210 episodes

The energy system is changing fast. Each week, Shayle Kann takes you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening. A Wood Mackenzie production.

The Interchange Wood Mackenzie

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 37 Ratings

The energy system is changing fast. Each week, Shayle Kann takes you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening. A Wood Mackenzie production.

    Microsoft’s $1B Climate Innovation Fund

    Microsoft’s $1B Climate Innovation Fund

    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.

    • 42 min
    Will Hydrogen Look Like Solar?

    Will Hydrogen Look Like Solar?

    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.

    • 57 min
    Climate Tech Brings in $16 Billion. Where's It Going?

    Climate Tech Brings in $16 Billion. Where's It Going?

    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.

    • 49 min
    The Climate Workhorse: Extremely Cheap, Clean Electricity

    The Climate Workhorse: Extremely Cheap, Clean Electricity

    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.

    • 49 min
    Why Fertilizer Is Such a Big Climate Problem

    Why Fertilizer Is Such a Big Climate Problem

    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.

    • 39 min
    What Does a 'Just Transition' Look Like? (Rebroadcast)

    What Does a 'Just Transition' Look Like? (Rebroadcast)

    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.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

CvR-Can ,

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.

HSfromCA ,

Highly recommended

This podcast has been an excellent resource for educating myself about energy markets and policy. As someone who is not professionally involved with the energy sector, I find it approachable, but not watered-down.

Dan @ Stash ,

Learn something while walking your dog!

This is a great podcast, they gave me the push to quit my government policy analyst job for an energy storage startup!

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