers of success at Global Energy. As president of Global Energy, Gary knew precisely when to push employees and when to let the employees push themselves. It’s rare for a manager to achieve the proper balance, but Gary’s style allowed us to maximize our productivity and creativity. The phenomenal growth that occurred during Gary’s tenure is testament to his success. I would love to work for Gary again.” February 26, 2008

David Humphrey, Senior VP of Professional Services at Accruent
worked indirectly for Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary is the prototypical leader of a consulting organization – bright, articulate, innovative, and a visionary. He has an exceptional understanding of the energy industry and the types of consulting assignments and products that the industry needs in order to be effective and efficient in these changing times.  He is an inspirational leader who was able to move the Advisors group from purely consulting engagements to an opinion and direction setter for the utility industry.” February 15, 2008

Michael F. Donnelly, Senior Director, Fuels Markets, SAIC RW Beck.
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“It was a pleasure to work for Gary Hunt. His great people skills and strategic ideas and insights into the integrated energy market were of great value in growing our advisory services. His management approach allowed for creative interdisciplinary analysis to solve complex client challenges. His superb magazine articles covering the full breadth of our work in the energy market gave us an opportunity for visibility in the dynamic energy marketplace. Gary will always be a huge asset to any energy business.” February 15, 2008

Ann Donnelly, Director, Fuels Markets, SAIC RW Beck
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary expertly put together a team of highly qualified consultants and gave them the support and direction they needed to accomplish great things. His oral and writing skills were hugely important in designing marketing plans and in presenting our team in important forums. His connections in the industry, where he was very much respected, were always extremely valuable. He truly understand what it means to our clients to have a trusted adviser and is one of the few executives I know who understands the importance of providing service to and establishing relationships with clients.” February 15, 2008

Dan Gruidel, Director Market Development, Ventyx
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary Hunt is an incredibly gifted manager and executive. I would classify Gary as a true motivator who brings vision and a commitment to his people and excellence that is often hard to find. Gary is a proven executive that will improve any company that is lucky enough to call him an executive.” February 14, 2008

Mark Foster, Director of Utility Sales and Business Development at SPG Solar
reported to Gary at Global Energy Decisions, a Ventyx Company

“After spending 11 years as my own boss at LANMARK, Inc., Gary was my direct supervisor at GED for the next five years. Gary is one of the most honest and supportive managers I’ve worked for over my 25 year career. He would lay out the high level goals for the division and had enough confidence in his team to accomplish the projects. We took over a small fractured consulting group and built it into one of the premium energy consulting firms in North America over a 5 year period under Gary’s leadership. Truly one of the few “good” guys in a leadership position today. I would be honored to work with Gary Hunt again in the future.” November 15, 2007

Dan Drechsel, CEO, Ftrans, LLC
managed Gary at Global Energy Decisions, a Ventyx Company

““More than anyone else, Gary Hunt provides the heart, soul and intellectual thinking that under lays Global Energy’s successful Advisory services business. Gary has a unique ability to identify consulting that can be converted to products. He has led the growth and development of this business successfully since his arrival. September 3, 2007” September 4, 2007

Paul Bogenrieder, Senior manager, KPMG
hired Gary as a Business Consultant in 2004, and hired Gary more than once

“The quality of service that Gary provides is outstanding. Gary and his team have a deep understanding of the energy industry, they work hard to understand the client’s problems and they deliver results in a way that’s comprehensible to a wide audience.” July 18, 2007 Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Good Value

James Slider, Director, Planning & Analysis, Nuclear Energy Institute
hired Gary as a Business Consultant in 2005

“My firm interviewed Gary for a potential consulting assignment on a scenario planning project. Throughout our phone, e-mail, and face-to-face interactions with Gary, he conducted himself with the utmost professionalism. I was very impressed with Gary’s capabilities and standards. Although my firm ultimately went in a different direction, the positive impression Gary made has kept him high on my list of candidates to consider should future circumstances present an opportunity for us to seek outside support in the areas of his expertise.” June 6, 2007. Top qualities: Personable, Expert, On Time

Tom Mol, Product Sales Director, Global Energy Decisions
worked indirectly for Gary at Global Energy Decisions

“Gary is an individual of outstanding character and high integrity. He is well respected for his leadership. He has applied his creative talents to provide unsurpassed strategic direction to the consulting division at Global Energy. Under his direction the scope of the products and services has increased significantly resulting in significant and continuous revenue and profit growth. This is due to his depth of knowledge of the energy industry and his unique ability to foresee industry trends and develop services to meet these needs. I highly recommend Gary due to his character, talent, and performance.” June 2, 2007

Mozhi Habibi, Sr. Director of Product Innovation & Commercialization, Global Energy Decisions
worked with Gary at Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA)

“Gary is a great leader and a visionary. I worked with Gary or members of his team in various project, and it was obvious that his team had an immense amount of respect for him. During the time I worked with Gary at Global Energy it was clear that he created an atmosphere of respect, teamwork, and was open to ideas from his team.  At Global Energy he proved time & time again that he can think outside the box, and develop new business opportunities for the company.” July 8, 2009