109 episodes

Energy Policy Now offers clear talk on the policy issues that define our relationship to energy and its impact on society and the environment. The series is produced by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and hosted by energy journalist Andy Stone. Join Andy in conversation with leaders from industry, government, and academia as they shed light on today's pressing energy policy debates.

Energy Policy Now Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

    • Government
    • 4.7 • 58 Ratings

Energy Policy Now offers clear talk on the policy issues that define our relationship to energy and its impact on society and the environment. The series is produced by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and hosted by energy journalist Andy Stone. Join Andy in conversation with leaders from industry, government, and academia as they shed light on today's pressing energy policy debates.

    As Climate Concerns Rise, What Role Will Natural Gas Play?

    As Climate Concerns Rise, What Role Will Natural Gas Play?

    The head of the International Energy Agency’s gas division discusses the outlook for natural gas as global efforts to address carbon emissions intensify.
    ---
    Natural gas may be the most controversial of all fossil fuels. It has been heralded as a lower carbon alternative to coal as a fuel for electricity generation. At the same time, natural gas-fired generators have proven themselves to be a reliable backup for intermittent wind and solar power, and gas is viewed as an enabler of an increasingly renewables-based electric grid.   
    Yet natural gas is nonetheless a fossil fuel whose global consumption is on the rise even as a growing number of countries have set out to zero out carbon emissions from their energy systems within the coming two decades.  
    Peter Fraser, head of the Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency, examines present and future demand for natural gas, and the growing perception of risk that accompanies investment in major natural gas infrastructure projects should demand for gas soften. He also discusses the technologies that must be developed to ensure the cleanest possible gas supply, and to enable a shift to non-gas alternatives.  
    Peter Fraser heads the Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency. His work includes the IEA Outlooks used by governments and industry to understand the direction of the global energy sector.
    Related Content
    The Opportunities and Limitations of Seasonal Energy Storagehttps://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/the-opportunities-and-limitations-of-seasonal-energy-storage/
    Have We Reached Peak Carbon Emissions? https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/have-we-reached-peak-carbon-emissions/
    The Essential Role of Negative Emissions in Getting to Carbon Neutral https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/the-essential-role-of-negative-emissions-in-getting-to-carbon-neutral/

    • 29 min
    Why Is it So Hard to Build the Electric Grid of the Future?

    Why Is it So Hard to Build the Electric Grid of the Future?

    America’s electric grid is ill-equipped to enable the low carbon energy system of the future.  A grid policy expert explores the policy and economic changes that will be needed to bring the grid up to date. 
    ---
    There is little doubt that the electricity system of the future will look very different from the system that we have today. In the U.S., a growing number of states and the federal government have set 100% clean energy goals for the middle of this century or earlier. The growing demand for clean energy is already evident in fact that wind and solar power now account for the overwhelming majority of new additions to the nation’s power generation fleet.   
    Yet building an electricity grid to accommodate large amounts of renewable energy raises a host of challenges. The most important of these will be to manage the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy to ensure that reliable power is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
    Rob Gramlich, President of Grid Strategies and a former economic advisor to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, discusses strategies to manage all that clean energy, and the hurdles that will need to be overcome to expand the nation’s electric grid and allow wind and solar power to be reliably transmitted, often over hundreds of miles of power lines, to markets throughout the country. To reach this goal, existing frameworks used to plan and pay for electric transmission may need to be fundamentally reworked. 
    Rob Gramlich is President of Grid Strategies, which provides engineering, economic, and policy analysis for the electric power system. Rob is also Director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, the Watt Coalition, and he is a former economic advisor to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 
    Related Content

    Electricity Storage and Renewables: How Investments Change as Technology Improves  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/electricity-storage-and-renewables-how-investments-change-as-technology-improves/
    Have We Reached Peak Carbon Emissions?https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/have-we-reached-peak-carbon-emissions/
    The Opportunities and Limitations of Seasonal Energy Storage  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/the-opportunities-and-limitations-of-seasonal-energy-storage/

    • 51 min
    Can the FERC Be Made Accountable to Communities and the Environment?

    Can the FERC Be Made Accountable to Communities and the Environment?

    Congress has directed the nation’s regulator for natural gas and electricity infrastructure to be more responsive to community and environmental concerns. Will FERC’s new Office of Public Participation deliver on the promise of public inclusion?
    ---
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission increasingly finds itself at the center of controversy as momentum in the United States builds for a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. 
    As the regulator of the nation’s natural gas and electricity networks, the FERC’s job includes the review of applications for new gas pipelines and electric transmission, and FERC commissioners spend a great deal of time assessing the arguments of energy industry legal teams in favor of a given project.
    Yet, some argue that the FERC has lost sight of what may be its most important role, which is to guard the public interest, including that of communities and landowners who are most directly affected by the development of energy infrastructure. In fact, community and environmental concerns often find it frustratingly complex, and expensive, to navigate the highly technocratic agency, with the result that public voices may not be adequately heard before the agency.
    In response, in December Congress mandated that the FERC present a plan to establish an Office of Public Participation, with the goal to assist the public in taking part in complex FERC proceedings and ensuring that community and landowner concerns are taken into full account. Details of the plan are due to lawmakers by the end of June.
    In the podcast Shelly Welton, associate professor at the University of South Carolina Law School, discusses the mandate of the Office of Public Participation, and the challenge of designing the office in a way that ensures that public views are not just voiced, but actively taken into FERC’s decision making process. She also explores why the public can find the FERC such a difficult agency to engage.
    Shelley Welton is an associate professor of Law at the University of South Carolina Law School. Her work focuses on the impact of climate change on energy and environmental law.
    Related Content
    Balancing Renewable Energy Goals with Community Interests https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/balancing-renewable-energy-goals-with-community-interests/
    U.S. Electricity Regulator Takes A Hard Look at Carbon Pricing https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/podcast/u-s-electricity-regulator-takes-a-hard-look-at-carbon-pricing/
    What’s the FERC, and How is it Shaping Our Energy Future?  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/podcast/whats-the-ferc-and-how-is-it-shaping-our-energy-future-part-1/
     

    • 42 min
    Coal Communities Seek Their Post-Coal Future

    Coal Communities Seek Their Post-Coal Future

    Heidi Binko, Executive Director of the Just Transition Fund, discusses the challenges coal communities face in adapting to a post-coal future, and strategies for economic transition.
    ---
    Over the past decade the number of workers directly employed in the U.S. coal industry has fallen by half, as coal has been replaced by cheaper sources of energy such as natural gas and renewable power. From the Appalachian mountains in the East, to the Powder River Basin and tribal communities in the West, the continued decline of the coal industry has been devastating, depriving workers of livelihoods, and towns of revenue to support essential services.
    Yet coal communities often have a deep sense of place, and the drive to remain, reinvent, and rebuild is strong.
    Heidi Binko, Executive Director of the Just Transition Fund, discusses the impact on coal-dependent communities when the industries that sustain them leave, and looks at efforts of the same communities to find new paths of development and create economically diverse and sustainable futures. She also offers a view of strategies that may help communities facing transition.
    Heidi Binko is Executive Director of the Just Transition Fund, an organization that provides access to funding and technical assistance for coal communities.
    Related Content
    Efficiency and Diversification: A Framework for Sustainably Transitioning to a Carbon-Neutral Economy https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/efficiency-and-diversification-a-framework-for-sustainably-transitioning-to-a-carbon-neutral-economy/
    Rebalancing Renewable Energy Goals with Community Interests https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/balancing-renewable-energy-goals-with-community-interests/

    • 40 min
    Powering Women’s Economic Development Through Equal Access to Energy

    Powering Women’s Economic Development Through Equal Access to Energy

    Sheila Oparaocha of the International Network on Gender and Sustainability discusses the global effort to ensure gender equality in energy access, as an essential foundation for economic development and public health. 
     ---
    One billion people around the world lack access to electricity, and three times as many do not have access to fuel and appliances that allow for clean and safe cooking inside the home. The lack of clean and reliable energy is a major barrier to economic development and an ongoing threat to human health in some of the poorest parts of the globe.
    Sheila Oparaocha, the recipient of the Kleinman Center’s 2021 Carnot Prize for outstanding contributions in energy policy, discusses efforts to bring access to reliable, affordable and clean energy to areas in need, and ensure that energy becomes a foundation of economic development that is available to women and men alike.
    Oparaocha is the International Coordinator of ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. ENERGIA partners with governments and industry to provide women with access to finance, training and technical skills to build energy-based businesses. It also works with governments and other key actors to integrate gender-responsive approaches in energy policies, programs and projects.
    Sheila Oparaocha is the International Coordinator of ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy.
    Related Content
    Powering the Slum: Meeting SDG7 in Accra’s Informal Settlements https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/powering-the-slum-meeting-sdg7-in-accras-informal-settlements/
    Mongolian Energy Futures: Repowering Ulaanbaatar https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/mongolian-energy-futures-repowering-ulaanbaatar-challenges-of-radical-energy-sector-decarbonization/ 
    Balancing Renewable Energy Goals with Community Interests https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/balancing-renewable-energy-goals-with-community-interests/

    • 42 min
    The Potential, and Risks, of Nature-Based Climate Solutions

    The Potential, and Risks, of Nature-Based Climate Solutions

    Nature-based climate solutions can play a major role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. But biodiversity risks, and community impacts, loom large.
    ---
    Technology often seems to be the focus when conversation turns to solutions to address climate change. Clean energy, carbon capture and even geoengineering dominate headlines and attract the attention of climate-focused investors. When it comes to protecting coastal communities, infrastructure projects like sea walls and raised roads likewise grab attention, particularly after extreme weather events.
    Yet, nature itself is likely to play just as important a role as engineered solutions in our efforts to slow climate change and navigate its worst impacts. Today, scientists and some policymakers are aggressively exploring the potential of nature-based solutions to help us slow and adapt to climate change.
    Nathalie Seddon, a professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford, discusses the promise, challenges and potential moral hazards of nature-based climate solutions. Seddon explains what qualifies as a nature based-solution, and looks at the community and biodiversity impacts that need to be taken into account when putting nature-based solutions into action. She also looks at efforts to quantify the benefits of natural climate solutions as a means to accelerate investment.
    Nathalie Seddon is a professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford and founding director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative.
    Related Content
    Climate Adaptation Strategies: How Do We “Manage” Managed Retreat? https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/climate-adaptation-strategies-how-do-we-manage-managed-retreat/ 
    The Best Local Response to Climate Change is a Comprehensive Efficiency Plan. https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/the-best-local-response-to-climate-change-is-a-comprehensive-efficiency-plan/
    Balancing Renewable Energy Goals with Community Interests https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/research/publications/balancing-renewable-energy-goals-with-community-interests/

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

fishyrainn ,

Absolutely love this podcast

The perfect podcast for new learners in the sector as well as more experienced people as well in order to grasp the current conversations in the industry!

incognito82 ,

What the FERC

I love the episode about FERC.

Uber Music addict ,

David Case

This is a fantastic podcast. Host Andy Stone is an agile, knowledgeable interviewer, and his guests include an array of well-placed sources plugged-in to the energy and environment scene — including the former mayor of a troubled coal town, an air transportation expert, and a lawyer who can tell you why lithium ion batteries hold the key to the future. Energy policy affects all of us, more than ever. If you want to better understand today’s world (and tomorrow's), here's your podcast! Please keep them coming!

Top Podcasts In Government

Listeners Also Subscribed To