45 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. The show is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

Catalyst with Shayle Kann Post Script Media

    • Technology
    • 4.5 • 2 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. The show is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

    Is the Inflation Reduction Act a win for EVs and batteries?

    Is the Inflation Reduction Act a win for EVs and batteries?

    Don’t miss our live episode of Climavores in New York City on October 20! Sign up here for a night of live audio and networking with top voices in climate journalism. 
    Depending on which headlines you read, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will either hurt U.S. electric vehicle sales by replacing existing tax credits with complicated new ones or build out a North American battery supply chain and rev up EV sales. So which is it?
    In this episode, Shayle talks to Sam Jaffe, vice president of battery solutions at E-Source, about the key provisions of the IRA’s EV and battery tax credits. Sam explains how the IRA will spur a North American EV battery supply chain in the long run but will also create winners and losers along the way. 
    There’s a $30 billion pot of money for various tax credits and limited time to make use of them. Who will get to it first? There are already some early movers.
    Sam explains the key provisions:

    The EV components tax credit reduces the cost of EVs whose batteries contain materials assembled in the U.S. or its free-trade partner countries. This includes electrodes, electrolyte components and cells. 

    The strategic minerals tax credit reduces the cost of EVs whose batteries contain minerals mined and processed in the U.S. or its free-trade partner countries. These minerals include lithium, cobalt, and rare earth metals, among others.

    The 45X advanced manufacturing production credit reduces the cost of making batteries in the U.S.

    Certain credits ratchet up the percentage of materials required to qualify over several years. So once an EV model qualifies, it will have to maintain eligibility by getting a larger and larger share of its components and minerals from approved countries.


    They also cover which part of the battery industry will benefit more– the EV battery side or the stationary storage side. And Sam explains why he’s paying attention to the Treasury Department’s forthcoming guidance on the tax credits.
    Resources:


    The New York Times: For Electric Vehicle Makers, Winners and Losers in Climate Bill


    Canary Media: Private-sector reactions to the Inflation Reduction Act


    Canary Media: 6 clean energy companies that are ramping up US manufacturing

     
    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 46 min
    Columbia Energy Exchange: Will Putin’s Energy Strategy Backfire?

    Columbia Energy Exchange: Will Putin’s Energy Strategy Backfire?

    Don’t miss our live episode of Climavores in New York City on October 20! Sign up here for a night of live audio and networking with top voices in climate journalism. 
    Winter is coming. The energy crisis that is afflicting Europe and other parts of the world is worsening as Russia weaponizes natural gas.
    This energy crisis has effects across climate tech, and so today we’re bringing you an episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, a podcast from Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. On Catalyst, we don’t usually dig so deep into geopolitics and policy, but this crisis has big implications for markets, investment and technology. 
    After Russian President Vladimir Putin turned off supply of Russian gas through the Nord Stream pipeline earlier this month, prices across Europe soared – causing severe pain for manufacturers and consumers, and pushing the region closer to recession. European countries are weighing emergency measures, like price caps and rationing.
    In addition to the immediate energy crisis, key questions remain about what all of this means for the clean energy transition. The supply of critical materials for clean energy technologies – such as copper, lithium, and cobalt – will also present challenges. A recent report by S&P Global predicted that demand for copper will double by 2035 as a consequence of the energy transition, and it is unclear if the existing supply chains can sustain such an increase. 
    How can governments and companies address the energy crisis without sacrificing progress on climate? And how might current and future supply shortages change the geopolitical landscape?
    This week, Columbia Energy Exchange host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Dan Yergin, an internationally known authority on energy, geopolitics, and economics. He sits on the boards of numerous institutions – including Columbia’s Center of Global Energy Policy.
    Dr. Yergin is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power.” And his most recent book, “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations,” illustrates the greatest issues of geopolitics and energy today. 
    He is the Vice Chairman of S&P Global, and was the project Chairman for the report, “The Future of Copper: Will the looming supply gap short-circuit the energy transition?”
    Jason spoke with Dr. Yergin about the ongoing energy crisis, the supply of critical materials, and the future of energy superpowers.
    Resources:


    Simon & Schuster: The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power


    Penguin Random House: The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations

     
    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 56 min
    Averting water wars as we decarbonize

    Averting water wars as we decarbonize

    Don’t miss our live episode of Climavores in New York City on October 20! Sign up here for a night of live audio and networking with top voices in climate journalism. 
    We designed our power plants, refineries, and other energy infrastructure to depend on water. But not just any kind of water—water that’s available at the right quantity, quality, place and time. When water falls outside of this Goldilocks zone, energy systems can unravel, sometimes in unexpected ways. Low water levels strain hydroelectric and thermal power production and restrict coal shipments by river. Extreme cold freezes water in natural gas infrastructure, causing blackouts. Examples abound.
    The irony is that the energy system fuels climate change, which in turn fuels water problems for the energy system. 
    So how do we address these vulnerabilities as we decarbonize? And how can we build a resilient water-energy system in an increasingly chaotic climate?
    In this episode, Shayle talks to Dr. Michael Webber, author of Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival. Michael is a professor of energy resources at the University of Texas-Austin and chief technology officer at Energy Impact Partners, where Shayle is a partner. 
    They cover topics like:

    The surprising places we use water in energy, like extracting minerals and natural gas, growing crops for biofuels and sequestering carbon

    The ways energy improves the quantity and quality of water, allowing us to move water longer distances, reach deeper wells and desalinate water

    How to avoid exacerbating water problems as we decarbonize

    Whether cheap, abundant electricity from nuclear fusion will power wide-spread desalination

    Why the data on water systems is so scarce compared to energy systems

    How prescient the new Mad Max water-war movies are

    Resources:


    Yale University Press: Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival


    The New York Times: Europe’s Scorching Summer Puts Unexpected Strain on Energy Supply


    The New York Times: China’s Record Drought Is Drying Rivers and Feeding Its Coal Habit

     
    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 41 min
    Could geothermal become a major zero-emissions player?

    Could geothermal become a major zero-emissions player?

    Drill down far enough anywhere in the world and you reach temperatures hot enough to generate firm, reliable zero-emission electricity. That’s the hope for new geothermal technologies that could scale the industry beyond well-known geothermal hot spots like Iceland.
    But first the industry needs to overcome major challenges in financing and technology. It has also to deal with the public opinion around the oil and gas industry, which may be an essential partner in scaling geothermal because of its overlapping expertise in drilling and underground exploration.
    In this episode, guest host Lara Pierpoint talks with Jamie Beard, executive director of Project Innerspace, a non-profit focused on expanding the use of geothermal energy globally. 
    Current geothermal technology relies on naturally occurring underground hot spots, common in places like Iceland and the western U.S.. But an approach called enhanced geothermal systems or “hot, dry rock,” would make geothermal available around the world, potentially adding hundreds of gigawatts to current geothermal capacity.
    Lara and Jamie discuss major questions facing the geothermal industry, like:

    How and where to drill for consistent hot temperatures? 

    How long before a well is depleted of heat-carrying capacity? 

    What sort of surveying and information do funders need to deal with exploration risks? 

    How can the industry take advantage of the co-benefits of geothermal drilling, such as lithium extraction, carbon sequestration and waste heat?

    What working fluids, like water or critical CO2, are appropriate for a given project?

    How viable are geothermal-source heat pumps and how do they compare to air-source heat pumps?

    What are the potential environmental impacts of geothermal?

    What role should the oil and gas industry play in scaling this zero-emission technology?


    Resources:


    Canary Media: Advanced geothermal heats up with $138M round for startup Fervo Energy


    Department of Energy: DOE Launches New Energy Earthshot to Slash the Cost of Geothermal Power

    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The dirt on soil carbon credits

    The dirt on soil carbon credits

    Soil is a massive carbon sink that’s stored away emissions for centuries. But years of destructive farming practices have released much of this carbon. Could incentivizing farmers help restore—and expand—soil’s carbon-carrying capacity? 
    In theory, yes. But the market for soil carbon credits—literally paying farmers to improve their practices—needs serious reform.  
    In this episode, Shayle talks with Freya Chay, program manager for carbon removal at CarbonPlan. The fundamental problem is that the existing carbon credits don’t do what they say they will do: permanently lock away additional carbon. Freya and Shayle survey the big challenges of the market and explore potential fixes, covering questions like:

    How do we measure—using models, samplings and satellites—the amount of carbon in a plot of soil?

    What tools do we have to make sure the carbon will stay in the ground, such as buffer pools and ton-year accounting?

    The additionality question: Without the credit, would the carbon have been captured anyway? Or would it have remained locked away anyway?

    What role could third-party grading systems play in differentiating high-quality credits from low-quality ones?


    Resources:


    CarbonPlan: A buyer’s guide to soil carbon offsets


    CarbonPlan: Unpacking ton-year accounting


    Canary Media: Carbon storage gets dirty: The movement to sequester CO2 in soils


    Sylvera: Carbon Credit Ratings: Frameworks & Processes White Paper

     
    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 43 min
    Booking your first zero-emissions flight

    Booking your first zero-emissions flight

    In aviation, there’s a crowd of low-carbon technologies vying for a slice of the market. On one hand, the long-haul portion of the market will likely rely on sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) which still emit greenhouse gasses but could be offset to net-zero. On the other hand, there’s a big share of air traffic that could go completely zero-emissions with the help of batteries and hydrogen. 
    So how soon could you book a ticket on a zero-emissions flight? And what routes are possible?
    In this episode, Shayle talks with Jayant Mukhopadhaya, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Jayant recently authored two reports on electric aircraft and hydrogen aircraft. Shayle and Jayant dig in on some tough questions: 

    Can electric aircraft take incremental steps into the market given the limitations of current battery energy densities? Or do they need a technology breakthrough?

    How do hydrogen fuel cell, compressed hydrogen combustion, and liquid hydrogen combustion compare?

    How do airports need to prepare for hydrogen fueling? Hint: Terminal-sized upgrades.


    Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
    Resources:


    Canary Media: Can battery-powered airplanes decarbonize air travel? 


    Canary Media: How do we clean up air travel? Fuel from fast-food grease is just the start


    Bloomberg (video): Hydrogen May Be the Jet Fuel of the Future


    Catalyst: A bumpy ride toward decarbonizing aviation


    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.
    Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in-person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.

    • 41 min

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