There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and health care to real estate and supply chain management. Many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.
While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space. To subscribe to the Blockchain Energizer newsletter, please click here.
IN THIS ISSUE
- KEPCO Announces Exploration of Blockchain-Based Solar Trading Platform.
- SP Group Using Blockchain to Power REC Trading Platform in Singapore.
- Energy Web Foundation Unveils an Electric Vehicle Charging Toolkit for EW Origin.
To view more information on theses topics in Volume 38 of the Blockchain Energizer, click here.
An Access Partnership and K&L Gates Symposium
We invite you to join us in the K&L Gates Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday, December 6 for an in-person (only) breakfast symposium focused on the rapidly changing global regulatory landscape surrounding connected cars/autonomous vehicles.
Our experienced panelists are government and industry officials who will discuss upcoming national and international industry and regulatory developments regarding the autonomous vehicles industry, focusing on cybersecurity and privacy issues, and infrastructure-related concerns.
We are pleased to announce the following speakers and panelists. Please note that panels remain in formation.
Ryan Johnson, Senior Manager, International Public Policy, Access Partnership
Keynote Speaker: Nat Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Nat is responsible for NHTSA’s vehicle safety research activities, which are focused on achieving the agency’s mission of reducing fatalities and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes.
Keynote Speaker: Andrea Glorioso, Counsellor for the Digital Economy, Delegation of the European Union to the United States.
Andrea acts as the liaison between the European Union and United States on policy, regulation, and research activities related to the Internet and information and communication technologies. He worked for eight years at the European Commission in Brussels on cybersecurity, personal data protection, cloud computing, and Internet governance. He was part of the teams that produced a number of key strategies of the European Commission, including the Action Plan on the Internet of Things and the Cloud Computing Strategy.
Panel Discussion: Infrastructure*
Moderator: Stephen A. Martinko, Government Affairs Counselor, K&L Gates
David S. Kim, Vice President, Government Affairs, Hyundai Motor Company
Greg Rogers, Policy Analyst & Assistant Editor, Eno Transportation Weekly (ETW), Eno Center for Transportation
Jim Tymon, Chief Operating Officer/Director of Policy and Management, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
Panel Discussion: Cybersecurity & Privacy*
Moderator, Bruce J. Heiman, Partner, K&L Gates
Robert E. Muhs, Vice President, Government Affairs, Corporate Compliance & Business Ethics, Avis Budget Group
Kiyoshi Nakazawa, Representative, Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) New York Director, Information Technology Department, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) New York Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Government of Japan
Al Sisto, Executive Chairman, Device Authority
*Panel in formation.
For more information, please visit our event page.
To RSVP, please click here.
K&L Gates, SovereigNET, The Fletcher School’s Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital, and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds are pleased to announce our fourth symposium on global infrastructure.
The central theme of the symposium will be Bridging the Public-Private Divide through Pooled Investment Platforms. The discussion will focus on the design of innovative financing platforms to narrow the global infrastructure investment gap.
Gathering representatives from the World Bank and the institutional investor community together with policy makers, development banks, service providers, academics, and public sector partners, the symposium will explore the role of investment fund structures – sovereign, multilateral and private – in mobilizing capital in scale to finance critical infrastructure needs in both developed and emerging economies.
The symposium will be organized into four discussion panels and several interactive lunch breakouts. All sessions will feature speakers who are actively involved in sponsoring, funding, managing, and governing global infrastructure and strategic investment funds.
Keynote Speaker: Adrian Orr, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Superannuation Fund; Chair of International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds
To RSVP for this program, please click here.
Expedited permitting and environmental review for complex infrastructure projects may soon be a reality. Buried at the end of its most recent transportation reauthorization package (the “FAST Act” or “Act”) is a significant new initiative intended to fundamentally change the way that federal agencies evaluate environmental impacts from, and issue permits for, construction of large infrastructure projects. 
National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) review and environmental permitting for complex infrastructure projects can be costly and protracted. For instance, a U.S. Government Accountability Office Report stated that the average completion time for an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) in 2012 was 4.6 years.  Between 2003 and 2012, the Department of Energy paid contractors an average fee of $6.6 million, and as much as $85 million, to prepare EISs.  The cost to prepare an EIS is often borne by project sponsors. Some transportation and water resources projects currently benefit from expedited permitting and environmental review procedures,  but the FAST Act is the first time that Congress has attempted to coordinate NEPA review across federal agencies and industry sectors.