162 episodes

The energy system is changing fast. Come explore the future with journalist Stephen Lacey and venture capitalist Shayle Kann. Each week, they'll take you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening.

The Interchange Greentech Media

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 28 Ratings

The energy system is changing fast. Come explore the future with journalist Stephen Lacey and venture capitalist Shayle Kann. Each week, they'll take you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening.

    California's Grab Bag of Climate Risks

    California's Grab Bag of Climate Risks

    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 pollution in the world for days.

    It makes the solutions we talk about on this show -- renewables, grid resilience, microgrids, decarbonization -- that much more urgent.

    This week, we’re replaying a conversation that we taped last fall, just after a different round of record fires. It’s Shayle talking with Kate Gordon, the director of the office of planning and research in California. She's also a senior advisor to Governor Newsom on climate.

    Kate details the diverse range of climate risks that California faces -- and how it's impacting every decision the state makes.

    The Interchange is supported by Schneider Electric, the leader of digital transformation in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric has designed and deployed more than 300 microgrids in North America, helping customers gain energy independence and control, while increasing resilience and reaching their clean energy goals.

    We’re also sponsored by NEXTracker. NEXTracker has more than 30 gigawatts of resilient and intelligent solar tracking systems across six continents. Optimize your solar power plant.

    • 37 min
    The Cleantech SPAC Attack

    The Cleantech SPAC Attack

    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.

    According to a tally from Barron’s, there have been 70 IPOs through this method in 2020, with proceeds totaling $27.7 billion.

    It’s creating a path for little-known, pre-revenue cleantech companies to get access to public markets. Does all this frothiness make sense? And why now?

    The Interchange is supported by Schneider Electric, the leader of digital transformation in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric has designed and deployed more than 300 microgrids in North America, helping customers gain energy independence and control, while increasing resilience and reaching their clean energy goals.

    We’re also sponsored by NEXTracker. NEXTracker has more than 30 gigawatts of resilient and intelligent solar tracking systems across six continents. Optimize your solar power plant.

    • 36 min
    Demand Response and California’s Blackouts

    Demand Response and California’s Blackouts

    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 they play -- in helping California’s stressed grid?

    We’re going to look at how distributed resources are being used today in different grids around the U.S.

    With us this week is Dr. Elta Kolo, a content lead on the grid edge team at Wood Mackenzie. She’s an expert on utility business models, grid integration, and demand response.

    She’s going to help us understand the technology and market-design landscape for demand response. With California going through another round of grid stresses due to a heat wave and wildfires, this conversation is particularly relevant.

    The Interchange is supported by Schneider Electric, the leader of digital transformation in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric has designed and deployed more than 300 microgrids in North America, helping customers gain energy independence and control, while increasing resilience and reaching their clean energy goals. 

    We’re also sponsored by NEXTracker. NEXTracker has more than 30 gigawatts of resilient and intelligent solar tracking systems across six continents. Optimize your solar power plant.

    • 38 min
    Why Trump’s Energy Dept Squashed a Supergrid Report

    Why Trump’s Energy Dept Squashed a Supergrid Report

    This week: how an innocuous grid-modeling project became a threat to Trump’s efforts to save coal -- and then languished inside the Department of Energy.

    It’s one of many pieces of research that have been suppressed by the current administration.

    What is the study? What does it tell us about the systematic dismantling of government under Trump? What are the implications for a cleaner grid?

    Journalist Peter Fairley joins us to talk about his investigation, which was a collaboration between InvestigateWest and The Atlantic. 

    The Interchange is brought to you by Stem, a global leader in artificial intelligence-driven energy storage services. By combining advanced energy storage solutions with Athena, a world-class AI-powered analytics platform, Stem enables customers and partners to optimize energy use by automatically switching between battery power, onsite generation and grid power. Find out more. 

    The Interchange is also brought to you by GTM Creative Strategies. You’ve got a story to tell, and we’re here to help you tell it, including custom podcasts. GTM Creative Strategies leverages unmatched editorial credibility, top creative minds and seasoned analysts to drive unparalleled brand awareness that puts you ahead of your competitors. Find out more.

    • 22 min
    The Wild World of ESG

    The Wild World of ESG

    Before the pandemic, one of the biggest news stories of the year was BlackRock’s decision to make climate risk a central part of its investment strategy. This isn’t your average family office; this is BlackRock, a company with $7 trillion under management.

    It brought more mainstream attention to ESG, or environmental, social, governance. ESG is a set of standards for valuing ethical business practices, including decarbonization. Suddenly all kinds of ESG funds focused on sustainability are popping up, worth $1 trillion.

    The concept is not new. But activity has ramped way up in the last few years. BlackRock’s splashy climate declaration only ramped it further.

    It’s also a world that is not well defined, not well regulated, and still very messy. Will that messiness derail progress in the world of sustainable investing? 

    The Interchange is brought to you by Stem, a global leader in artificial intelligence-driven energy storage services. By combining advanced energy storage solutions with Athena, a world-class AI-powered analytics platform, Stem enables customers and partners to optimize energy use by automatically switching between battery power, onsite generation and grid power. Find out more. 

    The Interchange is also brought to you by GTM Creative Strategies. You’ve got a story to tell, and we’re here to help you tell it, including custom podcasts. GTM Creative Strategies leverages unmatched editorial credibility, top creative minds and seasoned analysts to drive unparalleled brand awareness that puts you ahead of your competitors. Find out more.

    • 30 min
    The 'Climatetech' Hype Cycle: Buy, Sell or Hold?

    The 'Climatetech' Hype Cycle: Buy, Sell or Hold?

    We’re constantly going through waves of hype in different energy sectors: flexible solar panels, vertical-axis wind, electric planes, vehicle-to-grid, the smart home, blockchain. Some are real, some are not. Some just need to mature.

    So what phase are we in now? In this episode, Shayle and Stephen are digging into different sectors and trends at various stages of the climate tech hype cycle. 

    They’ll decide whether to buy, sell or hold based on the current level of fanfare. In other words, do we think it's overhyped, underhyped or just right? 

    We’re going to do this for six sectors, some of which came from listeners. Green hydrogenMicromobilityResidential battery storageDirect air capture (tons of people on twitter suggested this one)BlockchainVirtual power plantsAnd here’s Shayle’s climate tech hype cycle chart that we discuss on the show.

    The Interchange is brought to you by Stem, a global leader in artificial intelligence-driven energy storage services. By combining advanced energy storage solutions with Athena, a world-class AI-powered analytics platform, Stem enables customers and partners to optimize energy use by automatically switching between battery power, onsite generation and grid power. Find out more. 

    The Interchange is also brought to you by GTM Creative Strategies. You’ve got a story to tell, and we’re here to help you tell it, including custom podcasts. GTM Creative Strategies leverages unmatched editorial credibility, top creative minds and seasoned analysts to drive unparalleled brand awareness that puts you ahead of your competitors. Find out more.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

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!

jeffinottawa ,

Fantastic in depth analysis of renewable energy markets

Really enjoy the interviews and analysis. Always keen to see Canadian content when it pops up as well btw.

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