201 episodes

The energy system is changing fast. Come explore the future with journalist Stephen Lacey and venture capitalist Shayle Kann. Each week, they'll take you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening.

The Interchange Greentech Media

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 447 Ratings

The energy system is changing fast. Come explore the future with journalist Stephen Lacey and venture capitalist Shayle Kann. Each week, they'll take you on a tour of the global energy transformation, providing provide insight into technology trends, markets, and companies -- making for wonky and entertaining listening.

    How Biden's Clean Electricity Standard Might Work

    How Biden's Clean Electricity Standard Might Work

    This week, we’ll take a peek at the news. Last week, president Biden unveiled his administration's plan for a $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan which the democrats hope to pass through reconciliation. While the details are still sparse, we do know that one of the linchpins of the Biden administration's climate strategy -- a national clean electricity standard (CES) -- is included in the plan.

    It's a big deal. If you care about the power sector, a national CES might be the most impactful piece of legislation affecting it in decades. If you care about decarbonization, almost every pathway drives directly through a decarbonized power sector combined with large-scale electrification of other sectors such as transportation, industry and heating.

    But the details are still being worked out, and there’s a labyrinth of parliamentary rules that a CES would have to navigate to make it through the US Senate’s budget reconciliation process. 

    To shine a light on the process and what a CES could look like, Shayle turns to Jesse Jenkins, an energy modeling expert at Princeton who is helping to design the policy in the bill. 

    Shayle and Jesse talk about the differences between a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and a CES, crafting a CES through the budget instead of regulation, the role that technology-neutral tax credits could play in the bill, the funds and penalties utilities might face, and how to get the incentives right for the energy transition given the limitations of reconciliation. Helpful links:E&E News: Payments or fines: How Dems’ CES would affect utilitiesJesse’s Twitter thread on designing a CES for the budget, rather than regulationEvergreen Action’s explainer on a CES: Everything You Need to Know About a Clean Electricity Standard 

    The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. 

    The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 43 min
    The Price is Right: Deep Decarbonization Edition

    The Price is Right: Deep Decarbonization Edition

    In this episode, we’re measuring the energy transition -- using “Price is Right” rules. 

    Our former co-host Stephen Lacey is back on the show to face off against our current host, Shayle Kann. Producer Daniel Woldorff steps in as arbiter. 

    We’ll guess stats and trivia about climate tech, and discuss what those figures mean for the energy transition. They cover the MSRPs of popular EVs, the cheapest PPA in the world, carbon prices, carbon capture investments, industrial materials and more.

    Who won?* Have a listen to find out!

    *Note: Our producer Daniel miscounted the score. It didn’t affect who won, but he’s going back to math classes to relearn how to count.

    The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. 

    The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 31 min
    Where Are Elon's Solar Roofs?

    Where Are Elon's Solar Roofs?

    Elon Musk’s magic is making huge promises to transform a tech sector -- and then, after a series of setbacks, ultimately deliver. 

    But the Solar Roof never delivered on its promise of chic, affordable solar-power generating roof shingles, as Dana Hall’s recent article in Bloomberg lays out.

    Today, there are some solar roofs on homes. The Gigafactory that was meant to churn them out in Buffalo, New York is humming along, but not nearly at the 1,000 Solar Roofs per week that Tesla was originally aiming for. In the meantime, the company has raised prices on customers, fired a number of executives, and faced a shareholder lawsuit in which the Solar Roof played a central role. 

    So how did Tesla get here?

    We’re re-running one of our favorite episodes, a conversation with Austin Carr of Bloomberg  about Tesla’s solar woes. It’s from back in June 2019.

    We’ll look at the history of SolarCity/Tesla’s manufacturing plans, the derailed plans for the solar roof, and how current manufacturing activity compares with Tesla’s promises to New York.

    Read Austin’s reporting on Tesla’s solar business:Bloomberg: Did Elon Musk Forget About Buffalo?Fast Company: The Real Story Behind Tesla’s Acquisition of SolarCity


    The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. 

    The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 56 min
    The New ‘Valleys of Death’ in Climate Investing

    The New ‘Valleys of Death’ in Climate Investing

    There were about eight years when climate tech was wandering in the wilderness, so to speak. It started after the Solyndra bankruptcy in 2011 and ended about two years ago, when the market began heating up again.

    During that time, people in this space examined the valleys of death. What are the stages in a climate tech company’s life cycle that might be painful -- or even fatal -- to go through? And what resources can a company draw upon to cross these valleys?

    To tackle those questions, Shayle spoke to Amy Duffuor, a principal at PRIME Impact Fund, which is set up specifically to help startups cross that chasm (Shayle is on PRIME's investor advisory council).

    Amy and Shayle name the four major valleys, drawing on Hara Wang and Cyril Yee’s RMI article, “Climate Tech’s Four Valleys of Death and Why We Must Build a Bridge.” Then, they compare the climate tech world of today to 2014, a low point in the space when the Prime Coalition was started, examining some of the biggest changes:The influx of generalist investorsThe maturing ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and funds that provide support at multiple stages in a startup’s path to growthThe explosion of corporate commitments, reflecting the growing demand for climate action from consumers, investors and the general publicThe growing options for exit, such as SPACs and M&As, that are making it easier for entrepreneurs to raise more money, fasterFinally, they look toward 2025 and ask: How might the valleys of death shift in the future?

    The Interchange is brought to you by Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Are you building a renewable plant? Looking for a battery energy storage system? Thinking about how to integrate renewables to your grid? Hitachi ABB Power Grids is your choice. 

    The Interchange is brought to you by LONGi Solar, the world’s leading solar technology company. A global market leader, LONGi has unmatched bankability, quality and performance validated by third-party laboratories, and has breakthrough innovation at both the wafer and module level.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 42 min
    Where Are the Gaps in Climate Tech?

    Where Are the Gaps in Climate Tech?

    We spend most of our time on this show talking about what's happening in climate tech. What technologies, business models, and markets are being developed? By whom? And how much impact will they ultimately have on decarbonization?

    But there's an equally interesting topic. What isn't happening? In other words, where is the white space? What areas, technologies, or markets need more attention? 

    The mandate of a new non-profit called Actuate is to identify and fill gaps across multiple areas, including climate. They focus on R&D, using a model similar to the US federal government’s DARPA or ARPA-e programs. 

    Today, Shayle talks to Actuate’s Director of Climate Lara Pierpoint. Prior to actuate she led the Technology Strategy team at Exelon. She's also worked at the US Department of Energy and has a PhD from MIT in engineering systems.

    Shayle and Lara talk about:Demand response, an example of one type of gap where we have the technology but don’t know how to use it yet.Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), a type of nuclear technology used to power spacecraft -- that could also be used planetside as low-density, always on-batteries.The exorbitant costs of laying of wires, a potential cost saver for nuclear plants and other power projects.High-temperature superconductors (HTS) that could act like high-capacity transmission built at distribution scale. For example: VEIR.Sensors and the surprisingly high error bars of many country-level emissions measurementsStorage and competing against transmission, demand response and overbuilding renewables to solve renewable intermittency Oh, and cows. They talk about burp-catching masks and improving the profitability of forests.The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets at sgsderms.com/interchange.

    The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. 

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 43 min
    How A.I. Will Revolutionize Climate Tech

    How A.I. Will Revolutionize Climate Tech

    The array of AI applications within climate tech is staggering -- and rapidly expanding. 

    There are lots of exciting point solutions, but there’s no clear example of AI directly and meaningfully reducing GHG emissions on a global scale. Yet.

    Last year we had Priya Donti on the show. She’s a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon and co-chair of the Climate Change AI organization. This week, she came back with her Climate Change AI co-chair Lynn Kaack, a postdoc researcher at ETH-Zurich. 

    Priya and Lynn were co-authors on a blockbuster paper on the topic back in June 2019, called “Tackling climate change with machine learning.”

    They came back on the show to talk about what has changed since that episode -- both the progress and the bottlenecks in applying AI to climate change. 

    They detail the strengths and weaknesses of AI in climate technology using a few case studies: Optimizing power and heating/cooling systemsInsight into large bodies of data, such as analyzing the physical and transition risk to a company’s assetsAccelerating technology innovationThey also discuss the organizational approaches to AI: Do you go vertical or horizontal? That is, do you hire AI practitioners to work within an organization with deep domain experience, such as a utility, or is it more effective to leave those challenges to an organization of AI generalists who work across many fields?

    Lynn points out there’s a third way: spinning up an AI group within an organization.

    The Interchange is brought to you by Smarter Grid Solutions, a leading enterprise energy management software company. Find out how Smarter Grid Solutions’ software can give you real control over your clean energy assets at sgsderms.com/interchange.

    The Interchange is brought to you by Enel X, a leader in energy storage, DER management software, and smart electric vehicle charging stations to increase project value. Learn what Enel X can do for your business. 

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
447 Ratings

447 Ratings

bringintheheat41 ,

Amazing!

Love this podcast! It’s super informative for beginners and experts alike plus the hosts have excellent chemistry. My go to for anyone who’s looking to learn more about climate tech

nimbus2000guy ,

Good balance of accessible and wonky

Good balance of accessible and wonky

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

Stephen and Shayle, host of The Interchang‪e‬ podcast, highlight all aspects of technology trends, markets, and companies and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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