The Interchange: Recharged podcast is a leading global clean tech podcast that has been running since 2017. Every two weeks experts and industry leaders from the world of clean tech and energy join host David Banmiller for a deep dive into their technology, the future of their sector, funding and policy impacts.
We aim to provide a platform for start-ups, new companies and organisations who are innovating and solving real world problems in the energy transition. Our listeners are energy experts, industry evangelists who’re interested in companies that do pioneering work to accelerate the transition.
How to create the skilled workforce of 2030
Half of the energy workforce is employed in clean energy technologies. By 2030, over 10 million new jobs will need to be filled as the energy transition continues. China, for example, employs 3 million workers in clean energy manufacturing – accounting for 80% of solar PV and EV battery manufacturing jobs globally. Skill shortages are as significant a bottleneck as lack of investment or supply chain constraints, so how can the industry ensure there’s enough people to build, maintain and design clean energy infrastructure?
On the show today, David Banmiller is joined by Caleigh Andrews, Energy Analyst and Modeller at the International Energy Agency. The IEA emphasises the need for clear policies that drive demand for clean technologies, in order to attract and retain skilled labor. Reskilling and attracting new people to the energy workforce require a combination of market incentives and political will, so what are these incentives? And what can governments do to incentivise reskilling?
AI can play a role in easing the skilling burden and establishing standardised credentials, but with manufacturing and maintenance a large part of it, are the use cases for AI limited?
Cutting the red tape around geothermal energy
Recent legislation in the US promises to be a boon for geothermal energy production.
In January, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bipartisan bill that could have a big impact on the geothermal sector. Effectively putting geothermal on the same footing as oil and gas - by excluding geothermal development from strict NEPA rules – the bill could cut the red tape and boost production in the sector.
Geothermal has a lot of potential. The DOE estimates it could contribute almost 10% of US energy capacity by 2050. New geothermal technology, which uses horizontal drilling to drill multiple wells into geothermal reservoirs from a single location, is a promising start, but more innovation is needed to become cost competitive.
Joining David to discuss the legislation, and the technology that underpins the geothermal sector, are Dr Joseph Moore - Research Professor at the University of Utah and Managing Principal Investigator at Utah FORGE, a geothermal research facility managed by the Energy & Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah, and sponsored by the DOE – and Lauren Boyd, Director of the EERE’s Geothermal Technologies Office, which is sponsoring the Utah FORGE laboratory.
Together they examine the cost, operation and scope for geothermal energy in the US.
Transforming EV battery development through the power of AI
The traditional process of battery development is slow, expensive, and capital-intensive. AI can help overcome the challenges of predicting battery performance, exploring the vast design space, and conducting time-consuming cycle life testing. David Banmiller is joined by Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a professor at the University of Toronto specializing in Chemistry and Computer Science, and Jason Koeller, the CTO and Co-founder of Chemix, to examine the role of machine learning in EV battery development.
Chemix is exploring new ways of developing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) by utilizing AI, aiming to make it faster and more efficient compared to the traditional, slower, and costlier methods. AI not only speeds up the development process by predicting performance and exploring design options, but also – as Professor Aspuru-Guzik explains - leads to innovative battery compositions that improve performance. The machines can do calculations in timeframes inconceivable for a human.
There are wide-ranging applications for AI in areas beyond battery development, including grid optimization and materials design. Professor Aspuru-Guzik shares insights into the work of the Acceleration Consortium, which aims to be a leading hub for AI-driven scientific advancements in various sectors. Jason addresses some of the practical challenges in the EV industry, such as the need for adaptable battery solutions and the hurdles in introducing new manufacturing technologies. Technological advancement in battery technology and charging infrastructure are progressing together, enabling growth in the EV market.
Checking in on the hydrogen sector
What’s the outlook for low-carbon hydrogen in 2024?
Green hydrogen energy, by now well-regarded as a critical component in the energy transition, is still faced with significant challenges. It’s anticipated to significantly contribute to energy needs, with projections suggesting it could supply up to 35% of the UK's energy by 2050, and there's a push in the US to dramatically reduce hydrogen production costs. The sector is experiencing rapid growth with many projects in development but reaching the Final Investment Decision (FID) stage is a key hurdle, especially in the current economic climate of high interest rates and inflation. The sector is trying to manage high initial costs and a tendency for investments to favour blue hydrogen, which is currently more cost-effective.
To discuss the hydrogen market, and the policy and financial decisions to be made to accelerate the rollout, David Banmiller is joined by Murray Douglas and Vicky Paley. Murray is responsible for Wood Mackenzie’s global hydrogen and ammonia research, while Vicky heads up project delivery at Protium Green Solutions.
Together they look at the updates in legislation, permits and overall government policy we’ve seen in the last 6 months and can expect this year. The US, for example, has set definitive treasury rules to give a bit more clarity to the industry.
AI is transforming demand-side management
The impact of Artificial Intelligence in energy management.
We're at a crossroads in the world of energy. The landscape is shifting with the increasing role of renewables, growing demand and the need for resilience against extreme weather. How do we manage power effectively to keep the grid stable and efficient? Using AI to manage demand is one possibility. The role of artificial intelligence in energy management is an exciting development. It's set to transform how we predict, price, trade and use power, all while boosting efficiency and reliability.
Managing the grid is like solving a complex puzzle in real-time. The old grid, built for predictable loads, now grapples with erratic consumption and the fickleness of renewables like solar and wind. AI steps in here, using data and machine learning to improve efficiency and strengthen the grid. AI outperforms traditional models in forecasting. While these conventional models are valuable, they often miss the finer details which can lead to forecast errors. AI, on the other hand, adapts rapidly to real-time changes, enhancing the predictability of supply and demand at a detailed level.
For the first Interchange episode of the year, David Banmiller welcomes David Miller from Gridmatic to discuss the ever-evolving use of AI in grid management.
Together they explore how AI is transforming strategic forecasting, risk management and optimisation in energy infrastructure. What are the current challenges for the grid and how could AI help? What investment is required in infrastructure to optimise the grid? And what are the regulatory measures in place that are helping and hindering the rollout of smart grids?
Subscribe to the Interchange Recharged so you don’t miss an episode. Find us on X – we’re @interchangeshow.
Carbon capture technology leads the charge for a sustainable future
Bridging the gap and overcoming barriers in CCS expansion
It's no secret that achieving net-zero emissions requires a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels. As the world looks to alternative energy sources to combat climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) emerges as a key technology enabling industries to decarbonize. By capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at their source and storing them underground, CCS can significantly mitigate the environmental impact of industries that are otherwise hard to green, such as cement production and power generation.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has set an ambitious goal for CCS, expecting it to capture around 6 billion tons of CO2 by 2051 with notable advancements within the coming years. Innovations in CCS technology aim to address concerns of scalability and cost, making it more accessible and financially feasible for industries to adopt.
Aker Carbon Capture is a provider with some major projects underway, and they’ve signed an MoU with Microsoft to pursue joint innovation in the space. David Banmiller sits down with Microsoft’s Ole Henrik Ree, and Aker Carbon Capture’s Hanne Rolen, and David Phillips, to discuss the crucial role played by CCS in achieving a more sustainable future.
We conclude with a discussion about the 'Carbon Capture as a Service' (CCaaS) model, a shift aimed at enhancing accessibility and practicality, and the journey towards achieving net-zero emissions.
Subscribe to the Interchange Recharged so you don’t miss an episode. Find us on X – we’re @interchangeshow
BuyAnEV.ca ❤️ pod
So very informative!
This is an informative podcast on all things related to the energy transformation. As a person not directly working in this space, this is an excellent resource.
From inspiring to spin
Shayle did such an amazing job communicating complex issues to a variety of different kinds of listeners. This was one of my favourite podcast for years. But now a banker from the legacy energy industry that led us to the climate crisis of today. What a shame.