300 episodes

Looking to understand the fast-changing world of energy? This isn't your ordinary energy business show. Every week, we debate and discuss the latest trends in energy, cleantech, renewables, and the environment. Join us as we explore the forces transforming energy markets in America and around the world.

The Energy Gang Greentech Media

    • Business
    • 4.9, 900 Ratings

Looking to understand the fast-changing world of energy? This isn't your ordinary energy business show. Every week, we debate and discuss the latest trends in energy, cleantech, renewables, and the environment. Join us as we explore the forces transforming energy markets in America and around the world.

    Breathing While Black in America

    Breathing While Black in America

    This week: as anger over police brutality explodes into the once-empty streets, we tackle an equally oppressive force for black Americans: environmental racism.

    Coronavirus has exposed an unsettling reality for black and brown people, who are dying at higher rates in the country’s most polluted communities. We’re suddenly talking again about structural racism in policing and criminal justice. But the story of race, energy and the environment is also very important to understanding the anger of the moment.

    We’re going to speak with a seasoned lawyer and organizer, who is working on the “mass melanization” of the environmental movement: Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, the North America Director for 350.org

    Later in the show: if people lose their jobs and can’t pay their bills, what does that mean for their safety in a summer heat wave? And what does it mean for the financial health of utilities?

    Finally, a new approach to residential demand response. Why are Consumers Energy, Uplight and Google giving away 100,000 free smart thermostats?

    Don't forget to sign up for our FREE live show on June 9! Join us and submit your questions.VOX: One reason why coronavirus is hitting black Americans the hardestNY Times: In the Shadows of America’s Smokestacks, Virus is one More Deadly RiskAP: 'Death By Racism': Part of America's DNA From the Start?LA Times Boiling Point: Pandemic. Heat. And for the most vulnerable, no A/CGizmodo: Coronavirus, Summer Heat, and Poverty Could Create a 'Triple Whammy'GTM: Can Free Smart Thermostats Get Homeowners to Enroll in Summertime Demand Response?GTM: Residential Demand Response to Play Key Role Managing US Load This SummerThe Energy Gang is brought to you by Sungrow, the leading global supplier of inverter solutions for renewables. During these uncertain times, Sungrow is committed to protecting its employees and continuing to reliably serve its customers around the world. Sungrow has also leveraged its extensive network across the United States to distribute face masks to communities in need.

    The Energy Gang is also brought to you by KORE Power. Based in the U.S., KORE Power is situated to meet the growing global demand of the energy storage market. KORE Power is building the first large-scale battery cell manufacturing facility in the U.S. owned by an American company. Once it’s operational, the 1 million square foot facility will have 10 gigawatt-hours of scalable manufacturing capacity. Learn more.

    • 55 min
    Watt It Takes: Building Distributed, 'Restorative' Hydropower

    Watt It Takes: Building Distributed, 'Restorative' Hydropower

    Gia Schneider and her brother Abe started Natel Energy based on a hydropower turbine their father designed. And after more than a decade of R&D, pilots, software development and a project for Apple, Natel is preparing for the next level of scale.

    “Our objectives have actually not wavered. But they haven’t wavered because of rigid adherence to dogma, they have not wavered because we check in consistently about ‘is this the right problem to solve?’” says Schneider. 

    Natel is commercializing a turbine for low-head hydro applications at old dams, irrigation canals and run-of-river projects. It’s designed to protect wildlife and drastically cut the ecological impact of hydropower. The original design came from Gia’s father, who started working on low-flow turbines back in the 1970s -- but it’s come a long way since then.

    Gia also has a long history in energy. She worked at Constellation Energy and in Accenture’s utility practice. She started the energy and carbon trading desks at Credit Suisse. And in 2009, she launched Natel with her brother Abe.

    In March, Natel closed an $11 million round led by Schneider Electric and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, just before the economy shut down.

    In this episode, Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch talks with Gia about starting a company with her family, how to balance short-term tech development with long-term deployment goals, and how coronavirus could impact the next phase of growth.

    This series is normally recorded in front of a live audience. But we’re now recording the interviews remotely. See future events here

    We’re hosting a live episode of The Energy Gang on June 9. Sign up for free here.

    The Energy Gang is brought to you by Sungrow, the leading global supplier of inverter solutions for renewables. During these uncertain times, Sungrow is committed to protecting its employees and continuing to reliably serve its customers around the world. Sungrow has also leveraged its extensive network across the United States to distribute face masks to communities in need.

    • 52 min
    The Battery Boom Continues

    The Battery Boom Continues

    This week, we cover some hopeful signs amidst the economic destruction. 

    First, we’ll look at the record-breaking activity in battery storage.

    A coal plant in North Dakota will be replaced in part with a one-acre battery array from Form Energy that uses a new technology capable of discharging for 150 hours – that’s more than 30 times longer than lithium batteries. 

    Hawaii’s electric utility just awarded contracts for 16 projects that add up to more than 3 gigawatt-hours of storage, in order to replace an oil-fired and a coal-fired power plant. 

    And in California, Southern California Edison signed contracts for 770 megawatts of batteries, many paired with solar projects, to replace gas plants. That’s 200 megawatts more than the entire battery capacity installed in 2019.

    Plus, in China, more hybrid wind/solar and battery plants are starting to emerge. 

    This led Dan Finn-Foley, Wood Mackenzie’s head of energy storage, to declare: “The utility energy storage market is blowing through milestones faster than we can report them.”

    Then, renewables are surging and coal is declining. A new IEA report says that renewable generation will increase in 2020 -- pushing higher-cost fossil resources out of the market. "In all regions that implemented lockdown measures," the IEA report said, "the electricity supply underwent a notable shift towards low-carbon energy sources." We’ll look at why.

    Finally: presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden just unveiled a new climate task force. From the Sunrise Movement to a former EPA chief, we’ll talk about who’s on it, and look at their roles. What will this task force accomplish in terms of agenda-setting and setting the political tone?

    Recommended reading:GTM: ‘Blowing Through Milestones’: Hawaiian Electric Picks Winners in Solar-Storage BonanzaGTM: Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 HoursBloomberg: China’s Great Energy Shift Sets Mega Hybrid Plants in MotionInside Climate News: With Planned Closing of North Dakota Coal Plant, Energy Transition Comes Home to Rural AmericaE&ENews: How Lockdowns Boost Renewables and Harm CoalGTM: WoodMac: Global Solar Market Set to Resume Growth in 2021 as Coronavirus Impact FadesCarbon Brief: Will China Build Hundreds of New Coal Power Plants in the 2020s?Inside Climate News: Biden Names Ocasio-Cortez, Kerry to Lead His Climate Task Force, Bridging Democrats’ DivideThe Verge: How the Left is Trying to Fix BidenThe Energy Gang is brought to you by Sungrow, the leading global supplier of inverter solutions for renewables. During these uncertain times, Sungrow is committed to protecting its employees and continuing to reliably serve its customers around the world. Sungrow has also leveraged its extensive network across the United States to distribute face masks to communities in need.

    • 50 min
    Layoffs Surge in Clean Energy

    Layoffs Surge in Clean Energy

    This week, we look at sky-high layoffs in clean energy. How do we get people back to work? 

    The first major analysis of unemployment in the clean energy sector has been released for April. According to E2 and BW Research, nearly 600,000 jobs were lost in energy efficiency, manufacturing, electric vehicles and clean power and fuels. 

    We’ve seen a 17 percent drop in the green workforce since the start of the year. Those losses amount to double the employment growth in clean energy for the last three years. 

    It’s likely to get worse before it gets better. How much should we worry? And what sectors will come back the fastest?

    Then, what do 200 of the world’s top economic advisers think about the most effective low-carbon solutions for economic recovery?

    And finally, we’ll revisit wildfires. Why can’t California utilities, especially northern giant PG&E, get it right when it comes to fire prevention? 

    Recommended reading:E2: Clean energy Unemployment Claims April 2020NASEO & EFI: 2020 Energy & Employment ReportThe New Republic: There are Green Jobs Hiding in the OilfieldsOxford Report with Stern and Stiglitz: Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?Axios: Clean energy and climate change unlikely to lead American recoveryPG&E: Q1 Earnings ReportCPUC: Draft Report CA Current: Wildfire Plans Riddled with DeficienciesJudge Alsup: Order Modifying Conditions of PG&E ProbationGTM: Why California Residents Could See Even More Blackouts This YearL.A.Times: California Faces Perilous Fire Season as Coronavirus Threatens FirefightersThe Energy Gang is brought to you by Sungrow, the leading global supplier of inverter solutions for renewables. During these uncertain times, Sungrow is committed to protecting its employees and continuing to reliably serve its customers around the world. Sungrow has also leveraged its extensive network across the United States to distribute face masks to communities in need.

    • 55 min
    Trump’s Deregulation Push + Michael Moore’s Bad-Faith Movie

    Trump’s Deregulation Push + Michael Moore’s Bad-Faith Movie

    This week: while the country is distracted by infection rates, deaths and protests, what else have we been missing?

    We peek out from behind the quarantine curtain to see what the Trump administration has been up to on the energy front. 

    The Trump administration has declared a national emergency over cyber threats to the power grid. Equipment vendors “where a foreign adversary has an interest” will be banned. Most transformers are built in China. Will this create uncertainty or slow grid work?

    The executive branch has been busy with environmental rollbacks. The Trump administration wants to loosen as much environmental regulation as possible in the six months before the election. We look at the list.

    Then, we answer your questions. We sourced nearly 200 questions from our recent live show. And we’re going to tackle some of them.

    They include: Michael Moore’s bad-faith trashing of clean energy and the environmental movement; one group’s attempt to kill solar net metering nationwide; and how the current economic mess is impacting cities and corporates.

    The Energy Gang is brought to you by Sungrow, the leading global supplier of inverter solutions for renewables. During these uncertain times, Sungrow is committed to protecting its employees and continuing to reliably serve its customers around the world. Sungrow has also leveraged its extensive network across the United States to distribute face masks to communities in need.

    • 1 hr
    Watt It Takes: From Self-Replicating Machines to Decarbonization

    Watt It Takes: From Self-Replicating Machines to Decarbonization

    This week on Watt It Takes: Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with Saul Griffith, the founder and chief scientist at Other Lab.

    Saul Griffith has a PhD in materials science and information theory. He’s co-founded over a dozen companies. And now he’s determined to prove that we already have what it takes to decarbonize the economy.

    “The reality is I think it's still possible to completely decarbonize by 2030 and save everyone money. And we just got to start thinking about it correctly,” says Saul.

    Other Lab is an R&D incubator and accelerator that helps pair startups in robotics and renewable energy with government labs and corporate investors. It has partnered with NASA, the Navy, the Department of Energy, Google, Facebook, GE and Ford to help build and fund projects in energy, automation, and robotics “in service of 100% decarbonization.”

    Saul co-founded Makani Wind, the high-altitude wind company acquired by Google, and the tracker company Sunfolding. He brings the grit of an entrepreneur, the rigor of a scientist, the dirty mouth of a sailor to his passionate work on climate change.

    A word of warning: there is some swearing in this interview. It might not be appropriate for some young ears.

    In this episode, Emily talks with Saul about the many companies he’s helped build, and how he’s taken on a new mission to convince people that we have most of what we need — right now — to decarbonize large swaths of the economy.

    This conversation was recorded at the Powerhouse headquarters in Oakland, California, before the pandemic. Our next episode will be recorded remotely for an online audience. You find more details here. 

    Subscribe to GTM’s newsletter to learn more about the companies we profile on this series.

    This podcast is brought to you by CPower. CPower is offering a market-by-market analysis of the issues, trends, and regulations that organizations should understand in 2020 to make better decisions about energy. Get your copy today of the “2020 State of Demand-Side Energy Management in North America” here.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
900 Ratings

900 Ratings

AmyZ1904 ,

Great

Great podcast on energy. Presenters are knowledgable and fun to listen to.

A. Fal ,

Entertaining and informative conversations

A great podcast for anyone interested in learning more about the current state of clean tech and renewables. Quality conversations that are both well-informed and easy to follow. Somewhat like hanging with three smart (but energy-obsessed) good friends!

Sunny Times ,

Greentech is great!!

This is one of my favorite podcasts!! Thanks so much for all the great insights into green energy. It is also just fun to listen to your conversations.

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