39 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

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.

    Will charging infrastructure be a bottleneck for electric vehicles?

    Will charging infrastructure be a bottleneck for electric vehicles?

    Electric vehicles (EVs) are moving quickly toward mass adoption. So how do we make sure that charging infrastructure keeps up?
    The people who own, operate and install chargers have some big questions to answer: 

    Can public chargers run a profit, and how do business models need to change to accelerate deployment?

    Why is it so hard to repair broken stations?

    Does it matter where we install new ones?

    When will chargers be as ubiquitous and easy to use as gas stations?

    In this episode, Shayle digs into these questions with colleague Cassie Bowe, partner at the venture capital firm Energy Impact Partners, where she focuses on mobility. Cassie outlines the trajectory of charger deployment over the years, comparing charger accessibility in the U.S, China and Europe. 
    Shayle and Cassie cover smart charging (also known as V1G) and V2G, as well as the commodification of charging hardware. Plus, how soon we might see wireless charging and why Shayle doesn’t have an EV yet. 
    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
    What the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would mean for climatetech

    What the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would mean for climatetech

    The $369 billion climate and tax bill from Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer caught everyone by surprise. Democrats had abandoned their climate legislation last month after Manchin, a must-have vote for Democrats, signaled his opposition to it.
    But late last week Manchin and Schumer announced they had revived the deal under a new name – The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. If passed, it would be the most ambitious climate action in U.S. history.
    And now with support from another key swing vote, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the bill is an important step closer to passage.
    So what would the bill do?
    In this episode, Shayle talks to Princeton professor Jesse Jenkins. Jesse leads the REPEAT Project, which analyzed the effects of the bill in a report released today. Overall, the bill would make clean energy cheaper and build up the capacity of climatetech industries in the U.S. and its allies across multiple sectors of the economy, including power, transportation, heavy industry and buildings. 
    Shayle and Jesse walk through the key provisions in the proposed legislation and their predicted impacts, including:

    Hundreds of new gigawatts of solar and wind capacity, plus new technology-neutral tax credits to support other technologies such as advanced nuclear

    Building up a North American supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs)

    Reducing the costs of EVs, sustainable aviation fuels, energy storage, hydrogen and more

    Increased energy security for medium- and low-income households, such as installing heat pumps and insulation


    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.

    • 59 min
    Watt It Takes: TeraWatt Infrastructure CEO Neha Palmer

    Watt It Takes: TeraWatt Infrastructure CEO Neha Palmer

    We're bringing you something different today. It's an episode of one of our favorite podcasts, called Watt It Takes hosted by Emily Kirsch of Powerhouse Ventures. 

    We talk a lot on Catalyst about how to finance and build climatetech. What we don’t always get into are the personal stories of people who are trying to do that work.

    That’s exactly what Watt It Takes does. The show tells the stories of founders who are building a zero-carbon world — their upbringings, their risks, their failures, and their breakthroughs.

    This episode is about Neha Palmer, CEO of TeraWatt Infrastructure, which builds large-scale electric vehicle charging hubs for medium and heavy transport.

    Tens of millions of delivery vans and semi trucks move around the clock to keep supply chains humming. These medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up more than 25 percent of transportation emissions in the US — even though they only make up 10 percent of all vehicles on the road.

    We need to electrify medium and heavy-duty vehicles to meet our climate goals. But, how do we build and operate the charging infrastructure to power them?

    That charging network is exactly what TeraWatt Infrastructure is building.

    TeraWatt develops, owns, and manages charging infrastructure for these large vehicles. The company integrates hardware, software, and grid services along with on-site chargers. TerraWatt has a growing portfolio of land in strategic locations across the country that enables it to build and operate that charging infrastructure.

    TeraWatt brings together a team of experts from data centers, transportation logistics, and electric cars. The more complex the high-powered charging needs, the better suited TeraWatt is for the task.

    Watt It Takes host Emily Kirsch sat down with Neha to learn what it takes to electrify a sector with such massive energy demand. They talked about founding TeraWatt after Neha left Google, where she was a key figure in that company's ambitious renewable energy strategy. And they discuss the unique demands of heavy-duty transportation.

    Powerhouse is an innovation firm that works with leading global corporations to help them find, partner with, invest in, and acquire the most innovative startups in clean energy, mobility, and climate. Powerhouse Ventures backs seed-stage startups building innovative software to rapidly decarbonize our global energy and mobility systems. You can learn more at powerhouse.fund, and you can subscribe to our newsletter at https://www.powerhouse.fund/subscribe.

    If you like the show, subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

    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
    Seeking the holy grail of batteries

    Seeking the holy grail of batteries

    If there were a holy grail of electric vehicle batteries, it would be low-weight, long-range, and fast-charging. It would last a million miles and cost less than anything produced today.
    So in the booming EV battery market, what kind of battery will check all those boxes? Who will invent it? And do we really need all those features in one battery in the first place?
    In this episode, Shayle talks to Sam Jaffe, vice president of battery solutions at E-Source. They trace the history of the two major competing lithium-ion chemistries: Lithium Iron (or ferrous) Phosphate (LFP) and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC).
    Sam and Shayle also discuss the factors that shaped this competition, like China, Tesla, and access to capital. They discuss new partnerships between battery manufacturers and automakers, including LG and GM, Samsung SDI and Stellantis, ACC and Mercedes
    And they cover questions like:

    Who decides which chemistries to develop — automakers or battery part manufacturers? 

    Will a small number of chemistries dominate or will there be a rapid diversification of battery chemistries to meet different needs?

    Is fast charging a nice-to-have or need-to-have?

    Will the rising costs of battery materials, especially lithium, slow the adoption of EVs? 

    Plus, Sam explains why he is no longer bearish on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.
    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.

    • 53 min
    Crossing the valley of death

    Crossing the valley of death

    In climatetech, the ‘valley of death’ describes the lack of capital for newer solutions, especially those that mainstream investors view as unproven. The climate tech world is full of technologies that would be fantastic tools for fighting the climate crisis, if only they could cross this valley of death and scale.
    Scott Jacobs co-founded Generate Capital in 2014 to help address this problem. In this episode Shayle talks to Scott about how to successfully finance first-of-a-kind climatetech. They cover technologies like electric bus leasing, anaerobic digesters, microgrids and EV fleet charging infrastructure.
    And they dig in on:

    Winning over investors who don't have the time to understand complex technologies or business models

    The kinds of support, beyond capital, that first-of-a-kind technologies need from investors 

    Navigating the rising cost of capital and supply chain problems

    When exactly technologies have proven themselves in the eyes of investors


    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.

    • 51 min
    The Carbon Copy: Get ready for the battery recycling boom

    The Carbon Copy: Get ready for the battery recycling boom

    On the Carbon Copy podcast this week:
    It’s been over three months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves into global oil markets, causing supply constraints and skyrocketing prices. The conflict has complicated the flow of energy at a time when supply chains were already jumbled up because of Covid.
    But it’s not just oil. The war is leaving its mark on all kinds of commodities, including the global supplies of minerals and metals. Geopolitical shifts are causing big spikes in the prices of lithium and nickel, two key components of the lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.
    However, this supply mess could actually be boosting a positive trend in the battery space: recycling. 
    Batteries are a pillar of the zero-carbon economy, but are they truly sustainable? And will technical advancements and evolving geopolitical alliances alter the battery-based economy for the better?
    Our guest is Julian Spector, a senior reporter with Canary Media. Check out his latest report on five exciting startups tackling battery recycling from different angles. And check out all of Canary’s Recycling Renewables special coverage.
    The Carbon Copy 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.

    • 22 min

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