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Columbia Energy Exchange

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.
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Now displaying: Category: general
Apr 9, 2024

From methane monitoring to integrating more renewables into the power mix, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the energy transition. It can be used to reduce emissions from food systems, and hard-to-abate sectors, like steel and cement manufacturing. 

But the amount of energy AI will require is generating interest, uncertainty and concern. And this is in addition to the need for more electricity to help decarbonize multiple sectors.

So what are the high potential opportunities for using AI to combat climate change and what are the risks? How will AI exacerbate existing stress on the power sector? And what are some of the opportunities to lower costs and increase efficiencies?  

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with two of the authors of the “Roadmap on Artificial Intelligence for Climate Change Mitigation,” David Sandalow and Alp Kucukelbir.

David Sandalow is the inaugural fellow at the  Center on Global Energy Policy. Previously, David served at the U.S. Department of Energy and was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has served as assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment, and science, and as a senior director on the National Security Council staff. 

Alp Kucukelbir is the co-founder and chief scientist  at Fero Labs. He is an adjunct professor of computer science at Columbia University and leads the entrepreneurship efforts at Climate Change AI.

Apr 2, 2024

On March 6, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted new rules to standardize climate-related disclosures for public business and public offerings. Hoping to provide investors with consistent and comparable information, the Commission’s new rules require companies to disclose emissions and the expenses and losses associated with climate risks in annual filings and reports. 

But critics immediately balked at the rules, questioning its legality and effectiveness. 

So, how does the SEC define climate-related risks? How do their disclosure requirements compare to similar rules passed in the EU and California? And what are the critics saying? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Shiva Rajgopal about the SEC’s climate disclosure ruling and his Forbes’ column on the topic, “The SEC’s New Climate Rule Is A Reasonable Political Compromise In An Election Year”.  

Shiva is the Kester and Byrnes Professor of Accounting and Auditing at Columbia Business School. His research interests span financial reporting, earnings quality, fraud, executive compensation and corporate culture. From 2017-2019, Shiva served as the vice dean of research for Columbia Business School and has been a faculty member at Duke University, Emory University, and the University of Washington.

Mar 26, 2024

Methane leakage is one of many issues at the forefront today over how the oil and gas industry is engaging in the clean energy transition. Importantly, this industry includes not only some of the better-known energy companies, but also many national oil companies. Collectively they produce about half the world’s oil and gas.

During last year’s COP28, these companies committed to cutting methane emissions and working towards decarbonizing the industry. But the energy transition for these companies is a delicate balance, as they are responsible for generating revenue and ensuring energy security for their countries. 

So, how will global pledges to decarbonize impact the oil and gas industry? What is the role for cleaner fuels like hydrogen in meeting growing energy demand? How much progress is being made to curb methane emissions? And what is the role of national oil companies in the transition? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Mark Brownstein about the importance of reducing methane emissions and what the transition looks like for national oil companies. 

Mark is the senior vice president of energy transition at the Environmental Defense Fund. He has been with EDF for almost two decades, working to halt the rise of global oil and gas emissions and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. Before joining EDF, Mark worked for Public Service Enterprise Group, a large electric and gas utility holding company in the U.S. He has also taught energy policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

Mar 19, 2024

To limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, emissions should already be decreasing and need to be cut by almost half by 2030. Although this target is just six years away, fossil fuels experienced continued demand and revenue growth in 2023. 

At CERAWeek by S&P Global, one of the world’s largest annual energy conferences, the energy transition is at the forefront of conversations. But energy security and different pathways to net-zero goals is also the theme of the conference, and many companies are recommitting to their traditional oil and gas businesses even as they invest more in clean energy. 

How do we navigate the path to a clean energy future? What is the outlook for energy prices and markets? What impact will today’s geopolitical challenges have on the transition? And what effects will the many elections around the world have on the energy sector?

This week host Jason Bordoff is at CERAWeek talking with Javier Blas about the path to a clean energy future. 

Javier is an opinion columnist for Bloomberg covering energy and commodities. He was previously at the Financial Times, where he held various positions, including his roles as the Africa editor and the commodities editor. Javier is a coauthor of the book The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources released in 2021.

Mar 12, 2024

For more than a century, extractive industry and capitalism have dominated the developed world’s economies. Some of the biggest companies in the world produce and sell oil and gas, and those commodities have made countries and people very wealthy. But they’re also a major source of pollution and contributor to the climate crisis. In response, many of these companies have started investing in renewable energy, others have completely shifted their focus to clean solutions. 

Akshat Rathi’s new book Climate Capitalism delves into this shift and argues that saving the earth is economically more advantageous than destroying it. 

So, what is climate capitalism? How can this new approach facilitate climate innovation and economic growth? And what will it take to move away from traditional capitalism? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Akshat about his new book and how reforming the current economic system can address climate change and be profitable.

Akshat is a senior climate reporter for Bloomberg News. Prior to Bloomberg, he was a senior reporter at Quartz and a science editor at The Conversation. His new book, Climate Capitalism: Winning the Race to Zero Emissions and Solving the Crisis of our Age has been named one of the best books of the year by the The London Times and The Economic Times. 

Mar 8, 2024

Batteries are finding their way into everything – from cars to heavy equipment to the electric grid. But scaling up production to meet the demands of a net-zero economy is complicated and contentious. 

Season 4 of The Big Switch, a Columbia University podcast hosted by Dr. Melissa Lott, digs into the ways batteries are made and asks: what gets mined, traded, and consumed on the road to decarbonization?

This is part one of “The Great Battery Boom,” a five-part series on global battery supply chains. Find the rest of Season 4 of The Big Switch on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Mar 5, 2024

The success of the energy transition hinges on the availability of affordable capital to fund clean energy projects. The rise of green industrial policy in wealthy economies has mobilized public capital to fund clean energy projects, and attracted private capital through subsidies and tax incentives. 

But in emerging and developing economies, there are many more barriers to deploying capital for clean energy at the scale and speed needed. The International Monetary Fund projects that of the $5 trillion in annual investments needed globally by 2030 to meet the world’s net-zero emissions goals, $2 trillion will need to be made in emerging markets and developing economies.

So, what is the role of private capital in accelerating the clean energy transition in economies around the world? And how can private sector coalitions advance the energy transition amidst anti-ESG backlash and higher cost of capital? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Nigel Topping about the pace of technological innovation to scale the energy transition, and the role of private capital in meeting global climate commitments.

Nigel is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and a global advisor to governments, financial institutions, and private companies on climate and industrial strategy. He served as the United Kingdom’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26. In this role, he mobilized the global private sector and local government to take action on climate change by launching the Race To Zero and Race To Resilience campaigns and, together with Mark Carney, launched the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. Nigel is also a non-executive director of the UK Infrastructure Bank and an honorary professor of economics at Exeter University.

Feb 27, 2024

In a new partnership with Google, the Environmental Defense Fund has developed a satellite that will orbit the Earth fifteen times a day and monitor methane emissions. The satellite, called MethaneSAT, will provide specific data on which parts of oil and gas infrastructure are the biggest methane emitters. Using artificial intelligence, MethaneSAT will overlay emissions data on oil and gas infrastructure maps to pinpoint the components that are responsible for methane leaks. 

So, what are the implications of this new methane detection technology? And can it be expanded to detect other greenhouse gasses?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with EDF’s Steve Hamburg about the capabilities of MethaneSAT, and how they differ from other satellites that detect methane.

Steve is the chief scientist and a senior vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund. He leads the organization’s work to quantify methane emissions and understand the impacts on air pollution and human health. Before joining EDF in 2008, he was an environmental science professor at University of Kansas and Brown University, where he was the founding director of the Global Environment Program. He has also served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was acknowledged as one of the contributing recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Feb 20, 2024

Brazil is in a strategic position when it comes to energy and climate issues. It holds the presidency of the G20 nations this year and the UN climate talks – or COP30 – in 2025.

This comes as the nation sees a significant reduction in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and new commitments to pursue low-carbon technologies, such as hydrogen, and establish a regulated carbon market. At the same time, Brazil, the biggest producer of oil in Latin America, is planning to ramp up its output.

So, how is the energy transition unfolding in Brazil? And how can the country balance environmental protection and energy security? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Thiago Barral about how Brazil plans to build up clean energy technologies, and how geopolitics shapes that strategy.

Thiago is the national secretary of planning and energy transition of the Ministry of Mines and Energy for Brazil. Before his role as secretary, Thiago was the president of the Energy Research Company, a Brazilian institution responsible for energy planning studies and official state energy statistics. He joined the Energy Research Company in 2007, and also served as director of energy economics and environmental studies.

Feb 13, 2024

Against the backdrop of climate change, a global debt crisis is raising concerns about the cost of the energy transition. Countries in the Global South — which are trying to balance economic development and climate adaptation — are calling for reforms to the global financial system to get more access to cheaper capital.

 

The World Bank, which provides loans and grants to emerging and developing economies, is a major financier of international development. Last year, it delivered $38.6 billion in climate finance. But because of its significant capacity, the organization is often scrutinized for how it manages and allocates funds.

So, how can the global financial system better support emerging and developing economies amid a changing climate? And how is the World Bank under a new president, Ajay Banga, working to meet these challenges? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Axel van Trotsenburg about the World Bank’s climate agenda. 

Axel is the World Bank’s senior managing director, responsible for development policies and partnerships. As such, he is the second in command at the bank. He directs the organization’s core work on sustainable development, with a focus on climate change, fragility, human capital, and sustainable debt. Axel has been with the World Bank for more than 30 years, having also held various senior positions there.

Feb 6, 2024

For more than three decades, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has prepared comprehensive scientific assessments about the drivers and risks of climate change. The assessments, released every five to seven years, also explain how mitigation and adaptation could reduce those risks. 

To confront the growing urgency of the climate crisis, governments around the world turn to the IPCC for guidance on emissions reductions strategies. That said, the organization makes clear that its research is not meant to be prescriptive. 

So, how do its findings support climate policy and action around the world? And what role does science play in shaping global climate negotiations? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with IPCC’s Jim Skea about how the organization’s research contributes to public policy. 

Jim is the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Before his election as chair in July 2023, he was the co-chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, which focuses on climate change mitigation. Jim also served as the chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission from 2018 to 2023 and was a founding member of the United Kingdom’s Committee on Climate Change.

Jan 30, 2024

Within days of taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to create the Justice40 Initiative. The policy aims to allocate 40% of the benefits of federal clean energy and climate investments to frontline communities. 

For the energy sector, it’s helping to shine a growing light on  “energy justice.” Historically, the current energy system has negatively impacted disadvantaged communities the most – communities that often lack access to affordable energy, are excluded from potential benefits of a clean energy economy, and suffer the greatest harms from climate change. The Energy Opportunity Lab at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is working to address these challenges, among many others. 

So, what progress has been made in ensuring energy justice for frontline communities? And with the energy transition continuing to accelerate in size and scale, how do we make sure disadvantaged communities aren’t left behind?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Shalanda Baker about the historical inequities of energy systems, and the Biden administration’s agenda on energy equity and climate justice.

Shalanda is the director of the Office of Energy Justice and Equity in the U.S. Department of Energy, and the secretarial advisor on equity. She also serves as chief diversity officer for the agency. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 2022, Shalanda served as the nation’s first-ever deputy director for energy justice. Before joining the Biden administration, she co-founded and co-directed the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change.

Jan 23, 2024

Around the world, new policies like the Inflation Reduction Act or the European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism aim to accelerate the pace of decarbonization. But these same policies have also fueled trade tensions and raised concerns about protectionism. 

A successful clean energy transition means much more trade in clean energy technologies and products, according to the International Energy Agency. A rules-based global trading system, governed by the World Trade Organization, underpins much of that trade. But increasingly the WTO has faced challenges and calls for reform, particularly around issues of sustainability and climate change. 

So what reforms are needed to align the global trade framework with climate goals and policies around the world? And how can the World Trade Organization support both economic progress and sustainable development? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dan Esty about how climate policy and trade policy intersect.

Dan is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University and director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. He just finished public service leave working at the World Trade Organization and is co-leading the Remaking Global Trade for a Sustainable Future Project. Dan has written numerous books on environmental responsibility and economic progress, including Green to Gold and Greening the GATT. He previously served in a number of leadership roles at the Environmental Protection Agency, and as the Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014.

Jan 16, 2024

The Department of the Interior is a key player in the energy transition in the U.S.. The federal government owns about 28% of the 2.3 billion acres of land in the country. The Department is responsible for permitting oil and gas drilling, renewable development, and mining on its vast land holdings. 

At the same time, the DOI is tasked with protecting America’s national parks and wilderness holdings for future generations. As the urgency of the climate crisis grows, the agency is at the heart of the difficult trade-offs between conservation and energy development that will define the energy transition. 

What does an environmentally and socially responsible approach to the energy transition look like? And how does the federal government weigh the impacts and benefits of energy development on public lands?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Tommy Beaudreau about the DOI’s effort to protect public lands and support the development of a domestic clean energy economy.

Tommy is the co-chair of WilmerHale’s energy, environment, and natural resources practice, and a distinguished visiting fellow at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy. He recently served as deputy secretary of the Department of Interior from 2021-2023. Tommy served in senior leadership roles in the Department for nearly a decade across two administrations, including as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2011.

Jan 9, 2024

As 2024 kicks off, energy and climate policy discussions loom large in Washington. With the added complexity of the November presidential elections in the U.S., it remains uncertain what will happen regarding the increasingly partisan issues of environmental regulation and green industrial policy.

The Biden administration plans to continue implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, but Republicans in Congress could take action to hinder further progress. And government agencies, like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, could be significantly impacted by the Supreme Court’s ruling on a case that questions agencies’ ability to enact regulations. 

So, what can we expect to happen in the nation’s capital on the energy and climate front this year? And where are the reporters who follow this beat going to focus their attention? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with journalists Jennifer Dlouhy and Justin Worland about what they’re keeping an eye on this year, and how Democrats and Republicans might approach major energy policy issues. 

Jennifer is an energy and environmental policy reporter at Bloomberg News. Before joining Bloomberg in 2015, she was the Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle where she covered energy and environmental policy with a special focus on oil and gas.

Justin is a senior correspondent at TIME, where he covers climate change and the intersection of policy, politics, and society. In 2022, he received Covering Climate Now’s inaugural Climate Journalist of the Year Award.

Jan 2, 2024

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year marked not only significant climate action but efforts to shape industrial policy. Through billions of dollars of subsidies, the IRA aimed to quicken the pace and scale of the energy transition and also bolster domestic manufacturing and the economy. While providing an infusion of capital to America’s clean energy economy, the legislation heightened trade tensions around the world, with other countries vying to capture their share of clean energy supply chains. 

How does this green industrial strategy fit within the Biden Administration’s climate and economic goals? What potential impacts could policy have on the trade risks to the energy transition? And how might the energy transition affect the economy or economic inequities in American society?

This week for our second and final holiday rerun, we’re featuring host Jason Bordoff’s interview with Heather Boushey about the Biden Administration’s climate and economic policies and the case for green spending.

Heather is a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Biden administration and chief economist to the Biden administration’s “Invest in America” cabinet. Heather works on domestic investment and implementation of infrastructure and clean energy laws. She previously co-founded the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, where she served as chief economist, president and CEO. She has also held the position of chief economist for the Center for American Progress.

Dec 26, 2023

In April of this year, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy reached its 10th anniversary. So this week, we’re bringing back the conversation between hosts Bill Loveless and Jason Bordoff about the special milestone. 

With the help of some colleagues, Jason founded CGEP in 2013 to produce unbiased, evidence-based research that examines energy issues in economics, national security, environment, and climate.

Ten years later, CGEP is busier than ever addressing the world’s energy and climate challenges through research, education, and dialogue.

Jason is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy. He previously served as a special assistant to President Obama, and senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. He has held senior policy positions on the White House’s National Economic Council and Council on Environmental Quality. Earlier in his career, Jason was a scholar at the Brookings Institution, served in the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration, and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company. 

He is also a co-founding dean emeritus of the Columbia Climate School. 

 

Dec 19, 2023

Climate change is threatening human health across the globe. Extreme weather events like wildfires and heat waves are causing immediate and long-term health risks, with sometimes deadly results. According to this year’s Lancet Countdown report, which tracks the effects of climate change on human health, the impacts are getting worse. 

To address this growing crisis, the recent UN Conference on Climate Change, or COP28, featured its first ever Health Day. Discussions there established the issue as a vital factor in climate negotiations. But the final agreement from the climate talks does not include the phasing out of fossil fuels, which is language many health experts were hoping to see included. 

So, how do researchers track the connection between climate change and human health? What are the key indicators? And what do they warn will be the consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Marina Romanello about the intersection of health and climate change. 

Marina is the executive director of the Lancet Countdown, and a climate change and health researcher at University College London. She has also carried out research in the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, and the Francis Crick Institute. From 2020-2021, Marina helped England’s National Health System develop net-zero commitments.

Dec 12, 2023

Averting the worst impacts of climate change requires rapidly reducing carbon emissions across all sectors. This is particularly challenging for some so-called “hard-to-abate” sectors like cement and steel manufacturing. Carbon management – which includes carbon transport; carbon utilization and storage; direct air capture; and point source carbon capture – seeks to trap or remove carbon emissions where they can’t be easily avoided. 

Recent policies like the Inflation Reduction Act have given these technologies a boost. But major questions remain regarding their feasibility, cost, and scalability. As the climate crisis unfolds, these questions urgently need answers.

What is the role for carbon management in the energy transition? Who should be responsible for deploying these technologies? And can they be scaled quickly enough to play a role in meeting the world’s climate goals?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Julio Friedmann about the basics of carbon management and the regulatory landscape for this sector.

Julio is the chief scientist at Carbon Direct, a consulting and investment firm focused on carbon management and carbon removal solutions. He served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy from 2013 to 2016, where he was responsible for the Department’s research and development program across a variety of energy technologies. Until recently, Julio was a senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy.

Dec 5, 2023

In 2022, the United States and the European Union consumed more than twice as much energy as Africa and Southeast Asia combined, despite having roughly a third of the population. At the same time, developing countries are experiencing the most severe impacts of climate change even though they’ve contributed the least to cumulative emissions.

Many of these regions are endowed with considerable clean energy potential as well as large deposits of oil and gas. Africa, for example, has the world’s greatest solar potential, 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, and large untapped oil and gas reserves. For the energy transition to succeed, the large and growing populations in emerging and developing economies must be able to meet their domestic energy needs affordably and sustainably and capitalize on their natural resources. 

What is the outlook for clean energy development in emerging and developing economies? What can be done to ensure that the benefits of the energy transition accrue to historically disadvantaged communities? And what is Africa’s role in the growing market for clean energy?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Zainab Usman about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Africa’s energy development. 

Zainab is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to Carnegie, she was a public sector specialist at the World Bank. She has written on energy and economic development in Africa, and was the lead author of the Carnegie Endowment’s recent report, “How Can African Countries Participate in U.S. Clean Energy Supply Chains?”

Nov 28, 2023

This week, climate leaders, scholars, and activists from around the world will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the annual United Nations conference on climate change known as COP. Many highly debated topics will take center stage at this year’s COP28, including the role of fossil fuels in meeting future global energy demands, the follow through on loss and damage commitments from last year’s meeting, and rising international trade tensions over clean energy economics.

Even the location of the meeting has sparked debate. The UAE is a major oil exporting country, and the CEO of its national oil company, Ahmed Al Jaber, is this year’s COP president. 

So, how will world leaders address some of these major topics? And what could be the outcome of this year’s meeting? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with David Sandalow and Sagatom Saha about COP28. 

David is the director of the energy and environment concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is also the inaugural fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and founded and directs the Center’s U.S.-China Program. Before joining Columbia, David served in senior positions at the White House and at the U.S. State and Energy departments.

Sagatom is a senior associate in the energy transition practice at Macro Advisory Partners as well as an adjunct research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy. He previously worked on cleantech competitiveness at the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and served as a special adviser to the Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy, John Kerry.

Nov 21, 2023

When it comes to energy and climate, Canada is a key player and a land of contrasts. It gets more than 80% of its electricity from low-carbon sources and has a hefty carbon tax. It’s also a major oil and gas producer, and has resources for the metals and minerals needed for a clean energy transition. 

As the urgency of the climate crisis grows, the Canadian government has committed to accelerate its climate goals. At the same time, the importance of oil and gas to the Canadian economy, along with the thorny politics of climate, makes reducing its reliance on fossil fuels difficult. Canada also faces challenges balancing energy production and critical mineral mining with a commitment to upholding the rights and sovereignty of First Nations communities. 

How is the Canadian government planning to meet its climate goals? What would a just energy transition look like for the country? And what are its leaders hoping to achieve at COP28?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Steven Guilbeault about recent developments in Canadian energy and climate policy, and what he is hoping to achieve at COP28. 

Guilbeault is Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and an elected member of Parliament. He previously served as Minister of Canadian Heritage. Prior to serving in Parliament, he was the senior director of Équiterre, Quebec’s largest environmental organization, which he co-founded in 1993. He has also worked as a director and campaign manager for Greenpeace, and was a strategic advisor to Cycle Capital, a Canadian clean technology fund.

Nov 14, 2023

Three months ago, deadly wildfires swept across the western shore of Maui. It was the deadliest environmental disaster in Hawaii’s history. Now the community is rebuilding, and around the state residents are preparing for more extreme weather events. 

Elemental Excelerator, a Honolulu-based non-profit investor in climate technology, relies on local knowledge to create a wide range of climate solutions. The organization pairs technology startups with local nonprofits, which have a deep understanding of community needs.

This model aims to address the unique challenges that Hawaii faces in the ever-worsening climate crisis. Elemental says these solutions can scale well beyond the islands. 

So, in the aftermath of the Maui fires, what is the community doing to rebuild? What other projects are underway across Hawaii? And how can local solutions be used at a global level?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Dawn Lippert about community-oriented technology investments.

Dawn is the founder and CEO of Elemental Excelerator. In 2009, she created a climate focused investment platform called Energy Excelerator, which merged with the Emerson Collective eight years later to form Elemental Excelerator. Dawn also chaired the advisory board for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative from 2015 to 2020. In addition to leading Elemental, Dawn is a founding partner at Earthshot Ventures, and the founder and board member of Women in Renewable Energy.

Nov 7, 2023

The practice of capturing steam bursting through the earth’s surface to generate electricity has been around for more than a century. This is the traditional concept of geothermal energy.

But thanks to research and development in both the private and public sectors, new forms of capturing subsurface heat have been developed. Fervo Energy, an advanced geothermal start-up, made headlines this year with breakthroughs in drilling techniques inspired by those of oil and gas. After a successful 30-day pilot this summer, known as Project Red, Fervo proved it can produce 24/7 carbon-free energy using enhanced geothermal systems. 

So what led to these breakthroughs? And what role can geothermal play in the energy transition? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Tim Latimer about innovation in geothermal technology and scaling opportunities in the U.S.

Tim is the co-founder and CEO of Fervo Energy. After studying geothermal energy in grad school at Stanford University, he started the company in 2017 with Jack Norbeck. Before Stanford, Tim worked as a drilling engineer for BHP Billiton in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas. He has also worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, Biota Technology, and McClure Geo-mechanics.

Oct 31, 2023

“Coal demand reached a new all-time high in 2022.” That was the headline of the International Energy Agency’s annual coal market update, released in July of this year. In fact, 2022 was the third year in a row that global coal consumption has increased. 

This growth occurs against the backdrop of an ever-worsening climate crisis driven by energy sector emissions, of which coal accounts for 40%, and it’s why the IEA’s own executive director Fatih Birol called for an end to new coal power plant construction in a recent op-ed. But despite coal’s impact on the climate, it remains a vital source of energy for much of the world, particularly in Asia. 

What is the outlook for coal in the years to come? What will it take to move away from the fuel? And what would phasing it out mean for emerging and developing economies?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Carlos Fernández Alvarez about the findings of this year’s Coal Market Update.

Carlos is a senior coal analyst at the International Energy Agency, and recently served as the acting head of the Gas, Coal, and Power Markets division. He was the lead author on this year’s Coal Market Update and has contributed to many other IEA reports, including the organization’s flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Carlos has 25 years of experience in the energy sector, serving as an energy consultant, an energy advisor for the Spanish Government, and later as the director of the Spanish Coal Agency.

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