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Renewable Energy SmartPod

Author: Sean McMahon

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The Renewable Energy SmartPod offers an inside look at the people, technologies and trends that are powering the energy transition. If you want to hear more about the role renewables are playing to decarbonize the global economy and combat climate change, this is the podcast for you. Follow us on Twitter @RenewablesPod or sign up for our newsletter: Renewable Energy SmartBrief.
16 Episodes
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Few people know more about the policies that shape the US grid than Rob Gramlich, the founder and president of Grid Strategies. With more and more renewables coming online (and interconnection queues getting longer and longer), Rob joins the show to talk about all the challenges the US grid is facing and what can be done to overcome them. Rob also delves into the details of what is in the infrastructure bills currently circulating around Capitol Hill. What are the 'must-haves' that need to be in the legislation? And what are some things the bills should include, but don't.I also throw a couple dinner party questions at Rob. As in, what information about the grid does he share when he is at a dinner party full of grid newbies? And what do grid gurus talk about when they all gather around the dinner table?PodBrief:The Conversation - Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn’t a climate solution - Benjamin Attia and Morgan BazilianWorld Economic Forum - Namibia is poised to become the renewable energy hub of Africa - President Hage Geingob of NamibiaMore resources:Sign up today to receive the Renewable Energy SmartBrief.Emerson - Consider It Solved
Bob Yeager, President of Emerson’s Power and Water Solutions, joins the show to outline the three Ds that will play a huge role in future of the energy industry: Decarbonization, Decentralization and Digitalization (3:41).Bob delves into how FERC Order No. 2222 stands to reshape the power sector (12:18), how improved analytics might have reduced the severity of the Texas energy crisis (19:30) and how the process for purchasing energy might one day come to resemble ordering an Uber -- on your phone and whenever you need it. PODBRIEFRead more about Bob Yeager's Uber-istic vision for the future of power.Nick Ferris from Energy Monitor on the reliability of fossil fuel energy sources, or lack thereof.Email me your COP26 Insights - sean.mcmahon@futurenet.comSign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBriefEmerson - Consider It Solved
Michael Rucker, founder and CEO of Scout Clean Energy, joins the show to talk about the latest news and trends in renewables. Among the many topics we discuss:A massive backlog of interconnection requests in the USHow to communicate clearly in the face of NIMBY sentiments to get projects developedThe potential for a federal Clean Energy StandardCarbon tax versus tax creditsLessons learned from operating during a pandemic Michael's experience in the industry spans a couple decades, so we also talk about what has changed during that time ... what has remained the same ... and how he sees things taking shape in the future.PODBRIEF: A look at recently released reports that paint a clear picture of how much work the US needs to do to fulfill the potential of a successful energy transition. US Department of Energy: "Solar Futures Study"Lium: "Biden’s Solar 40% By 2035 Already Falling Short"GWEC: "Global Offshore Wind Report"Mitsubishi Heavy Industries MHI - Move The World Forward.
Janice Lin, the founder and president of the Green Hydrogen Coalition, joins the show to discuss how green hydrogen is poised to play a larger role in everyday energy generation and consumption. From US efforts like HyDeal LA (22:28) and the Western Green Hydrogen Initiative (24:12) to international endeavors like the European Hydrogen Backbone (14:50), Janice outlines how quickly the green hydrogen economy is accelerating.Janice also highlights how green hydrogen as an energy storage solution could reduce blackouts and she also poses a fantastic question (1949): We have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve ... why not a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve?PODBRIEF: (33:26) What would happen if a Category 5 hurricane slammed into an offshore wind farm? Plus, a funny study about a wind farm to protect New Orleans from hurricanes. MORE RESOURCESGreen Hydrogen GuidebookDoE: Wind turbines in hurricanesStanford - Univ. of Delaware: Wind farms as a buffer for hurricanes Sign up today for our daily newsletter, the Renewable Energy SmartBriefMitsubishi Heavy Industries MHI - Move The World Forward.
Green hydrogen's potential to transform energy markets is immense. With the growth of renewables inspiring greater interest in use cases for green hydrogen, Michael Ducker from Mitsubishi Power joins the podcast to outline the state of the green hydrogen market and how it is poised to grow. Ducker explains how green hydrogen differs from other "colors" of hydrogen and also details how the long duration energy storage capabilities of projects like Mitsubishi's Advanced Clean Energy Storage site in Utah can play a key role in alleviating seasonal energy shortages in the western United States. More resources:Green hydrogen and the transportation sectorMitsubishi Heavy Industries MHI - Move The World Forward.
SolarAPP+ Takes Off

SolarAPP+ Takes Off

2021-08-0330:35

Across the U.S., there are 23,000 separate jurisdictions and 3,000 utilities involved in the permitting process for residential rooftop solar installations. Completing the permitting process can take weeks -- or even months. SolarAPP+ is a new tool that can be put to use across the country to reduce that wait time to just minutes. The app is a game-changer. Homeowners receive faster installations and installers enjoy greater certainty about scheduling their projects. Plus, all those government agencies involved in the permitting process can use the tool for free. Arthur Coulston from the SolarAPP Foundation and RMI joins the show to explain how the Energy Department, particularly the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, collaborated with various solar industry stakeholders to make SolarAPP+ a reality. Coulston also details how some of the lessons learned via the launch of SolarAPP+ can be applied to other renewables endeavors, like the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging station networks. View the latest edition of Renewable Energy SmartBriefSign up for Renewable Energy SmartBriefInfor Designed for Progress
The upfront costs associated with residential renewables and energy efficient technologies often act as a roadblock to deployment in millions of US homes. Greg Hopkins, a Manager within RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings Program, joins the show to talk about how green mortgages can play help put those expensive home improvements within the reach of millions of homeowners. Just how much potential is there for green mortgages? Well, as Hopkins explains, tweaks to the housing finance system could grow the single-family green mortgage market from $170 million to potentially $2.2 TRILLION. Oh yeah ... and along the way green mortgages could save homeowners $12 billion, enhance the comfort and resiliency of 8.7 million homes and generate 650,000 jobs. Resources - RMI report: "Build Back Better Homes - How to Unlock America’s Single-Family Green Mortgage Market."Infor Designed for Progress
Despite the pandemic, the amount of renewable energy deals announced by large-scale buyers set a record in 2020. Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), join the show to talk about how corporations are reshaping the large-scale energy procurement market. Ballentine talks about the new kinds of corporate buyers that are entering the market (9:02), how firms have shifted their goal from merely investing in renewable energy to decarbonizing the power system (12:20) and shares her reaction to the renewable energy proposals coming from the Biden administration (20:20). In light of the Colonial pipeline attack, Ballentine also highlights the importance of grid cybersecurity and resiliency (26:13).  Ballentine also outlines the types of energy deals that are trending in the market and reveals some of the leadership tactics she uses (49:38) to guide an organization that is full of so many big-name brands.The PodBrief in this episode focuses on how additional  efforts from REBA members like Google and Microsoft stand to change the everyday lives of consumers (52:39). More resources:Salesforce Best Practice Paper: "More Than a Megawatt" Sign up for Renewable Energy SmartBriefInfor Designed for Progress
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are a key financial tool in the renewable energy industry. Steve McComb, senior vice president at IncubEx, joins the podcast to do a deep dive on what RECs are and how they function in the marketplace across different states and regions (2:34). Steve outlines the evolution of states' renewable portfolio standards (12:06), what Texas gets right about RECs (16:32) and how RECs are traded in futures markets (18:03). We also discuss the impact proposals coming out of the Biden administration are having on the market and the role RECs are poised to play in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (20:51).  And with so many companies looking to green their operations and portfolios, Steve explains how big banks are expanding their footprint in the REC space (29:35).Learn more about IncubExInfor Designed for Progress
With billions of dollars flowing into ESG investment products, changes are afoot for ESG disclosure best practices and reporting regulations.  Maggie Peloso, partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, shares her insights on numerous reporting challenges companies large and small are trying to tackle, including data management (10:20) and determining materiality (16:01). Maggie also outlines how companies can prepare to meet the evolving expectations of investors and changing demands of regulators (25:38).We also have a bit of fun as Maggie, a proud Duke grad, shares stories from her days among the Cameron Crazies and names her 5 favorite Blue Devil players (43:30).In this episode's PodBrief (49:30), the topic turns to a key piece of information that is missing from all the news about the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets being touted by various countries -- including the US and the Biden administration.More insights from Vinson & ElkinsExecutive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk: One Small Step for Climate, One Giant Leap for Federal Climate PolicyU.S. Climate Change Disclosure Regulation is Inevitable, Here’s What To Do About It NowMaggie Peloso's bookAdapting to Rising Sea Levels: Legal Challenges and OpportunitiesEDF Renewables is a market leading independent power producer and service provider with over 35 years of expertise in developing wind, solar, storage and electric vehicle charging systems. EDF Renewables - Energy your way.EDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
There's a debate that’s percolating in the residential solar power market that, if it’s not resolved carefully, could end up hammering the renewables industry and the wallets of rooftop solar customers. The debate is about net energy metering. For those of you who don’t know what net energy metering is … don’t worry… Joseph Triepke from Lium Research joins us to explain what net energy metering is (3:38) and why you should care about it … even if you think the rooftop solar market has nothing to do with you (11:41). This debate has created strange bedfellows (20:40) as it features competing factors surrounding the economics of residential solar, equity in energy (22:20) and the jobs, jobs, jobs that are supposed to keep powering the energy transition (20:06). The "Renewable energy project or NOT a renewable energy project" quiz returns (34:40) and we also debut a new segment of the show called "The PodBrief" (37:05)Background info on Net Energy MeteringResearch note from Lium Research - March 23, 2021News analysis from Canary Media - April 12, 2021Resource page from California Public Utilities CommissionEDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
The Leaders Summit on Climate that was organized by the Biden administration just wrapped up a few hours ago. And since that virtual gathering was convened to tackle the climate emergency, we thought we’d respond by convening an emergency podcast! This episode features a conversation with Justin Gerdes, senior correspondent for Energy Monitor, breaking down the key takeaways from the summit. We talk about all the emissions reduction targets (6:01), decarbonizing the transportation sector (8:30) and some of the memorable appearances at the summit, including Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (13:14), Lonnie Stephenson from IBEW (11:55) and Xiye Bastida of Fridays for Future (19:36). We also tackle complaints arising about the temporary nature of energy transition jobs (13:44).  And yes, we even discuss the prospect of President Joe Biden driving an electric bus from Proterra (11:57) and (21:05).EDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
The social justice movement that gathered momentum in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder forced many industries, including renewables, to take a long, hard look at their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.  This episode features Kenneth Labeja, the co-founder and CFO of Triple Oak Power, and Dareem David, director of finance at Primergy Solar, discussing the progress the industry has made on DEI initiatives (4:46 and 16:25) and difficult circumstances they've experienced as Black men in renewables (8:30). They also look at ways the renewables industry can flex its financial clout to drive change (19:29) and diversify its ranks of younger talent and experienced professionals (22:26). EDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
Tristan Grimbert, the President and CEO of EDF Renewables North America, joins us to talk about all the big proposals coming out of the Biden administration (4:07), distributed energy trends (9:02), the power outage in Texas (11:12) and some of the policy changes taking place in Mexico (18:29). We also discuss transmission challenges (14:51) and issues related to China that the US solar industry supply chain is facing (17:00). Of course, we also had a bit of fun. Tristan is a proud Frenchman, so he also gives us his take on the sometimes heated rivalry between French wine and California wine (28:05) and he even offers up a surprise tip on where you can buy quality French wine for a great price right here in the US.Sign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBrief newsletter.EDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
Richard Glick, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, joins us for our launch episode. After discussing the chairman's undying love for the New York Mets and initiatives that are at the top of FERC’s agenda, our conversation inevitably turned to the continuing fallout from the Texas power crisis. We also delved into how enhanced transmission lines and grid resiliency will help power a more renewable energy future.EDF Renewables Energy innovation for the next generation
This preview is a quick look at the upcoming Renewable Energy SmartPod. If you're looking for a fun and informative podcast that focuses specifically on the people, technologies and trends powering the energy transition … this is it. 
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