Bob in Action

Speaker Summary

Bob Hemphill has more than forty years of experience in making speeches, presentations, lectures, and sales pitches to varied audiences.  His experience runs the gamut and includes management presentations to internal company audiences and Boards of Directors needing progress updates on the company’s strategy, road shows for small groups of bankers and investors considering whether to participate in the company’s IPO, pitches to insurance company managing directors interested in financing large solar projects, explanatory meetings with Google and other non-traditional financing sources seeking tax advantaged investments, and traditional speeches to large energy conference participants curious about the latest accomplishments in renewable energy.  Even as a Second Lieutenant in Vietnam, Bob was tagged to make his staff section’s update to the Regimental commander during the Seventh Cavalry’s daily staff meeting. He has spoken successfully to audiences both national and global, often on financial topics or in a quest for investment in his company’s projects.  As CEO of AES Solar,  he led the numerous presentations that secured financing for fifty one separate solar plants in seven countries, with participation from banks and investment companies in Italy, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Japan, India and the US.  His presentations are invariably interesting, always data filled, and frequently laced with droll humor.

Leah Bissonette is similarly an experienced and dynamic speaker.  She has addressed audiences ranging from Fortune 500 Boards, international corporations, and corporate risk managers, to international regulatory panels, think tanks, university forums, and tribal councils.  Her experience in the energy field is deep and wide.  She has presented on such diverse subjects as energy conservation alternatives, demand management, electric and gas commodity purchasing and risk management, portfolio analysis, regulatory planning and impacts, and environmental assessment for energy generation choices.  Her presentations draw on more than 30 years of experience in the trenches of the industry throughout the world and she brings delightful real-world anecdotes from her experiences.  Recently she has focused on regulatory changes impacting the utility industry, the renewable revolution, and the surprising environmental side effects of these changes.   Her presentations reach deep into today’s critical issues, informed by experience and analysis.  Her talks plumb a thorough level of detail while still being engaging and accessible.



The invisible revolution is coming to the energy industry- and it’s coming now, not tomorrow.  An analysis of the relative position of various renewables to other alternatives, how fast the change is happening, why, and what that means to you, your home, and your business.

Those wires and poles look the same as they have for more than 75 years, but behind them the structures are all changing. You will be buying energy from different sources, through different companies, and with entirely different (and better) pricing. You can even trade in it yourself. The good news is it will be cheaper and cleaner. Take a fun tour with us of how widely different this industry is from just six months ago and learn how that impacts you directly.

You’ve heard it before- renewables are great but they are just too expensive yet. Don’t buy that story! We have worked in the industry for over 50 years between us and we know the real prices and alternatives. Hear how the real pros are looking at the economics of energy and prepare to be amazed. The news is much better than you have heard!

What are the variables changing power markets and how do they impact you or your projects? From bird migration paths to RECs to geopolitics energy markets are impacted by many surprising forces. Our presenter has worked in energy markets for many years. She has seen them through the Enron crisis, and through regional regulated markets, and through CCAs and through self-generation and direct access programs. What’s working here in the U.S. and abroad, and what’s not. What’s likely to impact you and your investments or businesses here and around the world. A realistic big picture of changes in the markets.

What if you wanted to build a billion dollar solar PV project out in the middle of the California desert? Where would you start? How would you raise the money? Our presenter has done this, and much more project financing in many countries and under many conditions. Learn the ins and outs of bringing such challenging projects to life.

Environmental considerations, social issues, regulatory constraints, new technology issues, and financing challenges. How do these all interact and how does anybody ever build a new infrastructure project. Your presenter has done billions (yes, billions) of dollars of project-financed infrastructure. He knows all the problems, and more importantly, he knows many of the solutions. This is an important presentation for would-be developers, financiers, policy makers, and citizens who need to understand how to make the system work.

Why don’t some renewable project that make so much sense ever get built? Why are some projects good investments while others, like the solar power towers, become economic disasters? Why is public land that has been especially zoned for renewables sometimes the worst possible choice? What are the surprising social issues related to projects in low-income areas or in tribal areas? What are the biggest challenges in planning a large-scale renewable project? If you want to establish good regulatory policy, you just want to invest wisely, or you are planning a project this presentation will open your eyes.

Offshore wind is thriving in the U.K. and Germany, solar is being built in Abu Dhabi, large hydro without dams has been built in Chile, and China was the leader in new solar projects last year. We’ll review these and other surprising facts and, more importantly, we’ll talk about why the U.S. is not always the leader in renewables.

There are surprising environmental and social consequences associated with various forms of renewable energy and these present challenges for development. You will hear interesting real life anecdotes detailing such challenges and possible alternatives/mitigation measures to make sure we can maximize renewable energy.

Could your community become a CCA? What does it mean to be a CCA? Is this a completely new alternative for buying energy in the marketplace? Or is it an Enron-style disaster waiting to happen? Hear the facts on CCA from someone who has actually traded energy in the marketplace. There’s some good news and there are some pitfalls to avoid.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of RECs and SRECs have been bought and sold in the energy markets. Do you know what these are? Could you benefit by selling or buying them? Do they promote renewable energy? Hear from someone who ran the first REC/SREC auction in the Midwest and bought tens of millions of dollars of these instruments in two days.

In the U.S. wind is primarily land-based, in the U.K. it is primarily offshore. Why is that? What should we learn from each other’s programs and what are the underlying differences and long-term impacts of these different approaches.

International Business

There are 3 lies they teach you in business school and if you follow them you are sure to have your business fail.  We’ll tell you what these lies are and demonstrate with some real-life stories about trying to implement these guidelines, and we’ll tell you what to do instead.  This is a fun, fact-filled lesson in business taught by someone with more than 40 years experience doing successful business all over the world. (And building a company from scratch to a Fortune 200 member).

Ah, the joy of international business: new people, new products, unlimited potential.  And unlimited challenges.  Here are some quick and tested guidelines for being a success in international business the first time.  The presenter has done business in more than 40 countries and his stories will keep you in stitches, even while you take away some serious learnings.  This is a fun and informative presentation.

Have you ever cleaned out the boiler at a coal plant?  The presenter has and it won him some real credibility with his employees.  But you don’t have to do anything so drastic to keep good people.  The presenter was one of the original founders at AES – a company noted for keeping great people even when the assignments were in tough places and when funds were tight.  He will share with you his thoughts and how, even today, many years later, some of those employees contact him for career advice.

Yes, you can go to jail for something that you didn’t know anything about and you didn’t think you were responsible for!  If you are, or might be, doing business in another country you need to know how strict this law is and how you can inadvertently go awry.  Our presenter has first hand knowledge of how easy it is to find yourself challenged by this law as you do business- all strictly above board!  This is a fascinating exploration for anyone in business, anyone investing in international businesses, or anyone planning to do policy work on international business.

What if you wanted to build a billion dollar solar PV project out in the middle of the California desert? Where would you start? How would you raise the money? Our presenter has done this, and much more project financing in many countries and under many conditions. Learn the ins and outs of bringing such challenging projects to life.

In the U.S. wind is primarily land-based, in the U.K. it is primarily offshore.  Why is that?  What should we learn from each other’s programs and what are the underlying differences and long-term impacts of these different approaches. 

If you are building a fossil- or nuclear-fueled power plant on the coast of India and expecting to cool the plant with ocean or river water, what happens if climate change makes the water 4 degree warmer and it’s then too warm to cool the plant adequately?  Or if you are using river water and a drought means there’s not enough water for cooling. 

What if you have a business that relies on cheap power from coal-fired power plants in Asia but the country you are in decides to tax GHG emissions and your competitor who just built a solar PV power plant now has cheaper power? 

These are not just nightmares – they are real world possibilities.  How can you reasonably assess these possibilities, make good choices, and report the risks and liabilities appropriately (and legally) to your shareholders. 

It’s a serious issue and one board members, senior executives, and future business leaders need to understand.

We’ll help with the big picture perspective and some guidance on what to expect for questions in the near future.

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