117 episodes

Investor Shayle Kann is asking big questions about how to decarbonize the planet: How cheap can clean energy get? Will artificial intelligence speed up climate solutions? Where is the smart money going into climate technologies? Every week on Catalyst, Shayle explains the world of "climate tech" with prominent experts, investors, researchers, and executives. Produced by Latitude Media.

Catalyst with Shayle Kann Latitude Media

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Investor Shayle Kann is asking big questions about how to decarbonize the planet: How cheap can clean energy get? Will artificial intelligence speed up climate solutions? Where is the smart money going into climate technologies? Every week on Catalyst, Shayle explains the world of "climate tech" with prominent experts, investors, researchers, and executives. Produced by Latitude Media.

    Frontier Forum: Diving into the booming transferable tax credit market

    Frontier Forum: Diving into the booming transferable tax credit market

    It's been a year and a half since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed. In that time, we've seen $110 billion in planned investments for factories that are pumping out electric cars, batteries, solar modules, and wind towers. 
    The upper end of 2030 forecasts show nearly twice as much zero-carbon generation getting built compared with scenarios without the law in place.
    Much of this activity is the result of a new shift in the US tax code that allows wind, solar, storage, hydrogen, carbon capture, and manufacturing tax incentives to be sold for cash. It’s creating a lot more deal volume as many more companies can now buy those credits to support new development.
    “This very rarely happens that a new market forms basically overnight. The private estimates on how big the market gets get it to something like $80 or $100 billion dollars by the back half of the decade,” said Alfred Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Crux, speaking at Latitude Media’s Frontier Forum.
    In January, Crux closed an $18 million Series A round led by Andreesen Horowitz – bringing the company’s total funding to $27 million to scale its sustainable finance platform.
    It’s been about a year since credits started trading, with activity really picking up in the last six months. Much of our understanding of how the market is performing comes from new research from Crux, which recently surveyed 150 buyers, sellers, and intermediaries – and found a mix of eagerness, hesitance, surprises, and lots and lots of questions.
    Stephen Lacey spoke with Alfred Johnson live during Latitude's Frontier Forum to address many of those questions – and riff on how this new market is taking shape. You can watch the full conversation, including questions from the audience, here.

    • 27 min
    More 2024 trends: ESG, carbon certifications, curtailment, and AI

    More 2024 trends: ESG, carbon certifications, curtailment, and AI

    There was so much to talk about in Nat Bullard’s 200-page slide deck on 2024’s biggest decarbonization trends that we broke the conversation into two parts. For the first half of our conversation with Nat, listen here. 
    Nat has worked as an analyst and writer in climate tech for two decades and was BloombergNEF’s chief content officer until 2022.
    In this second part of the conversation, Shayle and Nat cover topics like:

    How ESG has become the new third rail of finance, falling out of the spotlight of corporate reports and the annual Larry letter 

    The vexing problem of what to do with curtailed power and why we need to design around the intermittency

    Whether you can have too many carbon certification standards

    How biodiesel is eating up Europe’s biofuel supply

    First Solar’s underappreciated success in surviving the decline of U.S. solar manufacturing

    Plus: Declining hydropower, slowing coal growth, and the rising hype around AI


    Recommended resources:
    Nathaniel Bullard: Decarbonization: Stocks and flows, abundance and scarcity, net zero
    Washington Post: ‘Greenhushing’: Why some companies quietly hide their climate pledges
    World Economic Forum: Hydropower: How droughts are affecting the world's biggest renewable energy source
    Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.
    Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like residential solar and electrification. FDIC-insured with market-leading savings rates, cash-back checking, and zero fees. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.

    • 42 min
    2024 trends: batteries, transferable tax credits, and the cost of capital

    2024 trends: batteries, transferable tax credits, and the cost of capital

    We’re back for round two, with even more slides than last year. This year’s annual slide deck from Nat Bullard has 200 pages on the key trends shaping decarbonization in 2024. Nat has worked as an analyst and writer in climate tech for two decades and was BloombergNEF’s chief content officer until 2022.
    We’ve split the conversation into two parts. In this first part, Shayle and Nat cover topics like: 

    The state of batteries, including the rapid growth of LFP chemistries, the concentration of manufacturing capacity, and the wild ride of lithium prices.

    The rapid growth of transferable tax credits and how that unlocks capital for renewables.

    How the rising cost of capital has reshaped climate tech.


    Recommended resources:
    Nathaniel Bullard: Decarbonization: Stocks and flows, abundance and scarcity, net zero
    Latitude Media: Clean energy capital is getting pricier
    WSJ: Companies Are Snapping Up New Clean-Energy Tax Credits

    Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.
    Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.

    • 51 min
    What’s really happening in the U.S. EV market?

    What’s really happening in the U.S. EV market?

    A recent slew negative headlines about U.S. EVs makes it feel like the sky is falling on the market. Yet the data show robust growth. Combined battery electric and plug-in hybrid sales in 2023 were up 50% from 2022. Meanwhile, EV market share reached 9.5% in 2023, up from 7.5% in 2022, according to BloombergNEF. 
    Still, there have been real signs of changing expectations. GM and Ford have downsized their EV ambitions. Hertz sold off 20,000 Teslas. And Elon Musk tried to temper expectations in last week’s disappointing Tesla earnings call. 
    So why all the conflicting indicators? 
    In this episode, Shayle talks to BloombergNEF analyst Corey Cantor. They talk about the changing outlook on the speed of EV adoption as the focus shifts from early adopters to the mass market. They talk through the persistent challenges EVs face, like slow charger rollout and lack of affordable price points. They also cover topics like:

    Whether sales challenges are more of an overall market problem or a legacy automaker problem

    Tesla’s dominant but falling share of the market and what was behind the Hertz sell-off

    Momentum behind insurgent Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai

    Whether the Chinese EV giant BYD will enter the U.S. market


    Recommended Resources:
    Inside EVs: Hyundai's Electric Vehicle Push Is Absolutely Working
    Bloomberg: EV-Charging Firms to Struggle With Finances, Investment in 2024

    Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.

    Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.

    • 36 min
    Solving the cow burp problem

    Solving the cow burp problem

    Agriculture in the U.S. produces more methane than the American oil and gas industry, and the biggest share of that agricultural methane is from enteric fermentation – essentially cow burps. Cows and other ruminant animals release methane because of the way they digest food. And as animal protein consumption rises, so will enteric emissions.
    It’s a problem for climate change, but also for farmers. Methane is wasted energy that could have been used for beef or dairy production – and so enteric methane production is a challenge that researchers have been trying to solve for years. Some promising solutions are starting to make it into practice.
    In this episode, Shayle talks to Charles Brooke, program manager for enteric methane at Spark Climate Solutions. Shayle and Charles cover topics like:

    Why most enteric methane comes from small-holder pasture-raised animals, instead of feed-lot-raised animals.

    The different solutions in the pipeline, such as better livestock management, feed additives, vaccines, and breeding.

    The challenges with feed additives that animals must eat everyday, like bromoform, Bovaer, and 3-NOP.

    How vaccines and breeding could shift global populations more permanently.

    The barriers to adoption, such as regulatory hurdles and public skepticism.

    Recommended Resources:
    Federation of American Scientists: Climate-Smart Cattle: US Research and Development Will Improve Animal Productivity, Address Greenhouse Gases, and Hasten Additional Market Solutions
    USAID: Endline Methane Assessment of KCDMS Dairy and Fodder Value Chain Activities in Kenya
    Food Climate Research Network: Grazed and Confused 
    American Society for Microbiology: The Role of microbes in Mediating Climate Change
    Environmental Defense Fund: Tackling Enteric Methane
    Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.

    • 42 min
    Sourcing biomass for carbon removal

    Sourcing biomass for carbon removal

    Plants capture hundreds of gigatons of carbon every year in timber, crops, and other forms of biomass. Much of that carbon gets released back into the atmosphere through natural processes and human intervention. But there are a few ways that we can lock it away for good, like biochar, bio-oil, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS — all processes that fall under the umbrella of biomass carbon removal.
    The International Panel on Climate Change calls carbon removal “unavoidable” — and biomass is a leading carbon removal contender. But everyone wants a slice of the biomass pie. Airlines want it for jet fuel. Midwestern legislators want it for ethanol. Homebuilders want it for construction. Oh, and humans want it for food. By 2050 potential demand for biomass could far outstrip supply. 
    So what kinds of biomass should we use for carbon removal — and where should we get that biomass from?
    In this episode, Shayle talks with Dr. Bodie Cabiyo, senior forest scientist at climate science consultancy Carbon Direct and lead author of A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable Biomass Sourcing for Carbon Dioxide Removal.
    They talk about topics like:

    How carbon removal is already competing with other uses for biomass.

    The complicated question of what counts as “waste,” which some BECCS companies are using to claim carbon reductions.

    Principles for sustainably sourcing biomass for carbon removal, like tracing chain of custody and avoiding market distortions.

    The environmental and carbon math tradeoffs involved in different sources of biomass.

    What Shayle would do with biomass if he were an omnipotent global leader.


    Recommended Resources:


    Carbon Direct: A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable Biomass Sourcing for Carbon Dioxide Removal


    Catalyst: From biowaste to ​‘biogold’


    Energy Transitions Commission: Bioresources within a Net-Zero Emissions Economy: Making a Sustainable Approach Possible


    Sign up for Latitude Media’s Frontier Forum on January 31, featuring Crux CEO Alfred Johnson, who will break down the budding market for clean energy tax credits. We’ll dissect current transactions and pricing, compare buyer and seller expectations, and look at where the market is headed in 2024.
    Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.
    Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like residential solar and electrification. Market-leading savings rates, cash-back checking, and zero fees. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Nojohokolo ,

Quality analysis

Great angles and seriously well informed

Kulandi ,

Anticipation!

OK, I've only listened to the minute-long trailer, but I'm so glad Shayle is back on air after Wood Mackenzie annexed The Interchange. High hopes too for The Carbon Copy with Stephen Lacey; I'll give the *new improved* Energy Gang *with even more Wood Mackenzie* a fair trial, but turfing out Stephen and Katherine Hamilton seems like sacrilege, and a huge risk to the podcast.

Top Podcasts In Technology

BBC Radio 4
Lex Fridman
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Jason Calacanis
Jack Rhysider
The New York Times

You Might Also Like

Latitude Media
Wood Mackenzie
Wood Mackenzie
Columbia University
David Roberts
Jason Jacobs, Cody Simms, Yin Lu