The Interchange

Wood Mackenzie

Conversations about the energy transition from Wood Mackenzie.

All Episodes

You can develop enough renewable energy to power the world, but without energy storage systems, those developments are rendered somewhat moot. To achieve President Biden’s target of 90% renewables by 2035, the US needs an additional 9 terawatts of solar storage. What do our current storage solutions look like? Are batteries leading the charge? To answer those questions David turns to Rebecca Ciez, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. David and Rebecca look at the current storage options. Are batteries powerful enough to deliver power during outages or periods of no sunlight? Rebecca talks about the materials needed for solar batteries and how we can improve the technology to reduce the strain on supply chains. Investment and government incentives are then thrust under the microscope by David, before the discussion wraps with examining the technological advancements in the space. The Interchange is brought to you by Schneider Electric. Are you building a microgrid? With a microgrid you can store electricity and sell it back during peak times. Keep your power on during an outage. Integrate with renewables. Control energy on your own terms. Having built more microgrids in than anyone else, Schneider Electric has the expertise to help.The Interchange is brought to you by Bloom Energy. Bloom’s onsite energy platform provides unparalleled control for those looking to secure clean, reliable 24/7 power that scales to meet critical business needs. It eliminates outage and price risk while accelerating us towards a zero carbon future. Visit Bloom Energy to learn how to take charge today.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 26

44 min 27 sec

Why wouldn’t everyone invest in solar? Well, for that reason exactly: it’s an investment. Although it’s praised for its low maintenance costs and long-term savings, it is still a hefty investment in terms of individual finance cost, manufacturing, and installation. The production of solar panels requires expensive raw material, such as high-grade silicon, and silver for the wiring and cells.If the industry could just get the cost of materials down, the climate and environmental benefits would extend far beyond the energy sector.An Australian organization called SunDrive solar recently made headlines for their use of copper wiring in solar cells, opening up the opportunity for solar production costs to plummet and increase global solar adoption. New host David Banmiller is joined by PV Magazine Founding Editor Jonathan Gifford to examine this achievement, and what it could mean for solar. They also explore supply chains issues, tackling NIMBYism and together they predict the Next Big Things in solar tech.The Interchange is brought to you by Schneider Electric. Are you building a microgrid? With a microgrid you can store electricity and sell it back during peak times. Keep your power on during an outage. Integrate with renewables. Control energy on your own terms. Having built more microgrids in than anyone else, Schneider Electric has the expertise to help.The Interchange is brought to you by Bloom Energy. Bloom’s onsite energy platform provides unparalleled control for those looking to secure clean, reliable 24/7 power that scales to meet critical business needs. It eliminates outage and price risk while accelerating us towards a zero carbon future. Visit Bloom Energy to learn how to take charge today.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 12

47 min 48 sec

An announcement: this is Shayle Kann's last episode of the show.The Interchange is being handed off to David Banmiller, the global head of strategic banking at Wood Mackenzie.In Shayle's final episode, he shares a few words about the history of the show and asks David about his future focus.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 29

9 min 15 sec

At the beginning of the pandemic, energy prices crashed. We did an episode of this show trying to figure out how oil prices fell to negative $40 per barrel.Times have changed. Oil is up over $100/barrel. But far more acute is what’s happening with natural gas, particularly in Europe and Asia. In the US, natural gas prices have doubled in the last year. But in parts of Europe, the price has risen more than 5 times.The disruptions are clear. We're seeing stories of power shortages in China, fertilizer plants being shut down in the UK, and fears about home heating costs in the Northeast US as winter approaches.So what the heck is going on? How long might it last? And what does it tell us about the future?To answer those questions Shayle turns to Leslie Palti-Guzman, the President of Gas Vista and a non-resident fellow at NYU SPS Center for Global Affairs.Shayle and Leslie cover the many demand-side and supply-side issues. Then they talk about what comes next: What does this crisis reveal about the vulnerability of the energy system? And will countries double down on renewables, gas, or both to shore up their resiliency?The Interchange is brought to you by Schneider Electric. Are you building a microgrid? With a microgrid you can store electricity and sell it back during peak times. Keep your power on during an outage. Integrate with renewables. Control energy on your own terms. Having built more microgrids in than anyone else, Schneider Electric has the expertise to help.The Interchange is brought to you by Bloom Energy. Bloom’s onsite energy platform provides unparalleled control for those looking to secure clean, reliable 24/7 power that scales to meet critical business needs. It eliminates outage and price risk while accelerating us towards a zero carbon future. Visit Bloom Energy to learn how to take charge today.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 23

29 min 33 sec

We’re rebroadcasting one or our favorite episodes, called “Would I Lie to You?” We originally ran it right after the 2020 election as a light-hearted distraction during a dark news cycle.Shayle Kann gets together with Adam James, the Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President at Energy Impact Partners (where Shayle also works) to play an energy-themed version of the British game show Would I Lie to You?Here are the rules:Each player selects three energy-related facts or stories. Any number of the three can be lies, and at least one has to be a lie.They have to be clear lies, not slight adjustments of the truth.The other person can ask three questions, and they must get an answer.At the end of the round, the truths and lies are revealed. If the score is a tie, it moves to a penalty shootout where each person offers a fact/story and the other person has to determine whether it is the truth or a lie. If someone misses and the other person gets their next answer right, they win.The Interchange is brought to you by Schneider Electric. Are you building a microgrid? With a microgrid you can store electricity and sell it back during peak times. Keep your power on during an outage. Integrate with renewables. Control energy on your own terms. Having built more microgrids in than anyone else, Schneider Electric has the expertise to help.The Interchange is brought to you by Bloom Energy. Bloom’s onsite energy platform provides unparalleled control for those looking to secure clean, reliable 24/7 power that scales to meet critical business needs. It eliminates outage and price risk while accelerating us towards a zero carbon future. Visit Bloom Energy to learn how to take charge today.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 9

48 min 5 sec

Shayle has been brewing up an investment thesis around how decarbonization will create stratification in traditional commodity sectors, like chemicals and materials. If you can produce the same thing in the same cost range -- but you can do so in a CO2-free or carbon-negative -- you'll reap the rewards.Lanzatech is a great test case for that thesis, as well as a great story to tell about the history of this sector. It was founded in 2005 as a biofuels company. Now, it captures industrial waste gasses, such as CO2 and CO, and recycles them into the chemicals used to make everything from plastics to medical supplies to fabric for Lululemon. It has even spun out an entire company focused on jet fuel.Shayle talks to CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren about carbon recycling and the big dent it could make in global greenhouse gas emissions. They break down the economics of competing with undifferentiated ethanol, jet fuel, and chemicals and the brand interest driving interest in carbon recycling tech.Jennifer hints at the potential for applying genetics expertise from medicine to industrial biotechnology; one day Lanzatech hopes to produce acetone, isopropyl alcohol and other valuable chemicals directly from its carbon-eating microbes. She reflects on leading one of the few companies to survive booms and busts of cleantech over the years. And she explains why the Lanzatech team decided not to ask their bacteria to do cartwheels. The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 1

38 min 43 sec

In January 2020, Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, announced that the company had set a target of becoming carbon negative by 2030.How does the company plan to do it? What does going carbon negative actually entail?Brandon Middaugh, the Director of Microsoft’s $1B Climate Innovation Fund, comes on the show to explain. The fund invests in various climate technologies as a part of the company’s overall climate efforts. Investments in its portfolio cover carbon removal, carbon marketplace innovation and the circular economy, among others.(The fund’s first investment was in Energy Impact Partners, where Shayle is a partner). Shayle and Brandon break down the sources of the company’s emissions, its climate strategy, and building a climate “fee” into the company’s operations to funnel back into the fund. They talk about the the need to scale promising new technologies far faster than than even wind and solar, discussing what Microsoft can do to support wide-spread adoption. Plus, Brandon highlights some of the investments she's excited about so far.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 24

42 min 10 sec

The road to solar glory has been littered with failed companies -- the ones you may know (Solyndra) and hundreds you probably do not.Will the burgeoning hydrogen space follow a similar bumpy road? Hydrogen is at a similar phase of market and technological maturity, with similar levels of hype. In this episode, Shayle talks to Raffi Garabedian, the former CTO of pioneering solar manufacturer First Solar and now the co-founder and CEO of Electric Hydrogen Co. (Disclosure: Shayle just led Energy Impact Partners’ investment in the company).First Solar was one of the very few Western companies that survived the price pressure, commoditization and trade dynamics in the solar industry during its early growth phase. How did First Solar do it? And what does that tell us about surviving the heady-but-volatile hydrogen space?Shayle and Raffi dig into that history, covering First Solar’s bet on mass-producible cadmium telluride technology, as well as the risky step of retooling manufacturing.They also cover the parallels to hydrogen: How does a novel technology compete against dominant incumbents? How does that technology navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of an emerging market? How can an executive team pick the most useful metric for its creative teams? The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 16

57 min 56 sec

In the world of venture capital, climate tech is about as hot as it gets. In the first two quarters of 2021, climate tech companies raised $16B from VCs. New designated funds are announced regularly, startup valuations are sky high, and times are frothy. It's never been a better time to be a climate tech entrepreneur.It's easy to get lost in the noise -- so what does the hard data say? How much investment are we talking about, really? Where is it coming from, and who is it going to? And what does that tell founders about how to operate and grow their businesses?To answer these questions, Shayle turns to Climate Tech VC, the leading newsletter on climate and innovation. Co-founders Kimberly Zou and Sophie Purdom have gathered and crunched the data in a new report.Sophie is a sustainability business practitioner and early-stage climate investor, and was a co-founder of the microbial fertilizer company Kula Bio. Kimberly is an investor at Energy Impact Partners, where Shayle is a partner.Shayle, Sophie and Kimberly define the space, look at hotspots, and discuss where the influx of capital is coming from. Also, be sure to check out the job board and investor list that Clean Tech VC maintains.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 9

49 min

There is no path to deep decarbonization that doesn't involve a clean power sector. And there is no path to a clean power sector that doesn't involve deploying massive amounts of wind, solar, and lithium-ion batteries.Those three technologies don't solve the entire problem of climate change, but they are the workhorses that will power a broader, multi-sector decarbonization approach.The power sector itself is around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. And a net-zero electricity sector is the key that unlocks a host of other decarbonization pathways, from hydrogen to carbon removal to transportation.So what exactly is happening in the utility-scale renewables market? How cheap are those resources, really? And what might hold them back? And if they work as we think they might, what could they unlock?This week, Shayle Kann sits down with Sheldon Kimber, the CEO of Intersect Power. Intersect is one of the largest developers and owners of utility-scale clean power and storage in America. Sheldon has a long history in this sector, so we brought in on to discuss where it’s headed.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 3

49 min 43 sec

The Nobel prize in chemistry in 1918 was awarded to a German man named Fritz Haber for a process to fix nitrogen from the air. The technique, which later became known as the Haber-bosch process, is probably one of the four or five most important inventions of the last century.Because nitrogen feeds crops. And as our population boomed during the 20th century, nitrogen fertilizer became the core fuel of our food system. It is estimated to have fed about half of the world's population.Nitrogen fertilizer is incredibly important, and we still produce the vast majority of our fertilizer using this same process. This has all sorts of ramifications that are less than ideal for farmers and crops, but in addition to that, it has become a major source of global warming pollution -- around 5 percent of emissions when you include both the production and application of nitrogen fertilizer.So it's a big climate issue, and a big ag issue. One company, Nitricity, has a unique technology to produce nitrogen fertilizer at point-of-use, using only air, water and electricity.In this episode, Shayle talks with Nico Pinkowski, the company's CEO and co-founder, about the world of nitrogen fertlizer, and how you can capture lightning in a bottle to let farmers take control of this key resource.This podcast is a production of Wood Mackenzie.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 26

39 min 7 sec

We use the term “energy transition” to define markets, technology, business models. But what about people?The transition away from fossil fuels isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. The hardest part isn’t building out the clean resources. It’s shutting down the dirty stuff at a pace the science demands. And that means disrupting entire classes of employment and communities that depend on fossil fuel extraction — in other words, helping people find work in another sector. The phrase often used to describe this approach is “just transition.”We have a guest who’s been researching and writing about this subject for years: Sandeep Pai. Sandeep is the co-author of Total Transition: The Human Side of the Renewable Energy Revolution. He’s a former journalist and a senior research lead for the energy security and climate change program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)We’ll talk with Sandeep about his analysis of the strategies for transitioning fossil fuel workers in economies around the world. This episode originally aired in June of 2020.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 18

46 min 40 sec

Carbon accounting and disclosure is getting attention at the highest levels.Gary Gensler, the chairman of the SEC, said in July: "I think updates to public company disclosures and to fund disclosures [on climate] could bring needed transparency to our capital markets. When it comes to disclosure, investors have told us what they want. It’s now time for the Commission to take the baton."Gensler directed SEC staff to pull together a rulemaking proposal on mandatory corporate climate risk disclosure by the end of this year. It could be a watershed action, so to speak.The world of enterprise carbon accounting, management and disclosure has been garnering a lot of attention, particularly in Silicon Valley circles. It’s a sexy sector. But it's also an early one -- carbon accounting has seen limited adoption to date, and in its current form is often led by consultants doing pretty high-level annual surveys.Will this become the next big enterprise software vertical, and maybe the first truly at-scale software sector in climate tech?Shayle is joined by Taylor Francis, co-founder of Watershed, one of the most well-regarded emergent players in this enterprise carbon management sector.Taylor and his founding team spun out of Stripe, where they were building internal tools, to help other companies follow suit. They've since raised capital from Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, along with the co-founders of Stripe themselves.Taylor has a really thoughtful approach to this market and what companies are going to need as they enter the quickly-evolving world of enterprise carbon management.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 13

43 min 22 sec

In the great debate over crypto mining vs. climate, there are two camps.First, the crypto enthusiasts, like Square, say things like, "Bitcoin is key to an abundant, clean energy future". And then there are the energy wonks, who point out that, if bitcoin mining were a country, it would already be in the top 30 for total energy consumption, rivaling Ukraine. The energy camp tends to dismiss the crypto enthusiasts’ thinking. They’re skeptical of how crypto mines could be assets to a decarbonizing grid, rather than a strain on it.So to cut through the noise, Shayle spoke to Nick Grossman, a partner at the respected venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. USV was the largest early investor in Coinbase, which currently has a $49B market capitalization. But USV has gone big on climate tech and raised a specific climate fund. Nick straddles both the crypto and climate worlds, so he's the perfect person to help me make some sense out of this madness.Nick and Shayle break down the basics of crypto currencies as energy-backed assets. They examine the argument that crypto mines improve the economics of renewables, because they will always be willing to buy cheap renewable power. This, in turn, helps to finance the overbuilding of renewable projects to help meet peak demand, or so the thinking goes.But do intermittent renewables improve the economics of crypto mines? In other words: Is it profitable to mine intermittently? They also discuss green bitcoin certificates and alternatives to the energy-intensive proof-of-work crypto security model: proof of stake, proof of space-time, and proof of locationAnd they evaluate Shayle’s (surely serious) startup pitch to match crypto mines with seasonal renewables: put the mines on barges and shuttle them back and forth between renewable projects in the northern and southern hemispheres. The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 6

46 min 48 sec

Back in 2016, Mateo Jaramillo left Tesla, where he was leading the stationary energy storage business, and started looking for a new challenge to tackle. He took on long-duration energy storage -- not long duration like 8 hours or 12 hours, but days or weeks or more. In 2017 he came on the show to talk about it. He formed a company, now Form Energy, that has been toiling on this problem in stealth mode. Apart from saying they were building a "metal air" battery, his team held the technology close to the vest.That is, until last week. The company announced a $200M Series D financing led by ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, and in the process finally made public the technology, which is an iron air chemistry. Full disclosure: Shayle led Energy Impact Partners’ investment in Form.Shayle and Mateo discuss the technology itself and the counterintuitive economics that Mateo believes will make it work. They also examine how it beat out the alternatives and how it might complement more efficient, but more expensive lithium-ion. It turns out financial modeling was far more important than spec sheets in understanding the tradeoffs.They tackle the critical question: Where exactly are the profitable applications of this technology before we hit very high 80% renewables? They also talk about the semantics of long-duration storage vs. multi-day storage, why Mateo hates holy grails, and potential partnerships with tofu companies.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 30

50 min 19 sec

This week, we’ll take a peek at the news. Last week, president Biden unveiled his administration's plan for a $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan which the democrats hope to pass through reconciliation. While the details are still sparse, we do know that one of the linchpins of the Biden administration's climate strategy -- a national clean electricity standard (CES) -- is included in the plan.It's a big deal. If you care about the power sector, a national CES might be the most impactful piece of legislation affecting it in decades. If you care about decarbonization, almost every pathway drives directly through a decarbonized power sector combined with large-scale electrification of other sectors such as transportation, industry and heating.But the details are still being worked out, and there’s a labyrinth of parliamentary rules that a CES would have to navigate to make it through the US Senate’s budget reconciliation process. To shine a light on the process and what a CES could look like, Shayle turns to Jesse Jenkins, an energy modeling expert at Princeton who is helping to design the policy in the bill. Shayle and Jesse talk about the differences between a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and a CES, crafting a CES through the budget instead of regulation, the role that technology-neutral tax credits could play in the bill, the funds and penalties utilities might face, and how to get the incentives right for the energy transition given the limitations of reconciliation. Helpful links:E&E News: Payments or fines: How Dems’ CES would affect utilitiesJesse’s Twitter thread on designing a CES for the budget, rather than regulationEvergreen Action’s explainer on a CES: Everything You Need to Know About a Clean Electricity Standard The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 22

43 min 57 sec

In this episode, we’re measuring the energy transition -- using “Price is Right” rules. Our former co-host Stephen Lacey is back on the show to face off against our current host, Shayle Kann. Producer Daniel Woldorff steps in as arbiter. We’ll guess stats and trivia about climate tech, and discuss what those figures mean for the energy transition. They cover the MSRPs of popular EVs, the cheapest PPA in the world, carbon prices, carbon capture investments, industrial materials and more.Who won?* Have a listen to find out!*Note: Our producer Daniel miscounted the score. It didn’t affect who won, but he’s going back to math classes to relearn how to count.The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 15

31 min 22 sec

Elon Musk’s magic is making huge promises to transform a tech sector -- and then, after a series of setbacks, ultimately deliver. But the Solar Roof never delivered on its promise of chic, affordable solar-power generating roof shingles, as Dana Hall’s recent article in Bloomberg lays out.Today, there are some solar roofs on homes. The Gigafactory that was meant to churn them out in Buffalo, New York is humming along, but not nearly at the 1,000 Solar Roofs per week that Tesla was originally aiming for. In the meantime, the company has raised prices on customers, fired a number of executives, and faced a shareholder lawsuit in which the Solar Roof played a central role. So how did Tesla get here?We’re re-running one of our favorite episodes, a conversation with Austin Carr of Bloomberg  about Tesla’s solar woes. It’s from back in June 2019.We’ll look at the history of SolarCity/Tesla’s manufacturing plans, the derailed plans for the solar roof, and how current manufacturing activity compares with Tesla’s promises to New York.Read Austin’s reporting on Tesla’s solar business:Bloomberg: Did Elon Musk Forget About Buffalo?Fast Company: The Real Story Behind Tesla’s Acquisition of SolarCityThe Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 9

56 min

There were about eight years when climate tech was wandering in the wilderness, so to speak. It started after the Solyndra bankruptcy in 2011 and ended about two years ago, when the market began heating up again.During that time, people in this space examined the valleys of death. What are the stages in a climate tech company’s life cycle that might be painful -- or even fatal -- to go through? And what resources can a company draw upon to cross these valleys?To tackle those questions, Shayle spoke to Amy Duffuor, a principal at PRIME Impact Fund, which is set up specifically to help startups cross that chasm (Shayle is on PRIME's investor advisory council).Amy and Shayle name the four major valleys, drawing on Hara Wang and Cyril Yee’s RMI article, “Climate Tech’s Four Valleys of Death and Why We Must Build a Bridge.” Then, they compare the climate tech world of today to 2014, a low point in the space when the Prime Coalition was started, examining some of the biggest changes:The influx of generalist investorsThe maturing ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and funds that provide support at multiple stages in a startup’s path to growthThe explosion of corporate commitments, reflecting the growing demand for climate action from consumers, investors and the general publicThe growing options for exit, such as SPACs and M&As, that are making it easier for entrepreneurs to raise more money, fasterFinally, they look toward 2025 and ask: How might the valleys of death shift in the future?The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jul 1

42 min 52 sec

We spend most of our time on this show talking about what's happening in climate tech. What technologies, business models, and markets are being developed? By whom? And how much impact will they ultimately have on decarbonization?But there's an equally interesting topic. What isn't happening? In other words, where is the white space? What areas, technologies, or markets need more attention? The mandate of a new non-profit called Actuate is to identify and fill gaps across multiple areas, including climate. They focus on R&D, using a model similar to the US federal government’s DARPA or ARPA-e programs. Today, Shayle talks to Actuate’s Director of Climate Lara Pierpoint. Prior to actuate she led the Technology Strategy team at Exelon. She's also worked at the US Department of Energy and has a PhD from MIT in engineering systems.Shayle and Lara talk about:Demand response, an example of one type of gap where we have the technology but don’t know how to use it yet.Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), a type of nuclear technology used to power spacecraft -- that could also be used planetside as low-density, always on-batteries.The exorbitant costs of laying of wires, a potential cost saver for nuclear plants and other power projects.High-temperature superconductors (HTS) that could act like high-capacity transmission built at distribution scale. For example: VEIR.Sensors and the surprisingly high error bars of many country-level emissions measurementsStorage and competing against transmission, demand response and overbuilding renewables to solve renewable intermittency Oh, and cows. They talk about burp-catching masks and improving the profitability of forests.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets at sgsderms.com/interchange.The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jun 25

43 min 8 sec

The array of AI applications within climate tech is staggering -- and rapidly expanding. There are lots of exciting point solutions, but there’s no clear example of AI directly and meaningfully reducing GHG emissions on a global scale. Yet.Last year we had Priya Donti on the show. She’s a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon and co-chair of the Climate Change AI organization. This week, she came back with her Climate Change AI co-chair Lynn Kaack, a postdoc researcher at ETH-Zurich. Priya and Lynn were co-authors on a blockbuster paper on the topic back in June 2019, called “Tackling climate change with machine learning.”They came back on the show to talk about what has changed since that episode -- both the progress and the bottlenecks in applying AI to climate change. They detail the strengths and weaknesses of AI in climate technology using a few case studies: Optimizing power and heating/cooling systemsInsight into large bodies of data, such as analyzing the physical and transition risk to a company’s assetsAccelerating technology innovationThey also discuss the organizational approaches to AI: Do you go vertical or horizontal? That is, do you hire AI practitioners to work within an organization with deep domain experience, such as a utility, or is it more effective to leave those challenges to an organization of AI generalists who work across many fields?Lynn points out there’s a third way: spinning up an AI group within an organization.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets at sgsderms.com/interchange.The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jun 17

53 min 59 sec

Was 2020 the year of carbon transparency? That’s what our host Shayle predicted back in 2019. Today, we’re checking in on that prediction with a rebroadcast of one of our favorite episodes. It originally aired almost a year ago in late June 2020. A handful of companies have experimented with labeling the carbon content of their products, but it's never really caught on. Now that might be changing.Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell recently called carbon “the new calorie" after the electronics maker implemented a CO2 label on all of its packaging. It’s one of many recent attempts by food and consumer goods producers to make the lifecycle emissions of their products clearer to consumers. Is it the start of a trend?In this episode, we’ll examine the new generation of climate labels. We’ve seen attempts at carbon labeling before. What makes these newer ones different? And will they stick?Plus, we’ll try to answer listener questions about renewable natural gas, vehicle-to-grid, environmental, social and governance standards, and COVID-19 predictions.This episode was recorded live in front of hundreds of listeners (remotely). The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jun 4

57 min 12 sec

The excitement around green hydrogen has grown dramatically in recent years. Will it live up to the hype?This week, we turn to technologist, author and investor Ramez Naam. Ramez and Shayle examine the drivers behind cost improvement -- namely the costs of electricity and different electrolyzer technologies -- and why they are likely still a long way off the deep declines hydrogen needs to scale.They also cover the hurdles hydrogen may face along the way to scale, including fierce competition from grey hydrogen, fossil fuels, and electrification. There’s also the location question: Where are you going to make green hydrogen with renewables? The answer: Probably not where you need it, which is a problem given the cost and difficulty of transporting hydrogen.Ramez breaks down the policy strategies in Europe, North American, Japan and Australia.Shayle asks: Is blue hydrogen a bridge to green hydrogen, or a bridge to nowhere that will leave niche assets obsolete in a decade or two?They also assess Michael Liebreich’s grades for hydrogen end uses (Ramez gives ground transport an F).Finally, given this hydrogen landscape, where do you invest? They find clues in the early days of the solar market.The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

May 31

50 min 17 sec

A decarbonized power sector will unlock massive opportunities across nearly every other sector, either via direct electrification or via indirect electrification via the production of low-carbon fuels, like green hydrogen.But here’s the rub. Many of the companies that are working on these solutions rely on pretty heroic assumptions around the cost, availability and cleanliness of electricity in order for the economics to work.To put it bluntly, many decarbonization business models hinge on a cell deep in their spreadsheets that has 1- to 3-cent per kilowatt-hour electricity. Is it a realistic assumption?To tackle that question, Shayle turns to his colleague at Energy Impact Partners, Andy Lubershane, the Senior Vice President of Research & Strategy.They survey the technologies that depend on this super cheap, super abundant power, such as EVs, space heating, carbon removal, green hydrogen and industrial heat.Then, they examine the talk of cheap renewables, covering the difference between cheap wholesale and more expensive delivered prices. They break down the variables that make up the difference between wholesale and delivered prices, namely transmission, distribution and capacity factors. So what are the solutions that could shrink that gap?The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

May 21

41 min 21 sec

The pandemic has forced just about every part of society to reckon with resilience, but for cities the question is especially urgent. Will the global trend toward urbanization, which has been underway for more than 50 years, change its trajectory? Will increasing density remain the norm?The intersection of these two issues -- resilience and urbanism -- is relevant in a COVID context, but it's also increasingly important in a climate context. Shayle has talked about how the increasing prevalence and magnitude of natural disasters are going to slowly but surely foster a "culture of resilience" in society, where we're forced to deal with the likelihood that once in 100-year events are happening much more often.So what does building better resilience into cities actually mean, and how are we performing?To tackle these questions, Shayle turns to the co-hosts of Technopolis, a podcast about how technology is disrupting, remaking, and sometimes over-running our cities.Molly Turner is an urban planner and teaches urban tech at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Jim Kapsis runs The Ad Hoc Group, a firm that helps climate tech startups navigate and grow in heavily regulated markets.Shayle, Molly and Jim discuss the changing urban migration patterns and what it means for the future of cities.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

May 14

50 min 3 sec

The US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office might be the most talked about -- and yet least understood -- part of the federal government’s efforts to support climate tech. It has already invested more than $35 billion in everything from Tesla's first big factory to the first two nuclear reactors to begin construction in the U.S. in more than 30 years. It was crucial in getting the first multi-hundred-megawatt solar projects ever developed off the ground.Today it has more than $40 billion of available loan capacity to throw at the next wave of climate technologies to scale.And now, as of a couple months ago, it has Jigar Shah as the director. Previously, Jigar was the co-founder and president of Generate Capital. He also founded SunEdison. And, of course, he is the former co-host of our sister podcast The Energy Gang. Jigar believes we have the technologies we need to put us on the right path toward decarbonization today. And further, that those technologies aren't as risky as the capital markets make them out to be.Therein lies the arbitrage opportunity Jigar has pursued his whole career. And now he's got $40 billion of federal dollars to test it in a whole new arena.In this episode, Shayle and Jigar break down the role of the Loan Programs Office and the specific financial products it offers. The backing of the federal government comes with the unique opportunities -- namely to move way faster on market opportunities than traditional debt markets can. But as Jigar explains, it comes with key limitations too.They also cover the technology sectors that Jigar sees opportunities in -- everything from green hydrogen to small modular nuclear to virtual power plants. And they highlight the stage of companies and types of projects the office might be uniquely suited to support.Plus, Jigar names the ideas he’s waiting to see (but that no one has pitched to him yet). The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

May 7

51 min 19 sec

There are few areas harder to decarbonize than heavy industry. But the stakes are high. Altogether, industry represents over 30% of global GHG emissions, when counting both direct process emissions and industrial energy use.It’s also a huge opportunity for innovation. This week, Shayle talks with Rebecca Dell, the Director of the Industry Program at The Climateworks Foundation, about the technologies that might transform cement, steel and petrochemicals. Shayle and Reecca go industry by industry, examining the pathways to decarbonization. They cover a range of technologies, including carbon capture and storage, alternative chemistries, recycling, hydrogen and biomass, among others. And finally, Rebecca breaks down how we might create demand for low-carbon industrial materials. The problem is that shifting to decarbonized alternatives might massively increase the cost of these commodities -- probably not what the owner of a steel forge, plastics plant or cement kiln is particularly excited to invest in. But as Rebecca argues, we may be looking through the wrong end of the telescope. For more on Rebecca’s research, check out her report Build Clean: Industrial Policy for Climate and Justice.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 29

1 hr

There’s money to be made in climate tech, broadly defined. But where exactly?As investment pours into climate tech, it’s true that a rising tide lifts all boats. But in markets -- especially fast-changing markets, like batteries, hydrogen, carbon capture, just to name a few -- those boats don't all get the same lift. Certain parts of the value chain, from upstream mining or manufacturing to downstream deployment models, are far better places to build a business than others. These profitable niches can be thought of as profit pools. And to make it more complicated, those profit pools shift over time. So it might be a great time to be in the manufacturing business. But just a few years later, it may be the worst place to be.This week, Shayle and Nat Bullard, Chief Content Officer at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, try to predict where those profit pools might show up.They examine historical examples, namely wind and solar, where profit pools have shifted from manufacturing to servicing. Along the way, they note some of the winners and losers of those shifts.Then they turn to the less-mature technologies, focusing on batteries, hydrogen, direct air capture, and carbon accounting. They discuss what lessons can (and cannot) be applied from the earlier generations of climate technologies.Within these spaces they cover entrepreneurs in this space may be wondering: When should I specialize vs. vertically integrate? Why do investors keep telling me to get out of the commodity business?Get your swim suits on. It’s time to dive into profit pools.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 23

57 min 3 sec

The grid of the future lies 850 miles off the coast of Portugal, on an island in the Azores called Graciosa.The island has always been dependent on fossil fuels. But in 2018, that changed. That’s when a group of developers kicked off a hybrid wind-solar-battery storage power plant to slash diesel consumption.The plant consists of 1 megawatt of solar, 4.5 megawatts of wind, and a 6 megawatt/3.2 megawatt-hour energy storage system.The power plant has changed Graciosa’s energy mix. In 2020, there were 128 days when the island was entirely powered by renewable energy. And Graciosa is now saving 190,000 liters of diesel fuel per month. One of the reasons: a piece of control software installed by Wärtsilä, called GEMS. It uses machine learning to balance the renewables and storage on Graciosa’s grid with inputs from meters, heating and cooling systems, and weather forecasts. And GEMS is helping grids across the world balance high amounts of variable renewables with energy storage.In this episode, produced in collaboration with Wärtsilä, we’ll talk with Duarte Silva, the engineer who oversees the island’s power system.We’ll also talk with Luke Witmer, a data scientist who manages R&D for Wärtsilä’s energy dispatch systems. Wärtsilä creates smart, flexible power technologies to enable a cleaner grid and put the world on a path to 100% renewable energy. They’re helping clients worldwide meet their clean energy goals in an efficient and cost-effective way. Learn more about how Wärtsilä helped the island of Graciosa transform the grid with the GEMS software.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 20

20 min 52 sec

This week: artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the many ways they can decarbonize the economy.From optimizing buildings to modeling new industrial processes to better managing the grid, AI and machine learning are core to many technology strategies for addressing climate change.So how, exactly, will they be implemented? And what problems can they solve?With us is Priya Donti, a PHD student at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work is focused on machine learning, grid systems and climate change. She is also the co-chair of Climate Change AI, a group of academics and practitioners looking at machine learning as a decarbonization tool.This episode was originally broadcast in February 2020.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 15

50 min 37 sec

In 2017, Google became the first major company to reach 100% renewable energy through corporate renewables procurement. But it was also the first major company to acknowledge that 100% renewable is not really 100% carbon-free. So Google set out to go further, and match procurement on an hourly basis, to reach the promised land of 24/7 zero carbon energy.It's going to be hard. But Michael Terrell, Google’s Director of Energy, thinks it’s doable. In this episode, Michael talks with Shayle about how it could even become a new norm for corporate and state commitments.But first: What will it take to get there?Shayle and Michael cover the datasets, the accounting mechanisms, and the massive scale of transactions needed to make it possible. They break down about Google’s efforts to shift computing load across its fleet of data centers. They talk about the power of corporate buyers to push policymakers to clean up grids.Where current clean technologies fall short, Google is looking at new technologies to fill in the gaps. They talk about that lineup of potential solutions, such as long-duration storage, carbon capture and storage, geothermal, advanced nuclear, and lithium-ion batteries. And finally they tackle cost and scalability: Will organizations without the capital and expertise that Google enjoys be able to follow its lead?The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 8

47 min 47 sec

In 2010, solar modules cost a little over $2 per watt. Many people questioned whether solar costs could come down another 50%.Well, here we are today with solar modules well below 50 cents per watt, far cheaper than most expectations. And it wasn’t some breakthrough revolutionary technology -- it’s been the crystalline-silicon solar panel the whole time.History has a tendency to repeat itself. Our guest, Jessika Trancik, an associate professor at MIT’s the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, published research earlier this month showing, quantitatively, that lithium-ion batteries have been repeating history and get cheaper, faster, than nearly anyone anticipated. This matters because it could happen again. The obvious next candidate is hydrogen electrolysis, where experts are saying we might be able to reach the promised land of $1 per kilogram by the end of this decade. Jessika and Shayle dug into her findings around batteries to see what broader lessons we could learn. We also talked about some other, related and fascinating research she’s done to examine what it will take to reach mass-market EV adoption.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Apr 1

36 min 47 sec

The oil majors are slowly recognizing that in a decarbonized world their fundamental business is going to have to change. So what are they thinking? Where are they deploying resources -- and not deploying resources? Ed Crooks is the right person to ask. He’s our oil major whisperer. He Vice Chair for the Americas at Wood Mackenzie.Last time we had him on the show was in May of 2020 when the pandemic-driven collapse of oil demand sent key oil prices negative.Ed talks with our host Shayle Kann about the rebound since then and how oil and gas companies are using this new influx of cash.They discuss the longstanding differences between American and European oil majors: The Europeans are more aggressive on new energy investments; the Americans are more conservative. Does this distinction still hold, even under the rising pressure of shareholders, employees and governments on these companies to take climate action? And if they’re not going to invest directly in renewables and power, how will their business models change in a decarbonized world? Shayle and Ed talk about what it would mean to become a “carbon management company.”They also talk about the differences between 1.5- and 2.0-degrees-celsius worlds and what each would mean for oil and gas companies.Finally, they read the tea leaves on carbon pricing. Does the Biden administration’s aggressive stance on climate change the political chances of legislation in the U.S.?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Mar 26

41 min 11 sec

Heather Rock joined PG&E as director of climate resilience in 2018 -- just two weeks before a faulty PG&E line sparked the most destructive wildfire in U.S. history. It’s hard to imagine a more complicated or politically-charged role.Back in November 2019, our host Shayle made a bet. In a Medium post called “The World around Us,” he wrote: “I think we’re on the cusp of a cultural transformation, one in which the idea of investing in resilience gains mainstream status for anyone who owns something worth protecting.”Heather is one of the people trying to bring a culture of climate resilience into the mainstream.We desperately need it. Hurricanes, wildfires, winter storms, sea level rise, floods and heat waves, among other threats, have exposed the incredible fragility of our infrastructure and underlined the dire need to bake climate resilience into every utility’s decision-making processes.So how exactly do we do it? In this episode, Heather and Shayle talk about the tools organizations need -- namely new models and data supported by our national labs and agencies like NOAA. But they also identify some of the cultural barriers to adopting these tools, plus how to overcome them. The Interchange is a production of Post Script Audio in partnership with Wood Mackenzie.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Mar 18

32 min 31 sec

Imagine a battery that costs less than half of today's costs, can charge a vehicle in less than ten minutes, run for ten or more years with heavy usage, lasts over a million miles, and is produced with abundant raw materials found all over the world.None of those things are true of today's lithium-ion batteries. But our guest this week, Gene Berdichevsky, predicts that will change in the next decade.Gene was the seventh employee at Tesla and is now the co-founder and CEO of Sila Nanotechnologies, one of the biggest players in the battery space.Our host Shayle Kann, a partner at the venture capital firm Energy Impact Partners, talks with Gene about new battery designs and chemistries that are hitting the market right now. By themselves, these advances are incremental. But taken together, they could usher in the kinds of batteries that would revolutionize the grid. Gene and Shayle cover the fundamental tradeoffs between key battery features, namely energy density, charging speed, cost and longevity. They also talk about more sustainable raw materials, battery recycling, the limits of new investment in this space, and why Gene believes that existing big players will continue to dominate, while the new entrants face an uphill battle. The Interchange is a production of Post Script Audio in partnership with Wood Mackenzie.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Mar 11

41 min 57 sec

Two years ago, we made an episode called “Cleantech Venture Capital Is Back.” After a decade in the wilderness, the world of climate tech has experienced a resurgence of investment and early-stage innovation. So much has happened since then -- an election, a stimulus, low interest rates, SPACs, corporate commitments, and an explosion of advocacy around climate.So where is the climate tech investment space now?We check in with Abe Yokell, our guest from that February 2019 episode. He’s a managing partner at Congruent Ventures. He talks with our host Shayle Kann, who is a partner at Energy Impact Partners. They talk about the persistent problem of access to capital for some early stage climate tech startups, SPACs, the Mr. Burns Test, and which technologies are underhyped or overhyped.The Interchange is a production of Post Script Audio in partnership with Wood Mackenzie.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Mar 4

47 min 21 sec

Leading climate models point to a sobering reality: Even if the world’s economy reaches net zero emissions by midcentury, we will still have too much CO2 in the atmosphere. And so if we have to not just emit less, but remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, how do we do it?Today we dive into carbon dioxide removal, or CDR. It’s an increasingly diverse and vibrant technology landscape, with some fundamental business model questions yet to be answered.To take stock of this space, we spoke to Sarah Sclarsic, a carbon removal researcher at MIT with business acumen to boot: She co-founded the mobility company Getaround. She’s now an investor and on the boards of two SPACs (one of which took XL Fleet public).We survey the existing technologies, ranging from the old school, like planting trees, to the novel, like direct air capture. And then we take a dive into some theoretical bioengineering approaches. Sarah argues that we already use powerful biotech tools for medicine and food. She shares her research on the potential to apply these biotech approaches to CDR, laying out what these technologies might look like, such as bioengineering microbes to assist with enhanced rock weathering or cultivating fields and fields of carbon-locking cassava.The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Feb 26

49 min 19 sec

Last summer a record-setting heat wave in California caused rolling blackouts throughout the state. This week, a record-setting freeze knocked out power for millions of people in Texas and the Midwest.It’s too early for a post-mortem on what happened, but we know that the cold affected all fuel sources, most of all natural gas. Wellheads and gas lines froze. Gas supplies were diverted to residential heating rather than power. This slice of the problem underscores how deeply we still rely on natural gas.It is arguably the most important current source of energy in the U.S. and many parts of the world. Most long-term net zero projections phase out natural gas, but it’s going to be with us for decades, particularly in heavy industry.So what do we do with it in the meantime? How do we tackle natural gas emissions and ultimately phase out natural gas in heavy industry?We spoke to an expert in this space: Cate Hight, a principle at RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute). Last year she wrote a report called “The Role of Gas in the Energy Transition.” Now she’s working on RMI’s Mission Possible Partnership, which aims to decarbonize heavy industries.Shayle and Cate talk about the rapidly changing emissions detection space, differentiated gas, and the many different colors of hydrogen. The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Feb 18

42 min 42 sec

Climate change has gone macro -- as in macroeconomics. It’s not just an environmental, health and justice issue. It has become an economic imperative for financial analysts, finance ministers and the biggest asset managers in the world.For the second year in a row, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink singled out climate change as the biggest priority for the world’s largest asset manager: “I believe that this is the beginning of a long but rapidly accelerating transition – one that will unfold over many years and reshape asset prices of every type,” he wrote in his 2021 letter.Over many years, “alternative energy” just became “energy.” In the near future, will “climate finance’ just become “finance?” This week, we have the exact right person to run through this: Kate Gordon, the Director of the Office of Planning and Research for California Governor Gavin Newsom. She's also senior advisor to the governor on climate. Kate has been on the show before. She was one of the founders of the Risky Business Project, which was among the first ambitious projects to calculate climate risk and infuse it into financial systems. As you'll hear in her conversation with Shayle Kann, she's thinking about how this will all play out in the world of money every day.The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Feb 11

41 min 44 sec

Solar scaled first to become king in residential smart energy. But as other residential DER tech has advanced -- EVs, batteries, smart panels, and so forth -- has solar been dethroned as the anchor product in this space? We’ll walk with Arch Rao, the CEO of Span, about the biggest technological changes underway in home energy.How should we sell and manage distributed energy resources?Who buys them, and what do we actually do with them?What will scale to the mass market?How will consumers interact with their DERs?Span is a startup making a new kind of smart electrical panel. It just raised a $20m VC round and announced an integration with Alexa. Prior to Arch, helped lead the product team at Tesla that built and launched the Powerwall.The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Feb 4

44 min 48 sec

What if we could see into the future? In 2020, we got our clearest view yet.Last March, lockdowns swept across Europe, forcing an eerie silence on some of the world’s most iconic and bustling cities. It caused a steep drop in electricity consumption -- putting pressure on thermal generators and giving renewables a greater share of the generation mix.“And all of that has really provided us a bit of a glimpse of the future to a time where we will have much more flexible supply on the system and renewables will be consistently taking a much greater share of the market,” says Tom Heggarty, a principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie.The covid crisis proved that the European grid can handle large amounts of renewable energy -- at levels we didn’t expect to see for another five to ten years. So how do we take this knowledge and game out the future? For more answers, we turn to Jyrki Leino, a senior manager for business development at Wärtsilä. “We kind of stepped to the future right away. We saw the systems in a situation where in normal conditions would be in five or 10 years time,” he says.Jyrki and his team at Wärtsilä wanted to help answer some simple questions: what happens to European power markets if the trends we saw during covid persist? And what happens if renewables are meeting nearly all load? So they built an open-data test environment, called the Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab or WET Lab. It’s like a fact-based choose-your-own-adventure for energy geeks. Or a crystal ball.In this episode, brought to you by Wartsila, we look into that crystal ball. Check out Wärtsilä's Energy Transition Lab to see the impact of Covid-19 on energy markets, and for clues about Europe’s clean energy transition. It’s an open-source data set that anyone can use.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Feb 3

15 min 57 sec

What technology will become the dominant means of decarbonizing each part of the economy?The pattern we see now — and that we expect to continue over the coming couple decades — is a series of battles between consistent contenders: electricity, hydrogen and carbon capture. Electricity is hitting its stride. The power sector is getting cleaner, and electrification is spreading to light duty vehicles and even residential boilers. But electricity actually has only a 20% market share of all energy end uses. So what do we do with the remaining 80%?These are tough-to-decarbonize arenas that rely on hard-to-replace fossil fuels: heavy duty vehicles, aviation, maritime shipping, chemical manufacturing, iron and steel.  Shayle called up Andy Lubershane, Senior Vice President of Research & Strategy at Energy Impact Partners to game it out. Andy has been writing about the potential phases of the energy transition and the roles these three technologies could play in different sectors. Andy and Shayle got the inspiration for Deep Decarbonization Infinity War from Andy’s love of games. He not only uses games as a tool to think about the energy transition, but is actually in the process of creating his own board game. It’s Deep Decarbonization: Infinity War. Let’s go.The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jan 28

44 min 54 sec

We are going to build a lot more wind and solar over the coming decades. It will inevitably lead to oversupply of these resources on the grid. But is that a good thing?That’s the focus of this week’s show, featuring a conversation between Shayle Kann and Columbia University's Melissa Lott.The stars have aligned for a rare win-win-win situation: Solar and wind are popular with politicians; they’re popular with customers; and they’re often the lowest-cost resource, making them an attractive bet for investors.As we build more solar and wind, many regions will start to look like California does on a sunny spring day, or like West Texas does on a windy night: power prices drop to zero or below, producers curtail excess electricity, creating the dreaded "overproduction” of renewables.So what do we do with all this carbon-free power?We asked Melissa Lott and it turns out quite a lot! She argues that renewable oversupply can actually be a feature of the grid, not a bug (even if it causes some minor pests along the way). There are all kinds of new resources we can harness with excess wind and solar. Melissa is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy and she and her colleague, Julio Friedman, wrote a paper laying out the case for intentionally overbuilding capacity — and thus intentionally creating oversupply. They lay out a framework for figuring out what to do with intermittent excess energy and zoom in on a case study in New Zealand.What happens when an aluminum smelter — one that uses a whopping 12% of the county’s annual demand and is powered largely by hydroelectric power — closes down? It was one decarbonization modeler’s dream. The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jan 14

37 min 2 sec

Net-zero commitments went mainstream in 2020. There are now 22 regions, 452 cities, and over 1,100 companies with revenues over $11 trillion that have pledged to bring emissions to net zero by middle of the century. In 2021 we’re going to spend a lot of time working backward from that. We’ll be trying to understand the pathways to get to net zero and what it means for today — for the technology and business of decarbonization.That brings us to this week’s guest: Jesse Jenkins, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. He’s a well-known expert energy-systems modeler.Last month Jesse and a team of colleagues at Princeton came out with a massive study called Net-Zero America that examines five pathways for the U.S. to decarbonize the entire economy.Even without reading the report, you can probably guess some of the headlines: More renewables. More transmission. Electrify transportation. Carbon capture and carbon removal. But there are some other conclusions that are less obvious.As more and more renewables come online, how will biomass, fossil fuels and hydrogen will fit into the multiple pathways to transition? We also examine the chicken-and-the-egg problem of CO2 transportation and CO2 conversion. And we ask: How much are these massive transition scenarios  going to cost, and who’s paying?The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.We're also brought to you by Nextracker. Nextracker is building connected power plants of the future by integrating new solar technologies, storage and advanced control software. At the end of the show, we’ll feature part 3 of our series on the future of solar technologies with Nextracker CEO and industry veteran Dan Shugar.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jan 7

58 min 51 sec

It’s been a great year for "climate" oriented public companies. Virtually every clean energy or climate company has dramatically outperformed market indices and most now have record-high equity value. So what's going on here? And what might it mean for the next generation of climate technology companies?In this final episode of the year, Host Shayle Kann talks with Sameer Reddy, a partner at Energy Impact Partners.Sameer sits on the board of companies like Arcadia Power, Opus One, and Enchanted Rock. And he, like us, has been marveling over this public market madness and thinking about what it might mean. Shayle and Sameer discuss the state of the market, the factors driving stock prices upward, historical challenges in the sector, and what could go wrong.We're brought to you by Nextracker. Nextracker is building connected power plants of the future by integrating new solar technologies, storage and advanced control software. At the end of the show, we’ll tell you about some really important tech trends in solar with Nextracker CEO and industry veteran Dan Shugar.Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects.The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives such as microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Dec 2020

43 min 52 sec

In this episode: we try to figure out where hydrogen is headed.In the universe of clean energy, the world seems to rally around one big technology push each decade. This is when governments introduce subsidies, incumbents announce big projects, and a nascent technology gets a chance to scale from tiny to small, in the hopes of achieving liftoff. In the 1990s, it was wind. In the 2000s, solar. In the 2010s, lithium-ion batteries. And in the 2020s, it seems increasingly clear it's going to be hydrogen.But hydrogen is a different beast. For one thing, you can't just harness it like you can solar or wind -- you have to make it. For another, there is a dizzying array of potential end markets for it, ranging from power to transportation to industry. And finally, there's the pesky problem of the midstream. Assuming we start producing lots of clean hydrogen, and we find a market for it, how will we store it? How will we transport it? This week, Shayle is joined by Gniewomir Flis, who spends most of his days thinking about these questions. He's an energy & climate advisor at Agora Energiewende and has spent the last few years laser focused on the thornier issues of building a hydrogen economy.We're brought to you by Nextracker. Nextracker is building connected power plants of the future by integrating new solar technologies, storage, and advanced control software. At the end of the show, we’ll tell you about some really important tech trends in solar with Nextracker CEO and industry veteran, Dan Shugar.Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects.The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives such as microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Dec 2020

50 min 29 sec

This week, Shayle Kann talks with Kiran Bhatraju, the CEO of Arcadia, about who's buying clean energy.Every pathway toward economy-wide decarbonization drives straight through a dramatic transformation in the electricity sector. But so much of the discussion in that sector focuses on the supply side: how fast will wind and solar displace fossil fuels? what will happen with natural gas?But there's another important player in this game: the energy consumer. Consumers tend to be confusing when it comes to energy. It's hard to discern how much we actually care about it in the first place, what our preferences are, what decisions we'll make, what we'll pay for. Most sectors that have undergone dramatic transformation have been driven by changing customer behavior, and energy may be no different. So we need to understand the consumer, and to find ways to deliver them products and services that will accelerate the energy transition.Shayle and Kiran discuss the different groups of clean-energy customers, how they respond to options, and how a changing regulatory landscape could influence behavior.Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects.The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives such as microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 2020

40 min 34 sec

For all the hype around autonomous vehicles, we're still in the very early stages of a rollout. While most of the attention is being paid to the Waymos and Zooxs of the world, trying to build fully autonomous passenger vehicles on public roads, there's an entirely separate category being created: off-road.These are similarly autonomous vehicles that are mostly all-electric. But they don't ride on public roads. Instead, they're in shipping yards, distribution warehouses, mining operations, on campuses, and in farming. It's underappreciated how big that shift could be.In this episode, Shayle Kann talks with Alisyn Malek, the executive director for the Commission on the Future of Mobility. She is also the founder and CEO of Middle Third, a boutique consultancy focused on mobility strategy.We’ll hear from Alisyn about the state of the technology, different applications, regulatory hurdles, and the near-term promise for deployment.Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects.The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives like microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient, and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 2020

32 min 34 sec

This is a sponsored episode produced by GTM Creative Strategies in collaboration with Wärtsilä. In August, California’s grid operators shut off power for millions of residents during an historic heat wave.The blackouts caused confusion and outrage in the state. People were looking for someone to blame: an agency, a utility, or a technology like renewables.We now know what happened. The cause was detailed in a lengthy, multi-agency investigation. It was a unique combination of factors, including a lack of preparation for extreme events. So will this hurt California’s decarbonization efforts?“I do not think it changes the decarbonization goals. I think, if anything, it calls for the acceleration of moving toward a system that is more resilient, that is decarbonized,” says Amisha Rai, managing director at Advanced Energy Economy.So if California’s blackouts accelerate clean-energy efforts further, how can we apply lessons from this summer? That’s what we’re covering in this episode, produced in collaboration with Wärtsilä. “Now, it is very important to figure out a practical and realistic plan. I think California is working very hard on it. Without the plan, you will end up in ad hoc situations easily,” says Jussi Heikkinen, director of growth and development for the Americas at Wärtsilä.In this episode, Jussi will outline all the optimal scenarios for decarbonizing California’s grid -- even while managing the threat of extreme events.Wärtsilä creates smart, flexible power technologies to enable a cleaner grid and put the world on a path to 100% renewable energy. Read the “Path to 100% for California” report discussed in this episode. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 2020

24 min 25 sec

Need a distraction from the election? Shayle Kann and Adam James have you covered, with an energy-themed version of the game show "Would I Lie to You?"Rules:Each person selects three energy related facts or stories. Any number of the three can be lies, and at least one has to be a lie.They have to be clear lies, not slight adjustments of the truth.The other person can ask three questions. And they must get an answer.At the end of the round, the truths and lies are revealed. If the score is a tie, it moves to a penalty shootout where each person offers a fact/story and the other person has to say truth/lie. If someone misses, and the other person gets their next one right, they win.Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects.The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives like microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient, and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Nov 2020

48 min 37 sec