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The Joint Venture: an infrastructure and renewables podcast
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The Joint Venture: an infrastructure and renewables podcast

Author: inspiratia

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The Joint Venture Podcast will investigate the most exciting deals and financial innovation, as well as broader market trends such as digital disruption, ESG and life in the post-pandemic world.We will keep our ear to the ground, going behind the headlines on the major news, bringing you commentary on a variety of current situations. We will also be catching up with leading market players to take a deep dive into a featured story each week.
16 Episodes
Here's another bonus podcast from our inspiratiaLive series, brought to you by hosts Marco Dell'Aquila, and Joint Venture veterans Maritina Kanellakopoulou and Jon McNair. In this episode, the trio review the latest deal flow figures from the global infrastructure sector covering a year hit by Covid, with some perhaps surprising results. Later, the conversation moves to a recent huge fibre procurement in the UK and wonder whether this is the new face of PPPs in the country. This then spreads out into a broader discussion on the role of governments in infrastructure and how they can work with the private sector to get things build (and, crucially, paid for).*** inspiratiaLive is a new weekly live broadcast, live every Wednesday at 10am BST,  allowing you to hear our views on some of the latest and hottest topics, and emerging if you wish to attend the next live episode on 5th May, where we will be taking a deep dive into offshore wind, amongst other topics.***Normal service will be resumed next week for the Joint Venture with an in-depth interview with Charles River Associates on electric vehicle infrastructure.
inspiratiaLive is a new weekly live broadcast, live every Wednesday at 10am BST.inspiratiaLive will allow you to hear our views on some of the latest and hottest topics, and emerging trends.During these live weekly broadcasts, you are invited to ask questions, make observations and join the conversation with our aim being to encourage a free flow of ideas.Here's a recording of episode 1, which includes an in-depth discussion on the UK government's workplace pension scheme - Nest - latest moves into direct infrastructure investment. Hosts Marco Dell'Aquila, Maritina Kanellakopoulou, and Jon McNair also review the deal flow figures for the first part of 2021, and have a discussion on how best to mobilise capital for infrastructure and match it with deals in the market. Take a listen, and register your interest in (virtually) attending the next broadcast on 28 April here.Meanwhile, The Joint Venture will return with a clutch of exciting and diverse episodes over coming weeks, so will be seeing you again very soon.
Joining us this week for a wide-ranging discussion about some of the threats facing utilities is Sharper Shape CEO Chris Beaufait, with his company offering ways to introduce intelligent monitoring of networks to cope with increasing environmental threats. Smarter asset management is fast becoming a key tool for the utilities, but with such a splintered and diverse sector in places like the US, the landscape is still patchy, as we heard from Chris. Meanwhile, the news from this week focussed on the UK Budget and the launch of a National Infrastructure Bank, as well as the enticing prospect of an emerging Greek offshore wind sector. We hope you enjoy.
Today's episode features a great chat we recently had with Jason Rowell and Randal Kaufman, an Associate VP, Global Technology Portfolio Manager, and Sales Director at Black & Veatch, respectively.Black & Veatch is an engineering firm with a more than 100-year history, with much of that time also spent working with hydrogen which, as Jason and Randal were keen to point out, is not a new phenomenon whatsoever. We discussed the critical issue of safety and the risk mitigation approaches the company takes, the role of hydrogen in the wider decarbonisation agenda, as well as the company’s view on the roadmap to hydrogen viability over the next decade. We also talked about some exciting case studies around natural gas and green hydrogen synergies, and transport applications. The energy was great, we learned a lot, and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on the hydrogen debate.For details on how to register for inspiratia's Hydrogen Decade Virtual Summit - mentioned in the episode - click here:!
We return for a new year of episodes covering the worlds of infrastructure and clean energy and first up is a fascinating discussion with hydrogen-powered flight pioneer ZeroAvia, as well as one of the company's backers in the form of SystemiQ.We spoke to ZeroAvia's CFO Katya Akulinicheva and SystemiQ's Irena Spazzapan about the promise of zero emission aviation, investor appetite for this kind of proposition, government support, and the wider climate agenda as we move towards COP26 in the UK this year. And we also touched upon many other topics in a wide-ranging discussion that we here at the Joint Venture really enjoyed. As ever, Maritina and Jon also took a look at some latest news from within the infrastructure and renewables sector, including an exciting hydrogen development and a potentially hugely popular IPO.To find out more about our Digital Infrastructure Virtual Summit mentioned in the episode, go here.Email us at if you want to find out more about the hydrogen conference we are also holding on 17 February. Finally, catch us on Twitter: @thejointventur1.
This time out we are zooming in on the ever-more important world of smart grids, specifically on how the decentralised systems of days gone by are transformed into networks that can cope with more distributed renewables generation, EV charging, and batteries. This transition has the potential to create particular headaches for distribution system operators (DSOs), but the Swiss start-up depsys is trying to solve these problems by providing both hardware and software to these groups to open up the "black box" that was previously their grid networks. Through this approach, the company hopes it can help the DSOs better operate, maintain, and transition their grids to assets that can thrive in a distributed energy generation world. The company's CCO Anja Langer Jacquin joined us to tell us all about it. Also in this episode, Jon and Maritina discuss a big move in the world of offshore wind, as well as a regulatory saga within the UK utilities sector. To find out more about our Digital Infrastructure Virtual Summit mentioned in the episode, go here: to listen to Maritina's Geopolitics of Energy Podcast, episodes here.Happy listening.
In a week when the UK launched it's long-awaited infrastructure strategy, updated its plans for future Contracts-for-Difference allocation rounds, and the world's largest offshore wind farm was financed, there was much to talk in the worlds of infrastructure and renewables. And so, Jon and his latest co-host Maritina, did just that. Except we didnt mention the financing of that huge offshore wind farm - Dogger Bank - as it came just after we recorded this. Maybe next time!We were also delighted to be joined by Onsu Wegner of Gore Street Capital to discuss her company's listed dedicated energy storage fund, reflecting on recent deals, future plans, and the wider - and fast-developing - battery storage space. Access to recordings and materials from the three inspiratia events mentioned at the top of the episode can be arranged here: New Energy Infrastructure & Battery Storage, Subsidy-free Renewables, Electric Vehicles & Sustainability.And to join us at our Digital Infrastructure Virtual Summit on 27-28 January, email hope you enjoy the podcast.
As countries around the world grapple with dealing with the huge a mounts of waste they produce, and bid to create truly circular economies in this area, waste-to-energy plants have sprung up everywhere as a convenient tool to address the problem. As a bonus, they also produce renewable electricity. But traditional incineration plants have drawn bad press and opposition from local groups when they are built, with concerns over emissions from these facilities. So, advanced conversion technologies such as gasification that process the waste and are intended to produce lower emissions are touted as a crucial advance for the sector. David Palumbo, CEO of advanced gasification technology provider EQTEC, came on the podcast to give us an in-depth view on the proposals in this area and what his company are currently developing. Advanced gasification has also had a stop-start history due to technical difficulties and sometimes poor output, so there is much convincing to do for would-be investors and procurement authorities. Listen to the episode to discover David's response to these issues. Also on the show this week, inspiratia's Jon McNair and Dan Colombini - our newly appointed editor - chew over some of the latest news from the worlds of infrastructure and renewable energy. 
For the second of two special episodes of the Joint Venture in partnership with law firm Gowling WLG, our attention turns to the financing of new UK subsidy-free renewables projectsIn this episode, you will hear a recent conversation with Nath Curtis, a banking and finance partner at Gowling WLG, and Chris Williams from the bank LBBW. We focussed in on the financing perspective for UK subsidy-free renewables projects, taking in topics such as the effect of power price movements, the impact of Covid-19, what the optimal power purchase agreement looks like, and the prospect of subsidy returning to onshore wind and solar.Other issues on the agenda included the longer-term viability of either fully merchant projects, or those with at least some form of merchant exposure, as well as how the level of government intervention stacks up against the requirements to meet the binding decarbonisation targets the UK has set.
In the first of two special episodes of the Joint Venture podcast in partnership with law firm Gowling WLG, our attention turns to the development of UK subsidy-free renewables projects.  In a conversation with Gowling WLG’s Gareth Baker, and Barney Coles from renewables investor Capital Dynamics, we take stock of the current state of the market, how Covid-19 has affected ways of working, as well as how the lockdown had impacted electricity prices and the knock-on consequences for projects’ business cases. We also assessed the tantalising prospect of the return of solar and onshore wind to the UK’s contracts for difference support framework, and what that might mean for developers and investors who might have given up entirely on ever being able to access that revenue stream again after several years of having to operate without it.
In this episode we chat with Brian Ross, CEO of a specialist infrastructure and energy crowdfunding platform from California called InfraShares. Brian walked us through the benefits of his company's approach and how it could unlock a whole new investment class for individual investors who rarely get the chance to directly participate in infrastructure projects. Jon and new co-host Fernando Moncada also run through some of the latest developments in infrastructure and renewables and run the rule over the idea of state-backed infrastructure banks. Check it out!
This week the JV turns its attention towards the fundraising landscape for infrastructure, with a special interview with Gordon Bajnai, head of global infrastructure at Campbell Lutyens. Gordon, who was formerly the prime minister of Hungary and COO at Meridiam Infrastructure, relayed to us how the fundraising market had been impacted by Covid-19, how investment strategies might change over coming months and years, and the success of the EU's coronavirus recovery package, which was agreed this week. Jon and Ott also caught up on some of the latest moves within the infrastructure and renewables sectors. 
In the week when the UK government finally confirmed its ban on the use of Huawei kit in the country's 5G network, we had a timely discussion with Macquarie's Oliver Bradley who specialises in digital infrastructure investing. We also delved into some of the biggest headlines from the worlds of infrastructure and renewable energy, discussed some recent high profile portfolio sales, and pondered what the Huawei ban would mean for the infrastructure market.
Following a week when there was yet another chapter written in the infrastructure saga that has come to define at least a part of Donald Trump's administration, we talked to Jill Jamieson - a veteran US infrastructure specialist - about the recent trillion-dollar infrastructure spending proposal in the House of Representatives.We also caught up on some of the biggest headlines from the worlds of infrastructure and renewable energy and chewed over Chancellor Rishi Sunak's recent summer budget proposals in the UK. 
The Joint Venture Podcast investigates the most exciting deals and financial innovations, as well as broader market trends such as digital disruption, ESG and life in the post-pandemic world.In our second episode, Jon and Ott catch up on the week’s news and then talk to Jeremy M. Ebie, founder and CEO of Washington-based Phoenix Infrastructure Group.We chat with Jeremy about the minority-owned investor space, the impact of the Black Lives Matter protests, the much-touted US infrastructure bill, the challenges of Covid-19, and many more topics. 
Live launch event

Live launch event


The Joint Venture kicked things off with a live launch event for inspiratia subscribers on Tuesday 16th June 2020. For our launch episode, we've assembled a joint venture between inspiratia’s very own Jon McNair and Ott Tammik, who will be in the hotseat.The pair discussed their respective experiences of recent Black Lives Matter protests in London and Washington, DC, and embarked on a whistle-stop tour of some of the latest happenings in the global infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, including:• The stories that caught our eyes over the past week, highlighting some that may have passed you by• A featured analysis on the student accommodation sector• Updates from the evolving Covid-19 crisis
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