100 episodes

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.

Columbia Energy Exchange Columbia University

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    • 4.8 • 288 Ratings

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.

    Will Economic Stress Hurt the Energy Transition in Asia?

    Will Economic Stress Hurt the Energy Transition in Asia?

    Covid and the Russian war in Ukraine have slowed economic development in East Asia and the Pacific. High global commodity prices are stressing countries heavily dependent on energy and food imports. 
    Recent heat waves and drought sweeping across the region are adding further economic pain.
    In China, coal consumption is climbing as hydropower resources dry up. And it’s not the only major economy in the region heavily reliant on the dirtiest fossil fuel. Across Asia, hundreds of new coal plants and mines are being built.
    So how do the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change – and the biggest users of coal –  balance economic development and the energy transition?
    This week, Bill Loveless talks with Manuela Ferro, the Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific at the World Bank. Previously, Manuela served as Vice President of Operations Policy and Country Services, where she oversaw the Bank’s crisis response to the coronavirus pandemic. She’s an engineer and economist with a masters in engineering from University of Lisbon, and a Ph.D. in development economics from Stanford University.
    Bill talks with Manuela about the World Bank’s recently released economic update on East Asia and the Pacific called Braving the Storm. They also discussed other developments – like the region’s reliance on coal for energy security, and how the World Bank can help the transition to cleaner energy.

    • 36 min
    Will Putin’s Energy Strategy Backfire?

    Will Putin’s Energy Strategy Backfire?

    Winter is coming. The energy crisis that is afflicting Europe and other parts of the world is worsening as Russia weaponizes natural gas.
    After 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, 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.

    • 50 min
    Nuclear Fusion: Still Decades Away?

    Nuclear Fusion: Still Decades Away?

    Nuclear fusion seems like something out of science fiction – a reaction created inside a machine that replicates the sun. But the technology behind this process could be inching closer to reality. And with it, new opportunities to harness electricity.  
    The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act allocates $280 million for fusion energy science. And experiments in China, the U.K., and California have some scientists feeling hopeful that fusion could play a role in the global energy transition. 
    But there’s a problem. At lower temperatures, nuclear fusion requires more energy than it produces. It’s only when the plasma used to combine atoms reaches an extremely high temperature that it sets off a chain reaction and makes the process sustainable. 
    There are different approaches to achieving this chain reaction. But are scientists actually getting close to commercialization? And when will nuclear fusion be powering our homes and businesses? 
    This week, host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Dennis Whyte, Hitachi America Professor of Engineering at MIT and director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He also leads the Laboratory for Innovations and Fusion technology, which has energy company sponsorship to explore early-stage, disruptive fusion technologies. 
    Dr. Whyte played an integral role in Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a startup out of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, that recently raised $1.8 billion in funding to commercialize fusion energy. 
    Bill talks with Dr. Whyte about the science behind nuclear fusion, his work at MIT, and the efforts to bring this technology to market.

    • 43 min
    Foreign Affairs: ‘The World’s First Energy Crisis’

    Foreign Affairs: ‘The World’s First Energy Crisis’

    In 2020, Europe passed a landmark climate package called the Green Deal. It was supposed to mark a new era of climate progress for the region.
    Few expected that two years later, Europe would be burning more coal, importing more liquified natural gas, shifting from gas to oil for industry, and spending more money to subsidize fossil fuel consumption. Europe’s energy crisis, many years in the making, has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and the subsequent turmoil in regional and global energy markets.
    The past six months have proven how the global energy transition will play out in chaotic and non-linear ways.
    So what will today’s energy crisis mean for the energy transition? How will governments around the world react to today’s supply shortages and price spikes? And what does the wild ride for commodities and energy pricing mean for security and climate goals around the world? 
    This week, we’re running an episode of the Foreign Affairs Interview podcast featuring our co-host, Jason Bordoff, and Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor of international affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. 
    Meghan is the author of “Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power.” And she served as deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Administration.
    In June, Jason and Meghan joined host Dan Kurtz-Phelan to discuss their recent articles on the ongoing energy crisis. They talked about market volatility, President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, and why energy is still so central to geopolitics.

    • 48 min
    A New Era for Environmental Justice

    A New Era for Environmental Justice

    This summer’s climate bill features an historic investment: $60 billion will be devoted to clean energy projects and climate resilience for disadvantaged communities. It will  also create a green bank to help drive climate investments with explicit equity outcomes.
    Environmental justice is getting real attention in policymaking at the federal and state level. So how do we define and measure it? And why is it so crucial to the energy transition?
    This week we’re bringing back one of our most popular episodes from last summer – co-host Bill Loveless’s conversation with environmental justice pioneer Dr. Robert Bullard.
    Dr. Bullard helped build the environmental justice movement decades ago, and currently serves as distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University. His advocacy work has focused on everything from air pollution to housing to hurricane relief. 
    This conversation on the history and urgency of environmental justice is particularly relevant given America’s recent investments in climate equity through the Inflation Reduction Act.

    • 42 min
    The Road Ahead for the Electric Vehicle Market

    The Road Ahead for the Electric Vehicle Market

    America is doubling down on support of electric vehicles. This summer’s historic climate bill extends key tax credits for buyers of EVs, putting them in reach for more drivers. 
     
    Those credits also require a high percentage of American-sourced materials – which could be a long-term boon to domestic production, but a potential short-term problem for manufacturers with foreign supply chains.
    Electric models make up 5% of EV sales in the U.S. and IHS Markit predicts EVs will represent 30% of sales by the end of the decade. With federal support of electric cars ramping up, what is the pathway for making EVs a mainstream choice?
    We’re on a late summer break. So for the next couple of weeks, we’re bringing back some of our most popular interviews. This week features a conversation recorded in front of a live audience earlier this year between our co-host, Jason Bordoff, and two top figures in transportation: Jim Farley and Mary Nichols.
    Jim Farley is president and chief executive officer of Ford. Mary Nichols is a long-time environmental champion and chair of the California Air Resources Board. She’s now a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy.
    Jim and Mary discuss the significant changes taking place in the auto industry given new federal policies promoting electric cars and buses.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
288 Ratings

288 Ratings

Peter Jarka-Sellers ,

One of the best climate/energy podcasts

Really good analysis

VnAPhD ,

Strategy Advisor, Sustainability and Climate

A very timely and engaging podcast, a must for anyone in the Climate space!

Shay O ,

Great show with clear, substantive discussions

A consistently great podcast coverings a wide range of energy topics with expert guests guided by very good moderation.

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