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Energy and Investor Community columns
Columnist of "Markets & Routes" for Energy Trends Insider
In May, a new column was launched focusing on the economics of energy trends and markets.
North America's Rising Star
A re-thinking of North American energy resources and its impact on trade routes. A more resource-supplied U.S. offers a different lens through which to view the infamous "Asia pivot" of the Obama Administration. Lloyd's List, Apr 2013.
Targeting the Future: Smarter, Cleaner Infrastructure Development Choices
China and India, with their high economic growth trajectories, offer the planet a significant opportunity to reduce carbon emissions provided they invest in climate-smart infrastructure. The globe is also becoming increasingly water stressed. Understanding the energy-water-climate nexus is critical to achieving sustainable development. Chapter in Book, "Climate Change," Nov 2012.
Sustainable Growth for China: When Capital Markets and Greener Infrastructure Combine
The world’s economic system and ecosystem have everything to gain by teasing apart the infrastructure and climate change-related issues for China. The Chinese Economy, Sept/Oct 2011.
Water Security conference
Invited for poster presentation at Oxford's "Water Security, Risk, and Society" conference April 2012, based on energy-water infrastructure research of last five years. Schedule would not allow participation.
Australian Floods Impact on Asian Trade
Backwash from the floods which ravaged Australia in late December and early January is now rippling through the global coal trade like a tsunami. Lloyd's List op ed, Jan 2011.
China ramps up gas investments
As China continues to evolve its economy, natural gas becomes an increasingly attractive source of cleaner energy and for diversification purposes. Lloyd's List op ed, Nov 26, 2010.
Global gas, an ever-changing plot
Shifts across the globe in natural gas consumption and production tell a new tale. What happened in Texas, didn't stay in Texas. Opinion editorial published in Lloyd's List, a near-300 year-old publication on Sept 24, 2010.
Lloyd's List published op ed regarding China's coal consumption in its energy mix with discussion about green prospects
Development research and ideas as Iraq rebuilds
Research about infrastructure development in India, in conjunction with a capital market approach, was presented. Leaders from Iraq visited the US to learn about infrastructure development. The research by Dr. Chen and I was identified as relevant for their investigation. This included a preview of new research about China's energy and water infrastructure needs given potential climate change challenges. View the presentation. Received "Citizen Diplomat" recognition from U.S. Department of State.
Smart View: Guest Column
What can be learned from China’s economic miracle with scant R&D spending? Entrepreneurs unlock the gains from innovation and are an engine of economic growth. The Smart Manager, a top Indian business magazine.
The Barnett Shale, natural gas story
The Barnett Shale, natural gas story (below) was a feature in one of three issues submitted that helped D CEO magazine win a major national award.
Editor Glenn Hunter wrote: "I want to personally thank you for your contribution to D CEO. No doubt about it: You're a big part of why we're in the running for this prestigious award, and I appreciate it."
PS. Green energy triangulation: From the first article about a Texas wind energy developer in China to a second energy policy piece about U.S.-China cooperation (and the suggestion that the Chinese invest in U.S. wind farm development), an interesting third development -- the Chinese made a first-of-its-kind $300 million loan to the above-mentioned developer... for wind farms in the U.S.
Retirement Security presentation
Keynote presentation "Charting Retirement Security in an Era of Uncertainty" was given at a conference for global pension funds. Trends about the economic climate, demographics, and globalization were addressed. Sustainability issues were discussed in the context of educational gaps, retirement incentives, and upcoming economic pressure points.
(Denver, May 2009.)
China's Green Future
With Obama's pledge about America's clean energy future, this strategic direction can help the U.S. out of its economic malaise and restore leadership on the issue of carbon-dioxide emissions reductions. Understanding China's huge energy-related challenges illuminates the out-sized opportunity for America. Beijing's energy goals can be fast-tracked with the help of American companies, and both countries will benefit from enhanced green trade routes. (Published in Far Eastern Economic Review, December 2008.)
Winning Play: The Barnett Shale
Natural gas is gaining traction as an energy source with potential beyond its traditional uses. New shale plays like the Barnett Shale and the Marcellus Shale are adding to supply at a time when high energy costs and greenhouse-gas emissions concern households, businesses, and politicians alike. What might the future hold for natural gas, with its ability to morph into numerous energy forms, in solving some of America's energy challenges? (published in D CEO magazine, September 2008)
Paving the Path for India's Growth
For India's rapid growth to continue, investment in infrastructure would need to double, from 5% of GDP to an estimated 9% by 2012 -- or $500 billion. Utilizing global capital markets and the private sector is the way forward for greater efficiency, transparency, and proper incentives. Incumbent approaches in financing infrastructure have shortcomings that encourage waste, inefficiency, and corruption. India is perfectly poised to leverage a new market-based approach for sustainable infrastructure development to the benefit of its economy, the Indian public, and global investors. (Far Eastern Economic Review, March 2008 with co-author Dr. Andrew Chen.)
Tom Leppert's Vision for Dallas
Cover story for D CEO magazine, February 2008.
The Chinese Connection
Profile of CEO Patrick Jenevein of Tang Energy, a U.S.-based energy firm focusing on wind energy development and green tech processes in power generation, with rich experience in China. Illustrates a firm uniquely addressing the pollution problem in China, one consequence of rapid economic growth and high demand for energy. Feature in DallasCEO magazine (Jan 2008).
The Retirement Security Institute
Creation of a co-development platform and knowledge company for new ideas, writings and projects about retirement security.)
Retirement Security in the 21st Century: Considerations and Risks in Building the Infrastructure
Complementing Economic Advances in India: A New Approach in Financing Infrastructure Projects (Journal of Structured Finance, Summer 2007)
Cover story in DallasCEO (July/August)
Fluor's CEO Alan Boeckmann and their evolution as a global firm. Download the entire article. An excerpt:
Fluor received its first contract abroad in the Persian Gulf in 1933 between the two World Wars, erecting cooling towers for a refinery under construction. Expansion in the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America gained speed, following much of the design and building occurring in the petrochemical industry.
Boeckmann recalls his early days at Fluor and how the curve was trending in regards to today's "globalized" world. "Globalization has no doubt changed the dynamics in our business," Boeckmann says. "When I came to Fluor in 1974, it was a time of rapid growth. Then our competition was almost entirely from U.S. firms. Today, we have gone through several waves of new entrants. It started with Asian entrants--Japanese, followed by the Koreans--and then the Europeans. We now see Chinese firms coming to the market albeit utilizing their resource advantage, well-trained but cheap labor." While today they are competing in the Middle East for construction-only projects, within five years, Boeckmann expects the Chinese will be competing against them for total project responsibility.
The latest thinking on globalization suggests that developed countries such as the U.S. need to stay ahead of the competition with their value added, namely staying on the forefront of scientific and technological advances. Fluor is no stranger to technological advances and the need to stay ahead with innovation. In 1921, they introduced the "Buddha" cooling tower, named after its resemblance to a Buddhist shrine, its first product manufactured and a radical advance in the cooling of water. Another advance in the 1950s, introducing the use of scale models of plants as design tools, ultimately led to Fluor becoming an expert in lifting and rigging huge vessels. Today, Fluor's focus on green technologies and solutions is building steam (and is re-capturing it literally for re-use).