4. Total Energy USA Conference – This new Houston conference earned a spot in our top five for its efforts to take a look at the total energy picture, a sort of all-of-the-above look that typically falls into the background at other gatherings in the city. While other energy conferences highlighted the need to develop more energy resources to meet growing energy demand, the Total Energy USA Conference singled out energy waste and opportunities for more efficient energy usethat would cut down the need for more energy. That perspective is coincidentally absent from conferences dominated by oil and gas producers, who predictably advocate for more exploitation of natural resources. The Total Energy USA Conference also focused on renewable energy, energy storage, fuel cells, nuclear innovations and electric grids with more depth and weight than the marginal attention given those areas at other conferences. This year’s conference is set to begin Nov. 19.