Innovation is changing the energy sector. Advances in solar power, energy storage and oil and gas production are disrupting established industries and business models. What changes in these and other energy technologies lie ahead?
In the latest episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange, Inaugural Fellow David Sandalow sits down with Steven Chu, the 12th and longest serving U.S. Secretary of Energy, to discuss new and emerging technologies that are revolutionizing the energy sector. They discuss: Advances in solar and storage technologies; Changes in oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and other technologies; Extending the lifetime of existing nuclear plants and cutting the cost of building new ones; The role of big data and computer simulation in energy innovations.
The political debate over U.S. energy policy has grown more polarized in recent years, making consensus difficult to reach and leaving the country with an uncertain roadmap for supply and demand. Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who served as Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and gained a reputation on Capitol Hill as a centrist who worked with Republicans on energy and other national priorities, sits down with host Bill Loveless to talk about why it's time for the U.S. to take an entirely new approach to making those decisions. Landrieu weighs in on: The differences among regions of the U.S. over energy production and demand; How Democrats and Republicans managed to strike deals and enact major new energy legislation in the past; Fundamental changes in the political parties that have deepened divisions between lawmakers and made legislating more difficult; The opportunities for energy security in the U.S. as production of oil, natural gas and renewable energy increase; Her plans for a new approach to energy policymaking that she says could overcome the gridlock in Washington.
The Great White Fleet, dispatched by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 and a milestone in U.S. Navy history, is today becoming the Great Green Fleet. Admiral Dennis McGinn, the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment as well as a retired rear admiral and former commander of the Third Fleet, sits down in his Pentagon office with host Bill Loveless to discuss the Navy’s commitment to sustainable and green energy in order to cut the service’s energy costs, reduce its emissions and make its fuel supplies more secure.
In 1976, Amory Lovins wrote a 10,000-word essay in Foreign Affairs that proposed a radically different path for America's energy future. Rather than continuing to rely on nuclear and fossil fuels, Lovins suggested what he called the “soft energy path” – one of efficiency and renewable energy. It has been 40 years since Lovins, now Co-founder & Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, wrote his seminal article. CGEP Director Jason Bordoff sits down with Amory to discuss the evolution of hard and soft energy paths and the choices now facing the US and the world.