The Interchange Energy Conversations From Gtm public
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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…
 
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 n…
 
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, m…
 
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 20…
 
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 o…
 
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 tim…
 
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, rivalin…
 
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…
 
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 electrici…
 
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. …
 
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…
 
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 mig…
 
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, t…
 
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 …
 
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 n…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 urbani…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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 cha…
 
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 so…
 
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 proble…
 
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 e…
 
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 whol…
 
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…
 
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 thin…
 
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 Berdi…
 
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 ar…
 
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 increasingl…
 
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 l…
 
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…
 
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 an…
 
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 m…
 
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…
 
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: S…
 
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 a…
 
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 Shay…
 
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. I…
 
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 fu…
 
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 th…
 
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 re…
 
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 tru…
 
Net-zero carbon pledges are heating up. Japan just committed to reaching net zero, just four weeks after China did the same. In total, seven of the 10 largest economies in the world (not including America, India and Brazil) have made such commitments. And that's on top of all the subnational players, the corporates, and others. It has become increa…
 
When we talk about climate change on this show, and what causes it, we are usually talking about gases that come from vehicles or from the electricity sector. But what about the built environment? This week: we’re talking about the embedded emissions in our buildings. There’s the natural gas that gets burned in them, and there’s all the electricity…
 
This week: consolidation and cooperation in the distributed energy market. Just as federal regulators in the U.S. are making batteries, solar systems, electric cars, generators and other similar resources more valuable in wholesale markets, we’re seeing a new wave of business activity. Wood Mackenzie predicts that U.S. distributed energy resource c…
 
California plans to ban new internal-combustion vehicles by 2035. But are electric vehicles ready to take their place? We know that there are dozens and dozens more models of electric cars on the market. Ranges are increasing. Consumers like the driving experience. And total costs are creeping downward. But America’s electric vehicle market is anem…
 
In recent weeks, five million acres have burned across California, Oregon and Washington State -- killing dozens, displacing tens of thousands of people, and causing untold damage. In California, over three million acres have burned since the start of the year. At the height of the current wildfire outbreak, western cities had the worst air polluti…
 
The market for initial public offerings dropped way down this year. Or did it? There is a surge in activity in a different kind of IPO: a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. It’s also known as a reverse merger. These are shell companies listed on exchanges with a mission to buy private companies and convert them into public ones. Accordin…
 
There are still questions about what exactly caused California’s blackouts during last month’s heat wave. We know that imports were down, natural gas plants tripped off line, and wind generation fell. But what about all those air conditioners, batteries and industrial loads that are supposed to support the grid? What role did they play -- or didn’t…
 
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