The Zenergy Podcast interviews global climate leaders with prior guests including the founders of some of the world's largest renewable energy and electric vehicle companies including founders of SoftBank Energy, Azure Power, Ola Electric, and SunEdison. These conversations share industry developments, highlight clean tech investment opportunities, and shed light on how young professionals can increase their chances of employment in this fastly growing sector. We also discuss the energy transition across key emerging markets like India, and explore partnership opportunities for US companies.
Shari Friedman: Managing Director of Climate & Sustainability at Eurasia Group
In this conversation, we will be speaking to Shari Friedman, who leads the Eurasia Group’s climate and sustainability coverage, working across regions and sectors to help clients understand evolving policies and how they will affect clients’ businesses today and in the future.
Shari has been involved with climate and sustainability issues for over 25 years. She worked for the US government during the Kyoto negotiations and moved on to roles in venture capital, consulting, and banking. Immediately prior to joining Eurasia Group, Shari worked at the IFC, where she led climate strategy and managed a team of industry specialists focused on renewable energy, green buildings, battery storage, sustainable waste, electric vehicles, low-carbon cities, and emerging green technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture storage and utilization. During this time, Shari also launched the Climate Biz Podcast, which has served as a huge inspiration for the Zenergy Podcast Series. It was a real privilege and honor to interview Ms. Shari Friedman, and I hope you enjoy our conversation!
Vivek Pathak | Global Head of Climate Business, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Vivek Pathak is IFC’s Global Head and Director of Climate Business. In this role, he facilitates business growth, provides thought leadership, new product development and facilitates all work related to climate business. He is responsible for identifying new business opportunities for climate business and facilitating the mobilization of capital into this space. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Pathak was IFC’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, leading advisory and investment operations across 18 countries, which in fiscal year 2020 reached US$4.2 billion in long-term investments, including funds mobilized from other investors. He has extensive emerging markets experience in principal investments, restructuring and risk management. Earlier in his career, Mr. Pathak was Global Head and Director for Investment and Credit Risk, responsible for global coverage of credit risk, investment risk, integrity risk, pricing and credit/equity training. Prior to that he oversaw IFC’s portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa and led business development in frontier markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Before IFC, Mr. Pathak worked at Bank of America and ABN AMRO Bank in new business and risk management. In this episode we discuss Climate Finance, ESG investing, and how an economic downturn might impact Climate Investments. Hope you enjoy my conversation with Mr. Vivek Pathak!
Will Hackman | The Climate Explainer
Will Hackman is a conservation and climate policy expert with more than a decade of experience in campaigns and global environmental issue advocacy. Will served as a political fundraiser and campaign manager on four federal races for the U.S. House and Senate as well as a gubernatorial campaign. He then joined the public sector conservation community as a marine fisheries conservation advocate. Will developed a love for the ocean over years working as a commercial Alaskan fisherman. Will has dedicated his career to advancing public policies related to ocean and land conservation as well as energy and the environment. He has attended four United Nations climate conferences and is a frequent policy expert voice on podcast interviews and articles. Will recently filmed a TEDx talk on stage in Washington, DC discussing ways we need to reframe our climate conversations. You can find him on Twitter @ClimateExplainr
Topics discussed in this episode:
1. Main causes of Climate Change and the associated impacts
2. Ted Talk: "The Earth Doesn't Care About Us: Reframing Our Climate Conversations"
3. PEW Study on American Sentiments towards Climate Change
4. Strategies and Tactics to help make Climate Change a more inclusive issue
5. Prioritizing Action at the Local and State Levels
John Belizaire | CEO of Soluna (NASDAQ: SLNH)
In this episode, we will be talking to John Belizaire, who is the CEO of Soluna, a company helping to shape the future of renewable energy development. Soluna Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLNH) is currently the leading developer of green data centers that convert excess renewable energy into global computing resources. Prior to starting Soluna and early in his career, Mr. Belizaire was the recipient of the Intel Scholarship Program and after receiving his computer science and engineering degree from Cornell University, went on become the lead architect for Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. He then subsequently founded a software start-up company, which he later sold for $150 million.
Topics discussed in this this interview:
Renewable Energy Transition & Its Biggest Challenge: Wasted Energy
Computing Is A Better Battery: Why Sustainable Computing Is Ready For Scale Now & Can Be The Best Catalyst For Making Renewable Energy A Superpower
Cryptocurrency Mining, Blockchain & Why They Are Important Technologies That Can Fuel Future Energy
The Future Of The Grid: How It Can Provide Efficient Energy That Reduces Energy Poverty & Enhance Economic Equality Globally
The Evolving Role Of The CEO And Entrepreneur
William Brent | CMO at Husk Power Systems
In this episode, we will be speaking with William Brent, who is the Chief Marketing Officer at Husk Power Systems, which is one of the world’s leading distributed utilities. In this conversation we discuss everything micro grids, including the opportunities and challenges to scale this innovative emerging technology.
Topics discussed in this episode:
1. Background on Microgrid Technology and Development Goals
2. Economics and Business Models of Microgrid Systems
3. Risk Appetite of Development Finance Community
4. Geopolitics of Energy and the Important Role of Microgrids in the Developing World
Lynn Abramson | President of Clean Energy Business Network, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Energy
In this episode, I will be speaking with Ms. Lynn Abramson, who leads the Clean Energy Business Network, which is the small business voice for the clean energy economy. CEBN elevates opportunities for small- and midsize clean energy providers through policy support, market and technology education, and business development assistance and its network spans over 6000. I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Ms. Lynn Abramson!
1. The evolution of the Clean Energy Business Network
2. Near term obstacles for the growth of the U.S. clean energy economy
3. A deep dive into several promising clean energy technologies
4. Clean Energy Investment inflows for 2021, and investment / financing trends