It was great to meet so many of you in Houston last month at Energy Risk USA. With more than 330 delegates, numbers at the conference broke the record attendance of last year. I think this is a real reflection of the fact that energy risk management has been propelled to the top of company agendas in the past couple of years.
The conference topics – which are arrived at after extensive consultation with the energy risk management community – are a good indication of where people's interest lies and which new approaches and new markets might be the next big thing.
This year the conference had a strong green theme, with presentations on carbon trading, wind power and ethanol being extremely popular.
Another area of growing interest is, of course, Asia. In this issue we bring you the results of our inaugural Energy Risk Asia awards. Each of our six winners is working hard to develop the market in the region. You can read more about their operations in our Awards Special Report on page 26.
In terms of new developments, another exciting area is the Smart Grid. Engineers of this technology foresee an entire network allowing the optimal, intelligent production and distribution of power to be operational by 2020. In our cover story Catherine Lacoursière looks at how Smart Grid technologies are already changing the economics of power markets.
Also in this issue look out for David Watkins' insightful article into why the US WTI benchmark crude contract is trading so far below European Brent and the possible solutions posited to correct the distortion.
P.S. Energy Risk is proud to announce it came highly commended in the category of International Business Magazine of the Year at the recent PPA awards.