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Redefining Energy

11 個月前
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Redefining Energy
Two investment bankers bimonthly explore how tech, finance, markets and regulations are radically redefining the world of energy: Renewable Energy, Electric Cars, Hydrogen, Battery Storage, Digitisation... your co-hosts: from Berlin, Gerard Reid and from London, Laurent Segalen.
Our LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/redefining-energy/
95. Zero Carbon Europe – Blue Pill or Red Pill? - Apr 23
Can we really go to Net Zero and keep energy secure and affordable with current policies, or do we need to make hard choices that politicians might not be willing to sustain over the long term? Are the new technologies going to save us or will have to rely on dirigiste policies to dampen the energy prices spikes and secure affordable power.
What will it take to go net Zero? Are we too dependent on weather and unreliable energy sources? Two visions are clashing: it is Elon Musk’s Master Plan 3 vs Bill Gates/Vaclav Smil “We don’t have the tech” or it is just a question of generation: 51 years old vs 67 and 79 years old?
We present a very tough but necessary debate with Doug Houseman, Principal Consultant at 1898 Burns McDonnell (a US Engineering giant), and a keen observer of the Energy Transition. Doug has a plan, and he also comments on the alternative which would be Greta’s plan (That’s where we start to differ). But as Mike Tyson used to say, “Everybody has a plan until he gets punched in the face”.

Are our choices that binary? Doug advocates a nuclear renaissance, massive seawater pumped hydro systems and new transmissions. No mention of decentralized power, exponential deployment of batteries and solar, nor digital.

In a simple summary: are we complexifying a simple model or are we simplifying a complex model? Blue Pill or Red Pill?
Sat, 01 Apr 2023 02:30:01 +0000
94. Heat Pumps are Hot - mar23
3 million heat pumps were installed in Europe in 2022 (up 38% year on year) with some markets going crazy (Poland went up 120%). The movement is not limited to Europe, as US annual sales rose above 4 million units for the first time in 2022 (more than gas boilers).
As the deployment of heat pumps has reached an inflection point in 2022, we wanted to dig deep into the decarbonisation of heating. We wanted to talk about new technologies, economics and government interventions which are sometimes good (ban of new oil and gas boilers, subsidies) sometimes bad (electrons are more taxed than molecules).
This silent revolution needed a voice, and that’s our friend Jan Rosenow. Jan is the European Director of the Regulatory Assistance Project, a global energy think tank working on clean energy. He is also an Honorary Fellow at Oxford University. Jan Rosenow is a global heat pump expert and has tracked heat pump markets around the world. He works with policy makers all over Europe to craft and implement more effective policies to drive the transition.
And of course, we talk about Hydrogen (spoiler alert, not in great terms)
References https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3jIRRzF6d0


debunking myths

We thank our friends and partners Aquila Capital, for supporting the show
Wed, 15 Mar 2023 02:10:01 +0000
93. Supply chain - wind, solar, batteries: how to fix the mess? - mar23
The supply chains in renewables are a total mess. Security of Supply, Price fluctuations, Technological changes, ESG… Acquiring equipment on time and on budget is becoming a harder challenge by the day. How to fix the supply chain for renewables?

We needed to bring a real professional on the show, and that’s Özer Ergül. Özer is Group Head of Procurement with Aquila Capital. Prior to joining Aquila Capital, he was Group CPO for Lightsource BP, and started his career at Toyota and then HitachiABB. Özer is also Chair of Supply Chain Sustainably workstream with Solar Power Europe. Last year, Özer supervised a CAPEX of 4bnEUR for a 3.3GW deployment of new renewable capacity in Europe and AsiaPac.

Özer delivers the four golden rules to fix the supply chains problems. More perspiration than inspiration. Very technical but eye opening.

We thank our partner for the episode, Conquest Group, a Paris/Dublin-based alternative asset management firm investing in and operating long-life, high-quality assets in tomorrow’s critical infrastructure for the energy transition on behalf of his clients
Wed, 01 Mar 2023 03:30:01 +0000
92. Who’s winning the battery arms race? - feb23
We discovered Simon Moores, CEO of Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, on YouTube, during a legendary testimony during the US Senate in 2019. Simon just blew our mind, so it had been an ambition for this show to bring him on. And we did.
With Simon, we analyse the whole supply chain of batteries, from mining (lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite) to refining, down to the Gigafactories.
The battery industry has managed to scale x10 in the past six years and is expected to x8-x10 (depending on who you listen to) in the current decade. That would allow the electrification of the whole transportation sector!
Is there enough raw materials in the ground, are we going to go from one dependency to another? Can lithium be replaced? How is the state of the Nickel market after the 2022 meltdown? Can we create supply chains outside China? What is the impact of the IRA in the US? Will automakers get more involved in mining (we just witnessed the spectacular investment of GM in Thacker Pass)? Is there a new battery technology that would dent the domination of the Li-Ion batteries?
All those questions are so much more in a very lively discussion with Simon.
(We refer to Joe Lowry, that we respect and salute)

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is an independent price reporting agency (PRA), data and supply chain intelligence provider for the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle industry. We offer subscriptions and strategic advisory services to those in or looking to enter the active lithium-ion battery ecosystem.

And also, very useful report on the State of Play in the Battery Industry https://www.volta.foundation/annual-battery-report

And don’t forget our “Book of the Year 2022” “Volt Rush” on that topic.---------------
We thank Aquila Capital for supporting the show

Wed, 15 Feb 2023 03:55:01 +0000
91. The radical transformations of the PPA market - feb23
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are private contracts between a producer of renewable energy and consumers. The PPA was developing consistently, mainly driven by Utilities. Then 2022 arrived and we witnessed an unprecedented volatility in PPA markets in Europe.
What were the consequences of that turmoil on the PPA markets in terms of prices, tenures, counterparties? Did PPA provide good hedges to sellers and buyers?
We have brought in Luca Pedretti, the COO & Co-Founder of Pexapark to dive into the intricacies of the PPA market. Pexapark is the leading analytic platform of PPAs.
How has the market evolved in recent months and where is it heading? What new thinking and innovative approaches in terms of risk management are bringing solutions and give rise to new opportunities? We also talk about the detrimental haphazard proposals of market reforms by regulators, their lack of trust in the private sector, and their itching attempts to over-regulate with top down one-size-fits-all decisions, soviet style.
But hope is around the corner, and the PPA market will evolve and thrive, but it will be a different market, more on a portfolio basis than on an asset basis, with different tenures and risk management systems.
Pexapark is a 5-year young, rapidly growing company of 100 enthusiasts providing renewable energy management software and PPA transaction services to investors so that they can independently price, analyse, manage, and transact their production on power markets. Pexapark enabled so far +20 GW of PPAs and its software is run for 1’000s of assets.

Also, if you like more audio content on commodities and energy, check the HC Insider Podcast https://www.linkedin.com/company/hcgroup-global/

Finally, we thank our partner Aquila Capital, who make this show possible!
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 05:50:01 +0000
90. Blockchain, BigTech and 24/7 Green electrons - jan23
Everybody wants to buy 24/7 green electrons, but until recently, it has proven quite difficult. Most buyers of Green Energy are currently purchasing their electrons on a yearly basis, and furthermore with little regard for the location.
At the same time, last century thinking has gripped regulators with frantic proposals of price caps and tentative market reforms around nodal pricing. This flurry of activity has only added confusion in the mind of renewables developers, and hence has been stifling investment.
The real solution to a correct pricing of green electrons comes from several forward-thinking energy consumers such as Google and Microsoft who have now decided to target an hourly match of Green Electricity. In order to solve the issue of monitoring space and time, blockchain has come to the rescue under the form of an EnergyTag.
We have brought Simone Accornero, CEO FlexiDAO, a European Start Up in charge of tracking and monitoring those Green Electrons by the hour. FlexiDAO works closely with critical stakeholders to co-create the international standard around energy-related emission compliance.
Thanks to their end-to-end 24/7 Carbon-free Energy platform, companies can quantify and confidently showcase their contribution to society's decarbonization.
Tracking those Green Certificates will allow to price them properly, so renewable developers will know where and when it is valuable to add green electrons on the grid, boosting the incentives to invest in storage (time) and transmission (space).
The Energy timestamps are a genuine innovation in the development of the Energy Transition.

Please check EnergyTag, with our friend Toby Ferenczi. (https://energytag.org/)

Also, as promised, the link to the 8th Energy Storage Summit – London 22 - 23 February 2023 https://storagesummit.solarenergyevents.com/

And we thank Aquila Capital for their support!

“During this interview, Simone Accornero made the statement that international certificates from LATAM were being used on another continent and for the creation of renewable-generated steel. This statement is incorrect and was used to represent a possible future situation if market boundaries are not well defined, not a statement of fact.”
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 01:55:01 +0000
89. Our Predictions for 2023 - jan23
Happy new year 2023 to all our listeners. In this Episode, it is Nostradamus vs. Cassandra all over again: Laurent and Gerard review their 2022 predictions (Episode 65) and look forward to the future.

How accurate were our two co-hosts’ predictions for 2022?
1) The Energy Transition is not going to be a smooth ride
2) The Hydro and water crisis
3) The decade of geothermal
4) High Energy Prices
5) Elon Musk out of Tesla
6) Power Market Structure Reform.

Overall, it seems to be another draw. You’ll be the judge.

And here are our new Predictions for 2023
1) Record installation of everything Energy Transition: Solar, Batteries, Heat Pumps, EV
2) Massive consolidation in the EV sector – Toyota will buy Panasonic
3) Volatility in the Energy market is here to stay
4) New alternatives to Li-Ion in Stationary Storage
5) The Energy Transition has no plan, it just goes
6) Nuclear: Westinghouse takes over Europe

We thank our partner Aquila Capital for their continuous support and wish all our listeners a Happy New Year 2023.
Mon, 02 Jan 2023 01:35:01 +0000
88. The Solar Juggernaut - dec22
Another year of explosive growth for the Solar Industry: production above 300GW, +45% yoy. What’s behind this staggering growth? How are the supply chain evolving? What are the “Fab four” and what new technology are they pursuing? Why are the prices not going down? How can the development of ESG in supply chain be assessed? How will the industry look in 5 years?

So many questions for this booming industry and it is just starting: Solar PV capacity is expected to almost treble over the 2022-2027 period, growing by 1.5TW and surpassing coal as the largest source of power capacity worldwide, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). In its “Renewables 2022” report, the IEA expects renewables to grow by 2.4TW over the next five-year period, with an acceleration of installations in the residential and commercial rooftop market globally to help reduce energy bills.

We needed answers; that’s why we brought Finlay Colville on the show. Finlay is Head of Research PV-Tech and Solar Media and the most widely admired expert around the world for his insights. (Especially now that we are wondering about the fate of our Queen of Solar, Jenny Chase, who gave up the Head of Solar at BNEF. Jenny told me she is still active. We send her our love and respect).

Finlay strongly believes that the Solar industry will reach a 1TW capacity in this very decade, which is a total gamechanger than the incumbents are totally oblivious to.

Gerard and Laurent agree 100%. “The incumbent energy industry has literally no idea what’s coming for them”

Find more of Finlay Colville analysis here


A warm salute to our friends of Solar Power Europe.


We thank the Green Recruitment Company for supporting the show. The Green Recruitment Company is the leading renewable energy and sustainability staffing company in the world.
With recruiters in Europe, America, China, Australia & Africa, The Green Recruitment Company offers bespoke staffing solutions across solar, wind, green hydrogen, carbon capture, storage, investment & finance, and much more.

Don't forget our excellent weekly sister show: Redefining Energy MINUTES
Applepodcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/redefining-energy-minutes/id1605111087
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mx29RlfrabGS6QErA8UD8

Merry Christmas to all our listeners. See you on the 2nd January 2023 for our traditional previsions. (Gerard thinks he has won)
Thu, 15 Dec 2022 03:40:02 +0000
87. Inflection point for Biogas/Biomethane - dec22
The biogas/biomethane industry is now one of the promising segments of the Energy Transition: security of supply, renewables sources, local jobs, round the clock dispatchability; the industry ticks all boxes.

Biogas can basically be made from any organic material, so the three big sectors are: 1) agricultural wastes (manures and slurries, crop residues) 2) food waste (from the processed food industry or food manufacturing, but also from supermarkets and households) 3) waste water. Biogas only contains 50%-60% methane; it can be upgraded to produce “biomethane” by removing the CO2 and other impurities.

Recent massive deals have made the headlines (BP acquisition of Archaea, Shell of Nature Energy, Macquarie of BayWa biogas, Nextera of Energy Power Partners) and more big players are committing capital to this industry: (TotalEnergies, Marubeni). Overall, the industry could x10 this decade.

To discuss the future of biogas/biomethane, we bring on Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary from 2010 to 2012, one of the founding fathers of CFDs in the Renewable Energy Industry and currently Chair of ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association).

We review the challenge of technological standardisation, government incentives, and feedstock supply chains.

Will biogas solve the energy transition on its own? Certainly not. Will it be an important part of the solution? Definitely.

We thank our long-time partners Aquila Capital
Thu, 01 Dec 2022 03:45:02 +0000
86. The politics of Energy Infrastructure - nov22
Geopolitics and Climate disasters have shown how fragile Energy flows and infrastructures have become. Moving electrons or molecules is becoming an ever-greater challenge in the drive to decarbonisation, affordability, and security of supply.

Politics are always in the background, and the recent US Midterms elections have signaled the end of a full Democrat Congress which has been very active in financing infrastructures and the energy transition.

To discuss Energy infrastructure in the context of divisive national politics and tense geopolitics, we have invited one of the savviest US Energy regulators of recent years: Neil Chatterjee. Neil is an American lawyer, political advisor, and government official who was Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from 2017 until he was removed from the position by President Donald Trump in November 2020 for his “pro-climate” positions.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the United States federal agency that regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas in interstate commerce and regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce. FERC also reviews proposals to build interstate natural gas pipelines, natural gas storage projects, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, in addition to licensing non-federal hydropower projects.

At FERC, Neil approved several key infrastructures such as Liquified Natural Gas Export terminals, and passed the landmark Order 2222, unlocking the development of Distributed Energy Resources (mini grids, VPP, batteries).

With Neil, we discuss the US investments prospects in the wake of the US Midterms, the Inflation Reduction Act, the conundrum of Permitting and more generally how Energy flows are constantly being restructured.

We thank our new sponsor, The Green Recruitment Company, the leading renewable energy and sustainability staffing company in the world.
Tue, 15 Nov 2022 03:20:01 +0000
85. Energy Trading: the "Lehman Moment" - nov22
The war in Ukraine has triggered a dislocation of Energy markets, especially in Europe. This has led to a point a few months ago when governments had to bail out all Utilities which were caught on the wrong side of Energy Trades. Trillions of derivatives threatened to trigger a “Lehman moment”.

How did we get there? Are the Energy markets the culprits or just the symptoms? Are they beyond repairs or can they be reformed? Do they even need to be reformed? As Regulators are coming up with new ideas every week, we bring on the show the legendary Energy Trader Pierre Andurand.

From Goldman Sachs whizz kid to now managing one of the best performing Energy funds on the planet, Pierre Andurand is one of the most successful Energy Trader since the retirement of John Arnold in 2012. Pierre shares with us a clear vision backed by stellar financial returns (consistently above 50% per annum the past 3 years, and above 30% over his 20-year career).

Pierre delivers a masterclass in Energy switching (Oil, Gas, Renewables, Nuclear), talk about elasticity of demand and the impacts of volatility on the transition; for Gerard and Laurent, it is equivalent of having a private tennis lesson with Roger Federer.

Did we have Lehman moments? definitely. Is the worse behind us? quite likely. And how do we see the future? Pretty rosy.

We thank Aquila Capital for their support
Tue, 01 Nov 2022 02:45:02 +0000
84. Floating Offshore Wind - oct22
Offshore Wind was one of the great development successes of the past decade, growing in 10 years from a few pilot projects to a real industry. Two zones have been at the fore front: the North Sea (with 30GW as of 2021) and China (with +20GW). Better tech, burgeoning supply chain and infrastructure, and a dramatic fall in cost have created tailwinds for this industry.

Offshore Wind is now a technology considered all around the world. However, there is a little problem: the fixed bottom Offshore Industry has benefited from a unique feature of the North Sea, i.e. shallow waters (less than 70m). And if you find great wind resources offshore in a lot of places, the seabed is generally much deeper, in fact too deep for fixed bottom.

Hence, some of the North Sea pioneers have been trying to crack the code of floating offshore wind. A milestone was hit when, in March 2022, Scotland awarded 15GW of seabed for floating. No more experimentation, the race is on.

To talk about this new technology, its promises as well as its challenges, we have invited Stephen Bull, EVP Renewables at Aker Solutions, the Norwegian Engineering giant. Within its offshore wind division, Aker has developed a specific competence relating to foundations, transmission, marine operations, dynamic cable, mooring systems, and subsea power solutions.

Stephen Bull is also Chair of Renewable UK and one the founding father of the offshore wind industry in the UK when he was at Equinor leading the development of Dogger Bank, the largest offshore wind park in the world.

With plans to multiply offshore wind by a factor 10 in the coming decades, and floating being a key technology, Gerard and Laurent are having a great conversation on how to unlock the floating potential, and also discover how “concrete is the unsung hero of floating OSW”.

This episode is produced in partnership with WindEurope

We thank our partner Aquila Capital
Sat, 15 Oct 2022 01:55:01 +0000
83. The rising tide of Electric Shipping - oct22
Decarbonising the shipping industry seemed very aspirational until recently. Lofty goals are out there: “The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set an ambition to reduce the carbon intensity of emissions from shipping by at least 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels. To achieve this, the shipping industry needs to unite in taking urgent action.”

While a lot of talks are centered around hydrogen or ammonia, it is once again the batteries that are making the difference. Namely, advances in batteries and the genuine advantages of electric propulsion vs fuel propulsion are now creating a perfect technical and economic launchpad for a massive decarbonisation of shipping.

Of course, we will start with short distance trips, like for ferries, tugboats, fishing, but the technology has developed so fast in recent years that the possibilities seem much wider. UC Berkeley models that – by the end of the decade – 40% of routes could be electrified without subsidies, not even taking into accounts environmental benefits.
To discuss the electrification of shipping, we have invited Geir Bjørkeli, CEO Corvus Energy to have a conversation about the technical options around the electrification of shipping. Corvus Energy is the leading provider of zero-emission solutions for the ocean space. Corvus Energy’s full product portfolio covers batteries for all types of vessels: Lightweight batteries for tourist and fast passenger crafts, large battery systems for cruise and ro-pax and batteries with high cycling capability for ferries and offshore. Corvus Energy has unsurpassed experience from 600 projects, totaling over 500 MWh and more than 4 million operating hours.
Gerard and Laurent’s big surprise is that we are not talking about massive government subsidies, the economics of expensive fuel and maintenance costs are doing the heavy lifting. Great story!

We thank our partner AQUILA CAPITAL

Reference: UC Berkeley study
Sat, 01 Oct 2022 03:50:01 +0000
82. The new Carbon Markets - sep22
In the past two years, we’ve seen a remarkable renaissance of the carbon markets.
Some markets are of a “compliance” type - like in Europe - heavily regulated but limited in geography and scope; but there is limited prospect for an overall Cap & Trade worldwide as carbon markets were ignored in the US IRA - the largest Climate bill ever.
So, what happens when a sector or a company is not covered by those compliance markets but still have pledged a net-zero or carbon-neutrality (whatever that means)? Well, that’s where the “voluntary market” steps in.
Re-born on the ashes of the Kyoto Protocol, projects such as forestry, carbon avoidance and removal are developed and get rewarded for their environmental benefits. That’s not THE solution to climate change, but that could be one of several.
The current voluntary market has quadrupled its size in the last 3 years to 2bnUSD and is expected to reach 50bnUSD by the end of the decade. Still small, compared to a 10bnUSD/day on the oil market… but we need all the help available on our road to a +1.5C world.
Unfortunately, we have immediately witnessed a lot of gaming and greenwashing around the issue of carbon credits. Only horror stories make it to the media, not the great projects (and there are a lot); the former must be banned, the latter promoted and rewarded.
Around Mark Carney, former governor of the central banks of Canada and England, a group of scientists, NGOs, Industries have coalesced into the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Market to create a quality benchmark, and make sure that the carbon credits proposed to corporations on their way to net-zero are sound.
We bring Annette Nazareth, chair of the Integrity Council to discuss about the goal, talk about horror stories and how the ICVCM, in full openness, is establishing rules for a robust market.
(we’re sorry if sometimes the sound quality is not perfect)
Alessandro Vitelli
Mark Lewis

We thank Aquila Capital for their continuous support
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 02:50:02 +0000
81. Nuclear industry at the crossroads - sep22
Talking about nuclear is tough. In the left corner, a besieged and opaque industry only delivering carefully crafted talking points; and in the right corner, most of the energy economists and financiers that are ignoring promises never met. One can’t escape the feeling that the nuclear industry operates in a parallel universe where models don’t match reality, where actual numbers don’t match forecasts; a world where nuclear generation is flat over the past 10 years while renewables have quadrupled.
Nevertheless, when the current nuclear fleet is either forcefully closed (like in Germany) or becomes unreliable (like in France or Japan) or uneconomic (like in the USA), we see emissions going up, the restart of old coal plants, and a reduction of energy security at enormous cost (If EDF was producing as much as 12 years ago, Europe would yearly get 150TWh of carbon free power, equivalent to 250TWh of natural gas, or more than 50bnEUR ANNUALLY at current price level).
Despite all the flaws of the nuclear industry, the opinion seems to be shifting in its favour; not because of “net zero”, but because of security of supply and crazy fossil fuel prices. The best example of this is the recent U-turn of Japan and South Korea towards Nuclear.

The nuclear industry is at the crossroads between oblivion and reboot.
We wanted to go beyond that “There is no alternative” message and dig deep into the industry’s challenges, pipe dreams but also real and exciting prospects, such as SMR (Small Modular Reactors) and other innovations. We also wanted to talk geopolitics and the role of Russia in the supply chain.
And there is no better guest than Boris Schucht, CEO of Urenco, to have an open debate on the pod. The Urenco Group is a British-German-Dutch nuclear fuel consortium operating several uranium enrichment-plants in Germany, the Netherlands, United States, and United Kingdom. It supplies nuclear power stations in about 15 countries, and has a 29% share of the global market for enrichment services in 2011
Albert Einstein said that the definition of stupidity is doing the same mistakes all over again while expecting a different outcome. We all would wish that nuclear plays a bigger role, from a climate and security of supply perspectives, but the industry needs to put its act together and deliver results rather than false promises.

Link to Michael Barnard's piece on SMR

We thank our partner Aquila Capital for their support
Thu, 01 Sep 2022 02:40:02 +0000
80. Solar rooftop: the foot soldiers of the Energy Transition - aug22
This episode is done in partnership with SolarPower Europe.

There is a lot of media around Utility solar, but the real solar revolution is happening one rooftop at the time. In China, the EU and Australia, Rooftop and C&I account for more than 60% of all solar installations (In the US, it’s only 30%). No need to restructure the Distribution network: it’s energy at the point of need.

So, we wanted to do an episode on Rooftop solar, because on one hand, very intelligent people in think-tanks and governments write reports after white papers about decarbonisation, on the other hand, entrepreneurs and industrialists are every day executing the energy transition by installing on-site solar power.

These are the foot soldiers of the energy transition, and they deserve their place in the sun (so to speak).

Hence, we have invited Thomas Kercher the CEO of Febesol, a fast-growing German rooftop solar installer to discuss the nitty-gritty of residential solar.
What are the motivations of his clients? How are the technologies evolving? What does the software look like? How easy it is to get permitting? and most important, what is the Human Resources aspect?
We also discuss the integration of solar into smart home, EV Charger, Batteries, Heat pumps as citizens are looking for lower costs, autonomy, and a new meaning of freedom from bureaucratic and unreliable global systems.

We salute OTOVO, great platform, for providing excellent data.

Great thanks to our partner DLA Piper.

The energy transition is coming; it is not a top-down, it’s a bottom-up.
Tue, 16 Aug 2022 02:55:01 +0000
79. The best kept secret (not for long): Energy Efficiency - aug22
Energy Efficiency is not sexy, it’s under the radar, hard to invest in. We are talking about small unit amounts, with aggregation problems, credit problems, standardisation problems.
But the whole sector is undertaking a quiet revolution: with the price explosion of retail energy, efficiency is now on everyone’s desk.
In the US, Sunrun has managed to securitise portfolios of rooftop solar using techniques of the mortgage industry. The same techniques are now arriving in Europe, even if it’s more complex because Europe doesn’t have the equivalent of the American FICO score which was introduced 35 years ago and has proven so seminal in the growth of personal lending.
Nevertheless, pioneer utility and distributors like Octopus in the UK or Thermondo in Germany are integrating supply chains and providing financing for a seamless service.
We have the pleasure to receive Alex Betts, fund manager Energy Efficiency at Aquila Capital. We like Aquila because they have a robust methodical approach of EE. We discuss the challenges but also the prospects of EE investment.

We thank our partner DLA Piper for supporting our show
Mon, 01 Aug 2022 03:45:02 +0000
78. Batterytech, VCs, SPACs: “There will be blood” - jul22
The future of storage is so bright that investing in in the vertical and its adjacencies is the opportunity of a lifetime. At the same time, buyer beware - there are many Theranos-like investment opportunities lurking out there in our vertical. You've got to be very smart to minimize the losers in your portfolio…or, as the great Michael Lewis would say, adopt a “Moneyball” approach.

Where are the successes and where are the pitfalls? You need to be a great financier but also a fantastic scientist to figure out which will be the winning opportunities in the maze of projects floating around.

That’s why we have invited Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies (a 400mUSD Venture Capital fund) to discuss all the new innovations out there, including solid-state batteries. Jeff Chamberlain launched Volta Energy Technologies (https://volta.vc/ ) from Argonne National Laboratory in 2016. Volta’s investment scope includes batteries, storage, and all the associated technology required to reduce cost and integrate batteries into vehicles and the grid across a spectrum of innovation that includes materials production, batteries, fast-charge tech, power electronics, management software, and recycling. Jeff and his team leverage all their knowledge and experience not only in batteries but also more generally in technology commercialization, physics, engineering, and investing to source, diligence, underwrite, and manage their investments.

We talk about the difficulties of scaling and the need to integrate innovations into the current industrial infrastructure and supply chains, not try to compete against them. The debate doesn’t not avoid “controversial” companies such as Quantum Scape and Energy Vault.

In conclusion, Batterytech is a fantastic field of investing, but there are Zombies out there, not only in VCs but also in public markets under the form of SPACs.
There will be blood.

A great thanks to our partner Aquila Capital
Fri, 15 Jul 2022 03:50:02 +0000
77. Subsea interconnectors - jul22
Subsea interconnectors are a very discreet sector, it entails decade-long developments…but are developing fast and have become critical to increasing renewables penetration and enhancing energy security. They were originally developed around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea by TSO (Transmission System Operators) but have now caught the interest of large private infrastructure investors. Those HVDC cables, running for hundreds of kms under the seabed, can carry (in both ways) power equivalent to a nuclear plant.

How are those projects being developed? What are their revenue models? What are the technical options? What does the future look like as pharaonic projects liking continents are now being considered? Gerard and Laurent provide an in-depth view into the beauty and sophistication of those projects with the “captain Nemo” of interconnectors, Simon Ludlam.

Simon, a former investment banker, is the founding partner of Etchea Energy which currently provides the Management Team to the Irish MaresConnect interconnector project. Etchea Energy previously provided Project Director services to the €500m Greenlink Interconnector where it was successful in introducing Cap & Floor regulation in Ireland, securing PCI status for the project, and raising equity finance for the construction phase. Prior to Greenlink, Simon originated and led the development of the €600m ElecLink interconnector project through the Channel Tunnel.

We thank our friend and partner Aquila Capital for supporting the show
Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:40:02 +0000
76. Battery swapping for two-wheelers: Gogoro - jun22
After the fiasco of “Better place” in 2013, a much-hyped Israeli start up that proposed battery swapping for cars, everybody thought that the concept of battery swapping was dead. Against all odds, an exceptional Hong Kong Chinese American entrepreneur decided to be a contrarian and launched Gogoro as Better Place collapsed. But Horace Luke’s angle was to focus on two-wheelers, which are so present in Asia (500 million). Horace’s past experiences at Microsoft and HTC helped him shaped his vision. Battery Swapping was in his mind, the ideal solution for mass adoption of electric Two-Wheelers in densely populated, polluted and congested Asian Megacities.
Execution has been performed the “hard way”, as the initial digital platform has morphed into a hardware company, designing batteries, manufacturing electric scooters, and operating swapping stations.
Fast forward ten years, Gogoro has built the world’s leading battery swapping network and best-in-class electric two-wheelers, and is now listed on the NASDAQ with a market cap above 1bnUSD.
We have the pleasure of welcoming Horace Luke to discuss the challenges and opportunities of battery swapping for two-wheelers. And learn the benefits of the “hard way”.

We thank our partner DLA Piper
Wed, 15 Jun 2022 03:05:01 +0000
75. Lithium: “White Gold” rush or the “limiting factor”? - jun22
Elon Musk calls Lithium supply the “limiting factor” for electric vehicle adoption globally. Lithium is the key material for the Energy Transition and is currently enjoying a “white gold” rush.

The supply has significantly gone up multiple fold in the past seven years, up to 500,000t/y in 2022; still, demand is expected – according to Benchmark Minerals Intelligence – to grow another four to five-fold this decade.

The shortage of Lithium – whether real or perceived -, has triggered a spectacular rise in the price of materials over the past two years. Spot prices of Lithium have gone up six-fold since 2020. And Lithium is not alone: Nickel, Cobalt, Graphite, every battery material has gone up. Basically, in 2020 you had 2,000USD of material in a Tesla battery, now it is closer to 6,000USD.
Are we going to run out of Lithium? Are they new places to mine, new players, new technologies which could come to the rescue?
We have invited Alex Grant, Principal at Jade Cove Partners, to assess all those challenges.
We call Alex the “Indiana Jones of Lithium and Battery materials”. Forbes 30 under 30, research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Alex has an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and tracks 70 different Lithium Extraction Technologies. Finally, he has a cool Twitter handle: @big_lithium. So, he is the man to interview!
We also have inserted an excerpt from Elon Musk conversation in the FT “Future of cars” that was held in May 2022 where Tesla’s CEO shares his views on the Lithium supply chain.

A salute to our main sources of knowledge in Lithium: Simon Moores at Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, and of course Joe Lowry aka “Mr Lithium”. Check them on LinkedIn

And thanks again and again to our partner Aquila Capital
Wed, 01 Jun 2022 03:05:01 +0000
74. The new profile of Energy Transition Funds - may22
There is not a single day when we don’t hear about new funds being raised to finance the Energy Transition. As very few funds are listed on Exchanges, and it is estimated that more than 2/3 of the Energy Transition is currently financed on private markets, for which there is limited public available information.

Today, we attempt to lift the veil on those VC (Venture Capital), PE (Private Equity), Infrastructure funds which all working to finance the Energy Transition. Who invest in those funds, how they are managed, how do they evolve, what is the “special relationship” between GPs (General Partners) and LPs (Limited Partners)? What will be the performance of the new “Climate tech” and “Decarbonisation” funds that have recently been launched.

We also try to decrypt an increasingly complex regulatory environment where green labels are getting harder to get. Are new regulations a solution to greenwashing or just more bureaucracy?

So, what the new profile of Energy Transition funds?
We have invited Tiffany Howard, Principal at Capstone Partners (a Mizuho Company) to discuss the state of play. Capstone is one of the most active placing agents of the industry. Tiffany discusses with Gerard and Laurent the latest evolutions of the private markets financing the Energy Transition.

We thank our partner DLA Piper for supporting the show
Mon, 16 May 2022 03:45:02 +0000
73. High energy prices vs. the Energy transition - may22
Over the past few months, energy prices have gone through the roof, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put energy security on the front burner. We can legitimately ask ourselves: Are high energy prices and the need for energy security tanking or boosting the Energy transition?

Of course, we now are seeing the fossil fuels lobbyists making victory laps, telling “we told you so”, “forget about net-zero” “This is La-la land”, “That’s the consequence of ESG”. In our opinion, that is just grand standing.

To try to understand where the Energy Transition is heading, we have invited one the wisest observer of the Energy Landscape, Jules Kortenhorst. Jules, after a distinguished career in the Energy Industry, is now CEO of RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute). RMI is a 40-year-old independent nonprofit organization of experts working across disciplines to accelerate the clean energy transition to secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all.
With Jules, Gerard and Laurent assess the near term and long-term impacts of the current energy markets turmoil. They confront their visions of how policies, technologies, investments, and individual behaviors will influence the future of the Energy Transition.

We thank Aquila Capital for their support

Contact RMI

There is also an excellent report by Alexa Capital on the same subject here
Sun, 01 May 2022 03:45:02 +0000
72. A Ukrainian Utility at War. A story of resistance, resilience, and hope - apr22
How to survive a war when you are a Utility in Ukraine?

Thanks to Eurelectric which organised the introduction, we have the honour of welcoming a hero of the Energy world: Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK, one of the top integrated Utility in Ukraine.
During an intense conversation we talk about war, destruction, and sufferings, but also about resistance and resilience. Maxim praises its workforce as it tries to reestablish power and heat in liberated towns.
Beyond the horror and the drama, there is hope for the post war situation, the optimism of a stronger European integration that will help our continent wean itself of Russian dependence while creating opportunities for Ukraine’s resources.

We thank again Maxim for making the time. Slava Ukraini

Maxim will join European Power Summit in June

Thanks to our forever friends and partner Aquila Capital
Fri, 15 Apr 2022 02:10:02 +0000
71. Ventures and breakthroughs to decarbonise Heat - apr22
Decarbonising Heat is a significant challenge on the road to Net-Zero, Climate Resilience and Energy Security. It is also a very complex problem as there are several categories of heat that require different technical solutions. While Heat Pumps can (and will) provide low grade heat, the options for high grade heat are evading electrification and will continue to rely on burning molecules.

Several start-ups on the US West Coast are tackling the challenge, with the support of powerful Venture Capital funds such as Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

To understand how those groundbreaking applications looks, we have invited a young prodigy on the show. Tony Pan, CEO and Co-founder of Modern Electron, explains his approach to Ultra Energy-Efficiency in Heat. Once scaled, Modern Electron’s innovations will significantly enhance the climate performances of heating.

We thank our partner DLA Piper for its support
Fri, 01 Apr 2022 03:15:02 +0000
70. Why digital management of Batteries matters? - mar22
The deployment of Li-Ion batteries has exploded in recent years and is expected to enjoy a 30% annual growth until 2030. But those very critical pieces of hardware need a brain to fully function, and that is where software kicks in. In fact, they are two layers of software: the operating system, monitoring the functioning of the battery and the cloud system that interacts with the global electricity system and the power markets. Managing batteries revenues widely differs from geography to geography. Revenues can be categorised in three captions: a) short term ancillary service: daily auctions for primary, secondary, and tertiary reserve b) wholesale electricity market: day-ahead, intraday and imbalance markets; c) long-term auctions such as capacity schemes, voltage control, and last reserve.
The battery management software must adapt to those different revenue stacks. So, how are the software developed, managed? How do they evolve?
We have the pleasure of welcoming Seyed Madaeni, Chief Digital Officer at Fluence, to discuss those fascinating subjects.
Finally, we do a deep dive into the economics of Fluence and have a go at the newly listed (and supposedly competitor) Energy Vault.
We thank Aquila Capital for supporting the show.

If you want more from Gerard and Laurent, check our sister podcast: Redefining Energy MINUTES, available on all main podcasts platforms.
Wed, 16 Mar 2022 04:45:02 +0000
69. Escape from Russia: Rewiring Europe - mar22
The war in Ukraine is a total gamechanger. Beyond the personal drama and misery inflicted on millions of human beings, it triggers a tremor in the world of Energy of a magnitude not seen since the Oil shocks of the 70’s.
As Energy Security becomes front and center, Gerard and Laurent try to understand the short-term implications on the Energy landscape.
Are we moving away from the energy transition or are we going to align energy security with the energy transition?
Politicians have a chance to rise and make radical decisions. We have the human and financial capital; we have the technologies. We can implement a deep decarbonization than will also benefit Energy Security.

It is about Rewiring Europe, electrifying heating and transports, building networks faster, full digitization, higher level of resilience. Rewiring Europe will require significant changes in mindset, thinking, regulation, and in investments. Rewiring Europe will bring bold ideas to fruition and require bravery in implementation. But let’s be clear, Rewiring Europe must be done in an economic environment where financial institutions want to invest, as the sole burden of the transition cannot be borne solely by the ratepayers or the taxpayers.
If we wean ourselves off oil and gas, we will be free!
Short term
1. Reduce demand for natural gas – Practically, Germany and Belgium may both have to delay closures of nuclear plants and the same may need to happen for coal plants across the continent.
2. Move any energy purchases away from Russia – Practically, we may need to rethink the closure of North Sea and NL gas wells but also be prepared to import energy at higher prices from other parts of the world.
3. Fill up storage tanks – Europe needs to buy as much as it can in terms of uranium and fossil fuels to ensure we have enough energy to keep the lights on and our economies working.
4. Help energy sensitive customers – Practically, governments will need to help people and companies through these difficult times.

Medium term
1. Deeply electrify the energy system – The quickest way to decarbonise is to electrify as much as possible of the energy system. To that we need radical regulatory change to ensure a speedy and low cost transition. This starts with improving planning laws to allow quick build out of renewables and the necessary grid infrastructure.
2. Enable low cost electricity – In many European countries, electricity is the most expensive way to power your car and heat your home. The recent surges in natural gas prices have now indirectly made electricity even more expensive. There is a whole pile of measures than can be put in place, such as a) grid regulatory reforms which force competition and b) cost efficiency improvements to wholesale power market reforms which move away from the marginal cost pricing. In addition, taxes and other charges should be removed to ensure that electricity becomes the cheapest form of energy.
3. Invest in clean energy and storage – self explanatory
4. Embrace energy efficiency – self explanatory
5. Cut demand for fossil fuels – Heat pumps and EVs. In addition, it may well be that Europe needs to bring in a border carbon adjustment tax to ensure that European jobs and emissions are simply exported to another part of the world.
6. Change how Europe does innovation – stop sprinkling funds around to please lobbyists and PR firms, focus research funding on zero-carbon and storage
7. Bring together national security, decarbonization and industrial interests - self explanatory

As Winston Churchill was working on the establishment of the United Nations after WW2, he famously said "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Let’s focus on Rewiring Europe.
Check Gerard’s blog on the Rewiring Europe
Tue, 01 Mar 2022 04:00:03 +0000
68. Green Hydrogen: miracle or mirage? - feb22
As we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the seminal book by Jeremy Rifkin “The Hydrogen Economy” and the astronomical amount of non-sense it contained, we wanted to have a real look at the prospect of Green Hydrogen.
Beyond bombastic claims such as “History will look back at 2022 as the year that hydrogen started to reshape the world”, we have decided to dig deep into the technology and prospect of Electrolysers.
And there is no better guest to talk about electrolysers than Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power. ITM Power is one of the largest electrolyser manufacturers in the world, and has deep pockets to pursue a very aggressive expansion. What is true now, and how does the horizon looks like for green hydrogen?
In other words, is Green Hydrogen a miracle or a mirage?

Anything you want to know about Hydrogen, go to our friend Paul Martin and his Hydrogen Science Coalition.

Link to the Irena Report: Geopolitics of Green Hydrogen

A nice video of Electrolysers in action (Humberside Project – UK)

And we thank again our partner DLA PIPER
Tue, 15 Feb 2022 04:20:02 +0000
67. From PowerPoint to Gigafactory - feb22
Gigafactory: a term first coined by Elon Musk in 2013 when announcing the Tesla+Panasonic giant battery plant in Nevada. There are currently more than 260 Gigafactories planned around the world, but lots of them remain “PowerPoint factories”. So, how do you go from PowerPoint to Gigafactory?
The answer might be in Norway, so let’s go to Norway.
We are very happy to be joined by Tom Jensen. Tom is CEO of FREYR battery, a Norwegian Gigafactory start-up. In 2021, FREYR raised 600mUSD on the NYSE to make his vision of Speed, Scale and Sustainability come true.
We discuss the strategic positioning, the inherent advantages of Norway which go beyond cheap clean power, we talk about industrialisation, technology, chemistry, supply chain and competition.
Tom is a great admirer of the Swedish neighbour Northvolt, but he plans to catch up fast. With such a great leadership, FREYR will soon be a force to reckon with in the Battery industry.

Thanks to our great partner Aquila Capital
Tue, 01 Feb 2022 05:30:02 +0000
66. “The missing hours”: in search of 24/7 carbon free power - jan22
Delivering 24/7 carbon free power is the holy grail for infrastructure funds. Such progress requires a new approach to investing. New technologies need to be harnessed: Hybridization, storage, and data science. The ESG component is also getting additional scrutiny from investors. So, how will the state-of-the-art infrastructure fund of the 2020’s look like.

We have the privilege of welcoming David Scaysbrook, co-founder and managing partner of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners. We discuss his vision and execution of infrastructure capable of delivering 24/7 carbon free power. Our conversation covers all type of renewables: wind, solar, hydro, biomass, methane recovery and battery storage. We also talk about the growing importance of digital and ESG.

Reference to two great podcasts:
-Jigar Shah, head of Loans Office Program DOE, on Experts Only https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/experts-only-podcast-104-with-commercial-financing/id1277844958?i=1000545651034
-Elon Musk on the Lex Fridman Show

Thank you to our new partner DLA Piper.
Sun, 16 Jan 2022 04:15:02 +0000
65. Our Predictions for 2022 - jan22
Happy new year 2022 to all our listeners.
In this Episode, its Nostradamus vs. Cassandra all over again: Laurent and Gerard review their 2021 predictions (Episode 42) and look forward to the future. How accurate were our two co-hosts’ predictions for 2021?
1) “The Empire strikes back”, legacy players in the Energy and Automotive sectors will bounce back
2) The unstoppable development of renewables
3) The SPACs* valuation hang-over, most of them imploding after reaching unjustifiable valuations
4) The tipping point in EVs production and adoption
5) The renaissance of the Carbon markets
6) The growing leadership of China in the Energy Transition…
Get the results and see how was the more accurate

And now our six predictions for 2022:
1)The Energy Transition is not going to be a smooth ride
2)The Hydro and water crisis
3)The decade of geothermal
4)Energy High Prices
5)Elon Musk (Time’s “Person of the Year”) out of Tesla
6)Power Market Structure Reform

We thank again Aquila Capital for continuing to support the show in 2022, and we have lined up very exciting contents for you all in the coming months. Happy new Year!

*SPAC: Special Purpose Acquisition Company
Sun, 02 Jan 2022 03:20:02 +0000
64. Unstoppable solar - dec21
2021 looked like an “annus horribilis” for the solar industry. Price increases, supply chain problems, threat of taxes on importations. Is the solar industry at the end of 2021 just doom and gloom? Absolutely not. The solar industry has grown an amazing 27% this year, and the trend will continue in 2022.

We bring the best analyst of the industry, Jenny Chase, Head of Solar at Bloomberg NEF to go through the trends, in volume, prices, technologies, supply and demand. We discuss why solar resists all threats and establish itself, despite recent price rises, as the cheapest source of electricity worldwide.
And to finish the year on a high note, this marvelous quote from our eternal hero (and TIME’s Person of the Year) Elon Musk: “The sun is absurdly, overwhelmingly the source of energy in our solar system. Doesn’t even need maintenance – just works!”

We also want to congratulate Patrick Graichen (Ep52) for becoming new Germany’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate; Michael Barnard (Ep59) second most downloaded episode; and finally, the king, our friend and mentor, Paul Martin (Ep44) for the most downloaded episode of the year (and ever!).

Paul just co-created the Hydrogen Science Coalition (https://h2sciencecoalition.com/), a group of independent academics, scientists and engineers who are working to bring an evidence-based viewpoint to the heart of the hydrogen discussion. We fully endorse that initiative. Go Paul, Tom, Bernard, David and Jochen.

And as we close the year, we thank again our long-term partner Aquila Capital, who has decided to continue next year. Yeah!

Merry Christmas to all our great listeners (before the EU Commission bans it as “too offensive”) and talk to you all in 2022.
Wed, 15 Dec 2021 03:45:02 +0000
63. Ultra-fast EV charging (and mini grids) - dec21
EV charging is developing exponentially. It is now a 30bnUSD market per year, growing at a astonishing pace of 20%. More than 1.5m EV charging stations are now operational in the world, 50% in China, 30% in Europe. The US will catch up soon thank to the Biden Infrastructure plan that commits 7.5bnUSD to EV charging.

But ultra-fast charging comes with technical challenges as the impact on the local electricity networks are tremendous. On the one hand, large EV charging networks are being deployed with a commoditised approach and questionable business models; on the other hand, new turn-key sophisticated solutions start to emerge, such as integrating batteries and EV charging, creating micro-grids at retailers’ premises.

We invite Arcady Sosinov, CEO FreeWire Technologies, a Californian Start-Up that has raised more than 100mUSD from leading investors (Riverstone, BP, BlueBear), to discuss the future of Ultra-fast EV charging.

And it is not going to be necessarily what people currently think.
Wed, 01 Dec 2021 02:15:01 +0000
62. ESG investing: A force for good or blah blah blah? - nov21
As COP26 comes to a close, there has been a flurry of commitments to invest trillions of dollars in green technologies and carbon neutral projects. That is the core of ESG investing (or is it?).
ESG investing has grown exponentially since the famous 2015 Marc Carney’s speech "Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizon" and the 2020 Blackrock letter “Because capital markets pull future risk forward, we will see changes in capital allocation more quickly than we see changes to the climate itself”. Numbers are dizzying. ESG investment has almost trebled over the last five years, reaching $50 trillion in assets in 2021.

At the same time, ESG investing seems to be victim of its own success with inflated claims not met by facts. With more than 600 ratings and 5,000 metrics, ESG has become a maze where investors are drowned in an “alphabet soup” of standards while some financial institutions seem to be more focused on fees than purpose. At last, the regulators - whether the EU Commission or the SEC - are starting to intervene to create standards.

To try to understand the dynamics of ESG investing, its challenges, effectiveness, and possible solutions, we have invited Catherine Howarth, CEO of Shareaction. Shareaction is a NGO working to assess the quality of sustainability practice of the world’s largest institutional investors, and to hold investors accountable on the gap between their sustainability claims and actions.
We exchange candidly with Catherine on ESG ratings, shareholders’ activism, the divestment movement, and the role of regulators.


Shareaction: https://shareaction.org/

Quilter on ESG: https://media.quilter.com/search/greenwashing-tops-investors-concerns-around-esg-products-new-research-finds/
Talking Responsibly: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/talking-responsibly/id1547007524
DivestInvest: https://www.divestinvest.org/
“Doing Good or Feeling Good” by EDHEC: https://energycentral.com/c/ec/doing-good-or-feeling-good-detecting-greenwashing-climate-investing-edhec
EU Taxonomy: https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/sustainable-finance/eu-taxonomy-sustainable-activities_en
DWS (Deutsche Bank) rocked by $1trillion SEC greenwashing probe: https://www.internationalinvestment.net/news/4036306/dws-rocked-usd1trillion-sec-greenwashing-probe-reports
Bank of International Settlements: “A taxonomy of taxonomies” https://www.bis.org/publ/bppdf/bispap118.pdf
Mon, 15 Nov 2021 03:20:12 +0000
61. The future of power distribution networks (with ENEL) - nov21
Renewables are developing very fast, but without a proper distribution system, the energy transition will soon stall. So, what does tomorrow’s green grid looks like? It seems like a dull subject, but the grid modernisation is the necessary condition of a successful roll out of wind, solar and EV Charging.
What needs to change, what type of investment are necessary, not just from a deployment perspective but also in terms of efficiency, costs, and regulation.
We have the privilege of inviting Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Global Infrastructure & Networks at the giant Italian Utility ENEL. ENEL operates distribution networks in eight countries on two continents. Antonio provides us with a ground-breaking vision of tomorrow’s green grid, digital and adaptable. He also unveils breakthrough management techniques such as quantum computing and cyber-security.
Distribution networks should definitely not be underhyped.

Thank you to Aquila Capital for supporting the show

If you want to help increase our audience, a 5* ratings and a kind review really help!
Mon, 01 Nov 2021 03:45:11 +0000
60. From Energy Transition to Energy Crunch: The “Natgaspocalypse” - oct21
For the past decade, Natural Gas has been promoted as the “Clean, Reliable and Cheap” fuel to assist the Energy Transition. Well that cosy theory, heavily promoted by the fossil fuel companies, is collapsing in front of our eyes with the Gas crunch affecting Europe, Asia and Latin America.
As of 6 October 2021, TTF (the Dutch gas hub) front month prices briefly touched 160EUR/MWh, 8 times higher than where they were at beginning of the year, and equivalent to a staggering 56USD/mmbtu or 350USD/bbl of Oil.

In this episode, that we record almost live, Gerard and Laurent try to analyse the causes, the impacts, and the long-term consequences of what we dub “The Natgaspocalypse”. We might as well have called the episode “From Russia with love” as we are discussing, amongst other factors, the role of Russia in the current energy crunch.

But a lot of other long-term and short-term factors have come together to create the perfect storm. So, if supply is being analysed, there is also a lot to discuss about demand.

How those crazy energy prices are fed to the final consumers is creating havoc within the Energy supply chain and triggers heavy-handed, hastily designed, government interventions. Such crises certainly distract the decision makers from their lofty “Net Zero by 2050” goals.

Even when the market ends up rebalancing, as commodities market always do, the suddenness of the shock and its magnitude will generate significant consequences that will go beyond price controls and geopolitics. Governments will need to be more hands-on, whether through a faster decarbonisation or simply doubling down on gas.

The Energy Transition will not be a smooth journey.

We thank Aquila Capital for their support
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 02:40:18 +0000
59. Long Duration Energy Storage: the “Final Frontier” - oct21
What are the technological options to compensate for – as the German say - the “Dunkelflaute” (dark doldrums), those winter weeks of low winds and low solar? That’s the code that will have to be cracked by Long Duration Energy Storage (above 8 hours and up to several days). Because, if no realistic solution is implemented in the coming years, we will still have gas peakers in the XXIIth century.
Gerard and Laurent have invited Michael Barnard, an internationally recognised technology cleantech consultant, with world-class expertise on grid storage technology, electrification, and hydrogen.
Together we review and analyse the various options: how far can Li-Ion batteries get us to? How to maximise the value of pumped hydro storage? How to scale flow batteries? Can we even rely of more breakthrough technologies?
It will take time, will need government intervention, energy market reforms, but the solutions are there. Long Duration Energy Storage is definitely the “Final Frontier”.

Disclaimer: Michael works as adviser for Agora Energy Technologies - https://agoraenergy.ca/
Prices of batteries: https://about.bnef.com/blog/battery-pack-prices-cited-below-100-kwh-for-the-first-time-in-2020-while-market-average-sits-at-137-kwh/
MIT research:
Fri, 01 Oct 2021 03:15:04 +0000
58. Fuel Switch or Fuel Fix for Steel and Cement? - sep21
Steel and cement with their 2,000 mills and 3,000 kilns, together currently emit 15% of the world’s CO2. So far, they’ve been exempted from carbon trading or carbon pricing, which means no significant reductions have been implemented. But in a 1.5degree and Net Zero scenarios, they start to feel the pressure.

We brought Dolf Gielen, Director Innovation and Technology at IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) into the conversation to try to understand why those industries are so hard to decarbonise. And we are focusing the debate on a very simple choice: do you fix the fuel (with CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage of CO2) or do you switch the fuel (with – for example Hydrogen or Biomass)?

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, such as: bad economics, international competition (especially for steel, not so for cement), and regulators who don’t seem to be very interested.

Some promising options are now on the table, but they will require massive governments interventions.

Engineering with Rosie (Youtube) on CCS technologies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC388uNJhUY

An excellent blog on cement emissions:

McKinsey on decarbonizing Steel:

Dolf Gielen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dolf-gielen-852ab514/

And, last but not least, a hilarious video explaining really how CCS/CCUS works

Many Thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 03:25:07 +0000
57. Methane, the invisible elephant in the room - sep21
Methane is the largest source of greenhouse gas after CO2. The latest IPCC report has flagged the issue as “Code Red”. Until recently, Methane Emissions had not been universally monitored nor managed. Hence, how can Natural Gas legitimately claim that is it is a “bridge fuel” in the fight against Climate Change?
Thankfully, the landscape is starting to evolve; and it’s about time, as methane emissions represent 8x those of the much-publicised aviation sector.
Behind this major improvement is the non-for-profit MIQ, co-piloted by the prestigious RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute). MIQ had devised a ranking system for all Oil and Gas provenance, assessing and grading the content of venting, leaking, and flaring. The MIQ system leads to third party certification, a major milestone in the fight against Climate Change.
Gerard and Laurent seat with Georges Tijbosch, senior advisor at MIQ, who is deploying those major advancements, which might have significant geopolitical implications.
Finally, Gerard debunks Laurent’s wild conspiracy theories around Russian gas.

MIQ: https://miq.org/
Capterio: https://capterio.com/flareintel
Kayrros: https://www.kayrros.com/methane-watch/

A great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show: https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Wed, 01 Sep 2021 03:40:14 +0000
56. How to decarbonise Aviation? - aug21
The future of Sustainable Aviation is a very hot topic, but there are currently more questions than answers:
How much of the aviation can be electrified? Will innovation come from start-ups teaming up with VCs or large OEMs? What new systems will have to be designed and certified? Is Hydrogen a solution or a fantasy? What role will biofuels and e-fuels play?
To enrich the debate, Gerard and Laurent have invited Toby McCann to assess the various routes. Toby McCann is an Aviator and an Aircraft Engineering manager at Thales, veteran of the Fleet Air Arm with over 25 years' operating around the globe. He is also one of the top experts in Sustainable Aviation.

Toby McCann: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobymccann/
List of all new Electric planes starts ups: https://aamrealityindex.com/
Look at this beauty: https://www.faradair.com/

A great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show: https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Sun, 15 Aug 2021 04:00:17 +0000
55. EVs: Tesla against the world - aug21
2020 has proven a turning point in the EV market, and the trend is accelerating in 2021: more models, stronger public policies, mass roll-out of charging infrastructure, and a 300bnUSD race to catch up on Tesla.

What’s the current state of play in the EV market? Among the OEMs, which are the Tesla challengers, and which are the laggards? Do the SPACs have any future? What are the Chinese up to? What to think about innovative outsiders such as Rivian and Rimac? What about vertical integration, software developments, autonomy, and new services?

A refreshing open conversation with our friend James Carter, a 25-year veteran of the Automotive industry and recognized sharpest mind on the future of mobility.

Check our friends:
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence: https://www.benchmarkminerals.com/
Rho Motion: https://rhomotion.com/

A great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show: https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Sun, 01 Aug 2021 04:20:02 +0000
54. Energy Trading: it is now man vs. machine - jul21
The development of renewables has made power markets much more volatile, hence “volatility is the new gold”. Harnessing that volatility requires skills much beyond the traditional Energy Trader’s capabilities: welcome to the new digital energy trading system.
To discuss those changes, we are invited Peter Bance, CEO of Origami. Origami’s patented technology enables energy companies to seamlessly bring together real-time data from physical assets, financial markets, and existing customer systems to optimise power trading.
Peter offers us a view into a new type of Energy Trading where the Grid is dominated by Renewables.

Thanks again to our partner, Aquila Capital
Thu, 15 Jul 2021 03:00:12 +0000
53. Oil Majors: the journey from molecules to electrons - jul21
Navigating the Energy Transition for an Oil Major is not that simple. Decades-old simple centralised molecules energy systems are making way to decentralised electrons models. Some Oil Majors have simply decided to ignore the Energy transition, others - like Shell - are trying to adapt their business to it.
A trading company by DNA, Shell has decided to mostly focus its strengths on the mid-stream and downstream segments. New businesses are being launched or acquired, centred around digital, trading, Virtual Power Plants (VPP) and EV charging.
It is still early days to conclude if Shell will be able to ride the Energy Transition, but some green shoots, under the leadership of our guest, Ulrika Wising, Global VP Customer Solutions at Shell Renewables & Energy Solutions, are certainly promising.
Will Oil Majors turn into Energy Majors? For once Gerard and Laurent disagree on pretty much everything!
Thank you to our partner Aquila Capital
Thu, 01 Jul 2021 03:20:08 +0000
52. The German "Energiewende" - jun21
Germany is rightly portrayed as a pioneer in the development of wind and solar. For the past two decades, the German government has granted a) a very stable framework b) very generous terms to renewables. And the “Energiewende” (the Energy Transition) as this policy is named, has delivered exceptional results, as the share of renewables has jumped from 6% to 50% of the electricity mix.
But the cost to consumers has been significant. German Energy policy is very political and there is a lot of money flowing around without much consideration for economic realities.
As the German Green party is expected to become an ever-dominant political actor, especially in view of the Autumn 2021 elections, we wanted to have a conversation with one of its most prominent inspirers: Patrick Graichen, who – after a long career in the German Ministry of Energy and Environment – leads the Agora Energiewende think tank.
Where is the Energiewende today? What lessons can we learn from the past? How would a green-inspired Energy Transition continue to evolve both for Germany and Europe? Patrick delivers a unique insight into the future of the Energiewende.

Agora-Energiewende: https://www.agora-energiewende.de/en/

Thanks to our partner - Aquila Capital: https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 02:55:02 +0000
51. Is there a future for coal in Asia? - jun21
While coal is being phased out in Europe and America, it is still the dominant source of energy in Asia. Why is that? And how will the situation evolve? Is there any teeth behind the net zero pledges for the second part of the century? In other words, is coal here to stay in Asia or has the tide started to turn?
There is no better expert on the subject that Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at IEEFA (The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), a thinktank examining issues related to energy markets, trends, and policies.
With Tim, we discover that the debate is much more than about pure climate change: it is about growth, jobs, energy security and technology. We end up with a positive message: it is really the beginning of the end for coal in Asia.

Thank you to Aquila Capital for supporting the show

Links to IEEFA
Tim Buckley https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-buckley-0a654313/
IEEFA https://ieefa.org/

Ember Climate

And finally, our hero from down under
Pablo Brait https://www.linkedin.com/in/pablo-brait-37a716117/
Tue, 01 Jun 2021 02:05:14 +0000
50. Redefining Utilities' strategies in the Electric Decade (with E.ON at Eurelectric Power Summit 21) - may21
“Sorry, I’m getting emotional when it comes to smart meters”. Part of Eurelectric’ s Power Summit 2021, we have had a great conversation with Dr Leonhard Birnbaum, the new CEO of E.ON.
E.ON is a massive German Utility that has spent the last decade (aka “the lost decade”) selling its coal plants, exiting from nuclear and swapping assets with ex rival RWE. After this reinvention, E.ON can now face the 2020’s with a strong balance sheet and a clear strategy. How to make the most of its two main businesses, retail and networks? What is the impact of digitisation (EV charging, smart meters) on its revenue model? Will it have to adopt a more aggressive strategy than just deleveraging and distributing dividends? To summarise: is E.ON going to be a prey or a predator?
Dr Leonhard Birnbaum faces all our questions with humour, humility, and comes up with a clear vision for his company.
We would like to thank Kristian Ruby and the talented team of Eurelectric for organising the debate. https://www.eurelectric.org/
We thank our partner Aquila Capital for supporting the show - https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Follow the show on Twitter
Sat, 15 May 2021 03:40:04 +0000
49. The stratospheric rise of Octopus Energy - may21
The energy retail sector is also experiencing its version of the energy transition, where incumbents with legacy systems are challenged by new entrants rolling out ground-breaking digital platforms.
Beyond the digital supremacy, disruptors bring a new approach to consumers' needs, much closer to Amazon than a Utility. We have invited one of the leading new entrants, Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, to discuss innovations, new pricings systems, and its tech, called “Kraken”. Greg explains how to overcome regulatory hurdles which are benefiting the established companies and shares with us how he is on the cusp of conquering the world from its base of 20m clients.


We thank our partner Aquila Capital for supporting the show - https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
10GW portfolio! Fantastic.

Finally, thanks to Rosie Barnes, you can also see us on Youtube!
Sat, 01 May 2021 03:15:03 +0000
48. Solar & batteries: can China’s dominance be challenged? - apr21
China manufactures 2/3 of the world’s solar panels and 2/3 of the world’s batteries. How does it look on the ground? What technological advances do Chinese companies have and what does it means for the future?
There is no better source of knowledge on the subject of Solar and Batteries that someone based in China and whose teams are inspecting hundreds of factories. This is for real; and, as usual in China, dynamics are complex… but the results are staggering.
Andy Klump, CEO of CEA (Clean Energy Associates) share with Gerard and Laurent his world-class expertise of what’s happening in the solar and battery industries. The conversation also delves into ESG, carbon content and traceability questions. Ever declining costs are a very positive message for the Energy Transition.
Thank you to Aquila Capital (https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/) for supporting the show.
Thu, 15 Apr 2021 03:45:10 +0000
47. Batteries, a new Asset Class in Infrastructure Investing - apr21
In Episode 47, we dive into the exponential development of batteries into the Grid: the Energy Storage industry is doubling size every year. One of the key market is the UK, where the market is expected to x10 this decade because of the rise of renewables, the electrification of transport and heating, and the need for an ever-greater resiliency.
We wanted to discuss the various aspects of investing in Batteries with Ben Guest, Managing Director at Gresham House, a very talented and innovative Infrastructure Asset Manager. What are the opportunities and the challenges to invest in Batteries from a technical, digital and equity points of view? What are the revenues and how will they evolve? Where is the technology leading us? And so much more is the truly enlightening episode
We thank Aquila Capital for supporting the show!
Thu, 01 Apr 2021 03:15:18 +0000
46. Flexible, resilient, sustainable: the making of the XXIst Century Supergrid - mar21
After several black outs in the past months, the irresistible growing trend towards electrification and the relentless rise of renewables, the grid has become the indispensable nervous system of the energy transition. How can the grid manage more intermittent and decentralized sources while ensuring more resiliency in dire and more recurrent weather extremes.
Gerhard Salge, CTO Hitachi ABB Power Grids provides solutions for a modernised XXIst Century super-grid. The super-grid will be strengthen through interconnectors and AI, but also integrate new usages such as emobility, heating, and industrial uses like steel and mining. This is a journey where digisation, virtual inertia, mini-hubs are the new tool to build, manage and strengthen the XXist century supergrid. Massive investments and new mindsets will be key to a cleaner and more resilient electrical world.
Thank you to our partner - Aquila Capital - for supporting the show.
Visit Aquila Capital: https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 04:00:22 +0000
45. The Green Industrial Revolution - mar21
The UK Green Industrial Revolution was introduced by Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, in 2020. It is a holistic approach to decarbonisation, but we wanted to focus on one of its key aspects: the development of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.
Beyond climate change, it is about innovation, new opportunities and massive jobs creation. We have invited two young engineers working on those gigantic projects Ajai Ahluwalia of Equinor and Virginia Ruiz of ScottishPower-Iberdrola. On the top of their daily jobs, they have both volunteered to work in the shadow board of RenewableUK (the trade association representing the renewable energy sector) and they are actively preparing COP26.
It is great to have young, diverse guests on the show, not just old grumpy white dudes. The passion and dedication of Millennials is definitely powering the Green Industrial Revolution.
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 04:15:15 +0000
44. Hydrogen... it's complicated! - feb21
Why are engineers, politicians and financiers talking about Hydrogen all the time? And why are they throwing billions of subsidies or investment in companies in that sector?
Is Hydrogen a problem, with its hundreds of millions tonnes of CO2 emissions per year or a “Swiss Army Knife” solution that will help decarbonise Mobility, Heating and God knows what?
Should decarbonising the current Hydrogen production be the initial goal? Carbon Capture, Electrolysers: do those technologies make sense from an economic perspective, are there technology breakthroughs ahead or does someone will have to foot the bill?
Rather than trying to fix the fuel, should we not instead switch the fuel and electrify everything?
Those are all the subjects that are covered in this long Episode, and answers are… complicated.
Fortunately, we have our friend Paul Martin on the show, to try to make sense of all those options, and dissociate the Hope from the Hype.

•Electrification: Mark Jacobson
•Mobility: James Carter (and check Auke Hoestra on twitter)
•Aviation: Toby McCann
•Lobbying: THE HYDROGEN HYPE https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/hydrogen-report-web-final_3.pdf
•Finally, a lot of good material from our friends John Poljack and Alex Grant
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 05:00:15 +0000
43. The quest for low carbon Aluminium (with Lord Barker) - feb21
Aluminium is a key metal for the Energy Transition with the development of EVs, non-plastic packaging and Renewables. But it is also a very energy-intensive metal, consuming 15MWh/t aluminium: this represents 3% of the world’s power consumption. Some of the greenest producers are taking action to promote a cleaner way to produce aluminium; they are also pushing the market to properly price “green metal” vs “black metal”. To discuss those critical issues, we have the pleasure to welcome Lord Greg Barker on the show.
After a distinguished career as UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change under David Cameron’s government from 2010 to 2015, Lord Barker is now Chairman of EN+. EN+ is the largest Aluminium producer in the world outside China and also the largest private owner of Hydro Capacity in the world (15GW). Lord Barker is on a mission to clean the Aluminium sector, and debates with Gerard and Laurent how the pricing of carbon will help boost the advent of green metals.
An excellent report on Aluminium emissions: https://ember-climate.org/commentary/2021/02/07/china-aluminium-2020-emissions/
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 05:35:09 +0000
42. Our predictions for 2021 - jan21
In this Episode, its Nostradamus vs. Cassandra: Laurent and Gerard share their predictions for 2021.
1) “The Empire strikes back”, legacy players in the Energy and Automotive sectors will bounce back
2) The unstoppable development of renewables
3) The SPACs valuation hang-over, most of them imploding after reaching unjustifiable valuations
4) The tipping point in EVs production and adoption
5) The renaissance of the Carbon markets
6) The growing leadership of China in the Energy Transition…
and much more topics that we unveil and will dig more into during the season…
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 04:45:17 +0000
41. The coming Boom of the US Energy Transition - jan21
For our first episode of 2021, we have the pleasure and privilege to welcome Katherine Hamilton, co-founder and Chair at 38 North Solution (a Washington based public policy firm focused on clean energy and innovation). Katherine is one of the best expert of the US energy and environmental policy, and she is also part of the “Energy Gang” the most famous Energy podcast. We consider Katherine to be the “fairy godmother” of Redefining Energy. During a breezy and affable conversation, we analyse the state of play of the American Energy Transition as Trump gives way to Biden. Despite the outgoing Administration’s rhetoric and shenanigans, clean energy has thrived since 2016 (wind +50%, solar x2, batteries x4, EVs x6). Now that a resolutely pro-climate Administration takes the helm, we anticipate a spectacular acceleration of the Energy Transition in America, and Katherine wonderfully explains why.

Happy new year to all our listeners.
Sat, 02 Jan 2021 05:50:20 +0000
40. “Climate Change? Solved!” (with Norman Crowley) - dec20
For our last episode of 2020, we share a Christmas story: until 1931, Santa was green, then he was taken over by Coca-Cola who turned it red. In 2020, Santa is Green again! So we have invited the tech version of Green Santa, Norman Crowley.
Norman, a convinced environmentalist and successful Irish entrepreneur, is investing in advanced solutions to reduce emissions in three key sectors of the Energy Transition: energy efficiency, transportation and food-tech. Norman delivers an optimistic message “Climate Change is solved”: this is due to the rapid adoption of clean technologies rather than old-style command and control, top down policies. Controversial, probably… worth listening, certainly.

Merry Christmas to all our listeners; if you want to make us a nice year-end present, please rate the show 5* and leave a nice review. See you all in 2021.
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 04:10:15 +0000
39. Nuclear Industry, the autopsy - dec20
In 2020, every two days, wind and solar added more net capacity to the world than nuclear in a year. Fifteen years ago, the Nuclear Industry presented itself as the main solution to climate change; today, it is limping towards oblivion. This carnage is mainly self-inflicted: disregard for capital discipline, appalling track record in term of innovation deployment and more basically wrong economics when every other source of energy was working hard to scale up and reduce costs. To assist us in the Industry’s autopsy, we have invited Mycle Schneider, leading independent nuclear expert and coordinator of the internationally acclaimed World Nuclear Industry Status Report. We dissect the reasons why the industry is going from bad to worse, and why its last supports start to wane. Total tragedy.
Reference: https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/-The-Annual-Reports-.html
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 04:00:08 +0000
38. The EV Battery race: gigafactories, supply chains and chemistry - nov20
The EV Battery race is in full swing: competition for scale, building of international supply chains and the search for the best chemistry. After the spectacular Tesla Battery Day where a path to a 50% reduction in batteries costs has been plotted, Redefining Energy tries to assess Tesla’s technological advances versus its competitors: Years or just months? And what is the competition working on?
There is no better guest than Roland Zenn, Supply Chain Manager at Farasis, to provide a technical inside-view on the state-of-the art of Batteries production. Farasis is one of the challengers in the EV battery race, with a partnership with Daimler. Are we on the path to standardization or specialization? How can we continue to reduce prices while ensuring a staggering growth in volume? What are the breakthroughs around the corner? All those themes and much more in this new Episode of the Redefining Energy podcast, to reach an answer to one of the key question of 2020: can the Auto Industry catch up on Tesla?
A great thanks to Simon Moores and Vivas Kumar from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, George Heppel from CRUGroup, Joe Lowry aka “Mr Lithium”, Howard Klein and Rodney Hooper from RK Equity and Jack Bedder from Roskill for their insights. They are the real experts!
Sun, 15 Nov 2020 05:00:02 +0000
37. Energy Transition in Spain (with Iberdola) - nov20
Spain is a country blessed with natural clean resources, water, wind and sun, but also prong to boom and busts when it comes to the Energy Transition. Thankfully, Spain’s Energy Transition is also managed by no non-sense very competent professionals. It is our pleasure to welcome Agustin Delgado, CTO of Spanish giant Iberdrola, a company more valuable than RWE and E.ON combined. With Agustin, we will review Spain’s plan to massively decarbonise, and use mostly market forces and proven technologies to achieve this goal. Running a clean grid at 70% is within reach, thanks to a savvy combination of Solar, Wind and Pumped Hydro, while Battery Storage and CCGT will be used to balance the market. This will allow the retirement of coal and nuclear while electrifying transport and buildings. A great vision, but a pragmatic and totally doable. Spain is definitely back as a Clean Energy champion, and Iberdrola leads the charge.
Finally, we want to thank all our listeners. More than 75,000 downloads, Close to 100 5* reviews on Itunes. Gerard and Laurent wish you, fellows of the Energy Transition, a happy Anniversary!
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 05:00:08 +0000
36. Digital Revolution in Transmission (with Smart Wires) - oct20
Modernising and expanding the Transmission networks is one the least publicised but critical way to facilitate a faster introduction and smoother management of renewable energy. Grid operators have been portrayed as very conservative and risk adverse. Incentives structures are rarely there to promote innovation.
But a digital solution has emerged recently, so disruptive and brilliant that it received the World Economic Forum award for “transmission innovation of the decade”. This revolution, 10 years in the making is about to unlock a better access to more renewables everywhere around the world. At the helm is Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of California-based SmartWires, that we have the privilege to interview on the show.
Gregg dives into the technological innovation that modular power flow control solutions bring to the Grid, in term of cost, time to market and flexibility. We analyse why incumbents didn’t see this coming, how they face a Kodak moment in this 100bnUSD industry; we tour the world to understand how the UK, Germany and Australia and many others system operators are adopting SmartWires technologies to modernise their grids, transforming them from skeletons to brains.
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:00:16 +0000
35. The European Green Deal (or no Deal?) - oct20
In this Episode, we analyse the European Green Deal. EGD is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the global aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050, including an interim reduction of emissions of 55% in 2030 compared with 1990 levels. We welcome the expertise of Andrew McDowell, who until last August, was Vice President at the European Investment Bank (EIB) and one of the key contributors to the EGD.
Beyond the grandiose words, we are delving into various pro-climate policies (Energy, Transportation, Buildings…), assess the merit of top-down decisions by the EU, and debate the effectiveness of some programs, and their likely impacts on the decarbonization of the Continent.
So, European Green Deal, or no Deal? Deal!
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 03:30:21 +0000
34. Biomass: from controversy to solution - sep20
In this Episode, Laurent and Gerard delve into biomass. Converting old coal boilers to burn wood pellets has fared diverse results and has drawn to criticisms of some NGOs. That’s why we have invited “Mr Biomass”, Jens Wolf.
Jens is General Manager at Enviva Biomass, one of the world’s largest biomass trader. He had a very long industrial career at Orsted/Dong and then Drax, putting in place the largest biomass units in Europe. On one hand biomass plants are costly to run, as wood pellet is more expensive than coal; on the other you can achieve fast decarbonisation within limited CAPEX.
We look at the prospects in Germany, especially in the district heating sector with old CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plants in the centre of large central and northern European Cities. The time of biomass may have finally come.
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 03:15:11 +0000
33. Utility 2.0: ENEL X - sep20
We have the pleasure and an honor to invite Francesco Venturini, CEO of ENEL X. ENEL X is the Energy Services division of the Italian giant ENEL.
ENEL X regroups all new activities of ENEL: Emobility, EV charging, Demand Response, Rooftop Solar, Energy Storage, Public Lighting,..
Francesco Venturini gives a strategic overview of all those businesses, discuss how they are managed around anchoring platforms.
We are introduced to the new type of Utility that we call Utility 2.0: Asset light, digital eco-systems, client-oriented. Francesco describes the switch from a Commodity-based model to a Service-based model and how ENEL X is shaping, at breakneck pace, the Utility of tomorrow.
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 03:15:13 +0000
32. Forestry, Carbon Sequestration: planting 1 trillion trees to save the planet? - aug20
In this Episode, Gerard and Laurent try to figure out if planting a trillion trees will really save the planet… or if it is even doable? Turning Biodiversity, Carbon Sequestration and Forestry into a financial asset is quite complex. To make a sense of the new concept of Natural Capital, we have invited Christian Del Valle, co-founder of Althelia Climate Fund.
For the past decade, Christian has developed and managed the largest Conservation, Biodiversity and Carbon Sequestration Fund in the World. In 2019, he successfully sold it to French bank Natixis.
If intentions are clear and wonderful, execution proves to be a long and winding road.
So, are we going to save the Planet by planting 1 trillion trees? Christian shares to the keys to success through a journey from the Amazon forest to Sumatra via the Congo basin.

“Christian del Valle” https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-del-valle-0442876/
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 03:10:13 +0000
31. ESG and Sustainable Finance (with Mark Lewis) - aug20
In this Episode, Gerard and Laurent invite Mark Lewis, Global Head of Sustainability Research, BNP Paribas Asset Management for a "battle royal": how ESG and Sustainability are redefining finance.
During a great conversation, they analyse the evolution of Green Finance under various angles: the Blackrock’s letter, the famous rant of Jim Cramer on CNBC, the consequences of COVID-19, Mark Carney’s TCFD, Shareholder’s Activism, Environmental Ratings, ESG ETF, Sustainability and Impact Investing.
Mark Lewis, recent winner of the Sustainable Investment Award for his groundbreaking report “Wells, Wires and Wheels”, confronts his views with Gerard and Laurent.
And a special congratulation to BNPP AM which not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk: according to a new ranking by FT, BNPP votes 100% of Climate resolutions in General Assemblies, which makes it a genuine leader in ESG
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 03:15:17 +0000
30. Digital LNG Trading - jul20
In this Episode we get an unique glance into the growth of the LNG Market over the past decade.
We interview Melissa Lindsay, Founder of the LNG Trading Platform EMSurge. Melissa details the creation of the LNG spot market as she was a broker at Tullett Prebon. Then, she made the bold move to leave that big institution to create her own trading platform. She shares the challenges of raising capital (including re-mortgaging her house), developing a technology that helps the market participants, putting together a team around the world. She relates the developments of Blockchain and AI. Finally she discusses the challenges of harnessing the carbon footprint of the LNG Trading Industry and how efficient market can improve the environmental profile of the LNG industry.
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 03:25:10 +0000
29. Electrifying Europe: Mobility, Heating, Digitisation (with Eurelectric) - jul20
In this Episode, we have a dense, sometimes frank, conversation with Kristian Ruby, Secretary General at Eurelectric, the European Trade Body for Utilities (3,500 members). Kristian is the first SecGen that comes from the Renewables sector, which shows how much this Industry is adapting to the new reality of decarbonisation. He has a vision for the future and knows how to stand his ground despite our barrage of tough questions. We cover the multiple aspects of the green development of the European Energy sector: Mobility, Heating, Digitisation, Taxes... and Kristian comes out as an inspirational leader.
Wed, 01 Jul 2020 03:55:13 +0000
28. PPA Masterclass (with DLA Piper) - jun20
In this Episode, Laurent and Gerard welcome Natasha Luther Jones, Global Co-Chair, Energy and Natural Resources sector, and International Co-Head, Sustainability and ESG at DLA Piper to discuss how Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are driving the growth of renewables. PPAs’ role is to secure long term cash flows for wind and solar projects, they are the key to unlocking cheap debt finance.
How have PPA have grown and evolved in the past 5 years; what are the latest trends; what are the different categories of off-takers and what are their risk profile; what are the impacts of COVID-19... these are some of the topics which are examined during a great conversation with Natasha. And we conclude with a vision of the near future through the digitalisation of PPAs and the ever growing use of platforms.

PPA - power purchase agreement, a long term contract to buy and sell electricity at a certain price
CFD - contract for difference, a financial instrument were two parties agree to settle the difference between a market price and a pre-agreed price
ISDA - legal framework for all OTC transactions
GO - Guarantees of Origin
PCG - parent company guarantee
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 04:00:13 +0000
27. Digitizing the Grid (2/2): from Smart Metering to Neural Networks - jun20
In this twin-episode, Gerard and Laurent explore the multifaceted aspects of the Digitization of the Grid. We suggest our listeners to consider the two Episodes as a whole, as we conclude the conversation at the end of Episode 27.
We have had the privilege to welcome two great guests, Marcel Steinbach (E26) and Baard Eilertsen (E27). Their totally different vision and approaches - the Insider and the Disruptor - provide nevertheless a clear path towards full Digitization, one of the 3 D’s of the Energy Transition alongside Decentralisation and Decarbonisation.

Episode 27 proposes a long term vision of the grid’s digitization from an Disruptor’s perspective: Baard Eilertsen, CEO of Truebase AB, a successful Swedish Entrepreneur, has been at the forefront of several digital innovations in the Telecoms and Energy sectors. Baard predicts that with Intelligent Metering and IoT, the century-old centralized System will morph into Neural Networks. Billions of data points will lead to a radical transformation of the Grid thanks to real-time demand management. Techgiants such as Microsoft, Google and Tesla are the ultimate disruptors and will force a transformation like we’ve never seen before.
Mon, 01 Jun 2020 02:45:09 +0000
26. Digitizing the Grid (1/2): the future of Power Trading - jun20
In this twin-episode, Gerard and Laurent explore the multifaceted aspects of the Digitization of the Grid. We suggest our listeners to consider the two Episodes as a whole, as we conclude the conversation at the end of Episode 27.
We have had the privilege to welcome two great guests, Marcel Steinbach (E26) and Baard Eilertsen (E27). Their totally different vision and approaches - the Insider and the Disruptor - provide nevertheless a clear path towards full Digitization, one of the 3 D’s of the Energy Transition alongside Decentralisation and Decarbonisation.

Episode 26 examine digitization through the lens of Power trading: Marcel Steinbach is Head of Energy Market Design and Regulatory Strategy at BDEW, the German Energy Association. BDEW is instrumental in shaping and structuring Energy markets, at the German and European levels. After 20 years of gradual but relentless improvements, the German power market has become one of the most liquid in the world while being totally decentralized. Marcel dives into the interactions and iterations of advanced digitization and energy trading, successfully facing the challenge of integrating up to 70% of renewables in the German grid.
Mon, 01 Jun 2020 02:30:02 +0000
25. A new dawn for Hydropower (with Natel Energy) - may20
In this episode, Laurent and Gerard analyse the latest innovations in the hydropower sector, the still largest source of renewable energy in the world (but growing at a much slower pace than Wind and Solar). We have a great conversation with Gia Schneider, CEO of Natel Energy, a California-based small-hydro start up. Natel has just raised 11mUSD from Breakthrough Ventures (an Innovation fund supported by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg…) as well as Schneider Electric. Natel’s innovative hydro turbine has a very low LCOE combined with great environmental performances. We discuss the challenges Gia Schneider had to overcome and share a vision for a decarbonized grid where small hydro can deliver clean dispatchable and baseload power.
Thanks to James Branner, Top hydro Engineer at GE, for sharing information on the sector’s latest developments.
Finally, we would like to thank Katherine Hamilton from the Energy Gang podcast, for her kind words on Redefining Energy.
Fri, 15 May 2020 03:55:16 +0000
24. The other Elon Musk (that you’ve never heard of) - may20
In this Episode, Gerard has a fascinating conversation with Alex Voigt, the legendary Cleantech innovator. Over the past two decades, Alex Voigt, hailed as one of the Founding Fathers of the solar industry, has embodied Germany's Energiewende. Alex has created two solar companies, Solon and Grips, a battery storage company Younicos (acquired in 2017 by Aggreko), and now develops Lumenion, a breakthrough in thermal storage about to revolutionize and decarbonize the district heating sector.
A dense, witty and savvy dialogue covering all topics: Solar, Li-Ion batteries , Hydrogen, resistance to innovation, carbon pricing, disruption in district heating through thermal storage … and a meeting with Elon Musk in 2008 on the road to Pasadena.

Fri, 01 May 2020 02:00:11 +0000
23. Inside a Renewable Energy Banker’s mind (with ABN AMRO) - apr20
Episode 23 of the podcast goes inside a Renewable Energy banker’s mind.
Without banks, there would be no energy transition. Debt has provided more finance than Equity in the development of wind and solar. Being Bankable means for a project: access to credit, lower equity requirement and faster scaling up of new clean infrastructure.

With Lisa McDermott, Executive Director Project Financing at Dutch Bank ABN AMRO, we review the four risks that need to be mitigated towards bankability: Technology risk, Credit Risk, Execution Risk and Market Risk. Then we explore the various promising technologies and assess their path to bankability: Floating Solar, Floating Offshore Wind, Blue and Green Hydrogen.

One of our best interview ever!
Wed, 15 Apr 2020 03:25:07 +0000
22. The new Energy landscape post COVID-19: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - apr20
In this Episode, Laurent and Gerard talk about COVID-19 and the considerable impacts both positive and negative that it will have on the world of Energy. The episode is called the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- the (not so, but still relatively compared to the rest) Good being the world of clean energy and the wider world of power, which is likely to come out of this crisis relatively unscathed.
- the (very, but temporarily) Bad: Transportation; road, automotive and air are in an historic freefall as people stop travelling, but we foresee bailouts and ultimately, recoveries.
- the (apocalyptically) Ugly: Oil, obliterated by the collision of once in a century demand destruction and an also historic production glut flamed by the implosion of the OPEC+ cartel.

The co-hosts admit that nobody knows when the various Energy markets will bottom. We won’t speculate whether and when we will go back to the ‘norm’ or is the current crisis a glimpse at the future of Energy … Every listener’s guess is as good as ours.

The Episode nevertheless ends on a upbeat tone: friends and fellows of the Energy Transition, third time’s a charm: We’ve been through crisis in the early 2000’s with Enron+9/11, and we recovered; then in 2008/9 and the GFC, and we recovered. We will recover from this one as well. Because, we’re in it not just for the money, but also for a higher purpose, and that’s why we will always, always transcend the fossil fuel industry.

Book Reference: The Prize, Daniel Yergin
Our LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/redefining-energy/
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 03:40:13 +0000
21. Energy Storage System: “the Holy Grail” (with Fluence) - mar20
In this Episode, Laurent and Gerard debate around the exponential development of Energy Storage, “the Holy Grail”. The development of stationary storage is key to unlocking a deeper penetration of more renewables. By 2030, BNEF estimates that the market could reach 1TWh, or a x200 in the ‘20s decade.
But finding a right business model remains tricky, especially with antiquated regulatory frameworks. We interview Dr. Marek Kubik, market director at Fluence, a JV AES/Siemens. Marek unveils the keys to successful developments of stationary storage, the technology progresses and the way the market is heading. We also dive deep into the various options regarding the integration of Electric Vehicles into the Power Grid. Groundbreaking!
Sun, 15 Mar 2020 04:40:14 +0000
20a. Peak Oil - Addendum / the COVID-19 impacts - mar20
In this Addendum of Episode 20 (recorded after the 30% Oil Crash) Laurent and Gerard reassess their views on the future of Oil, in light of the current turmoil. We have just witnessed a one-in-a-decade shock. While we hope for a short-term pain, we foresee changes at work in the background. When we get out of this crisis, things might be different.
Wed, 11 Mar 2020 03:15:04 +0000
20. Peak Oil? What Peak Oil? - mar20
In this Episode (recorded before the COVID 19 crisis, please listen to Episode 20a - Addendum to this Episode) we welcome Callum Macpherson - Head of Commodities at Investec - to discuss Oil, and more specifically how Oil can or cannot be displaced from its various uses: Automobile, Heavy Duty, Shipping, Aviation...
IS the world really running out of Oil? Or is it only running out of “Cheap Oil”? But the real question shouldn’t be rather: are we facing “Peak Demand”?
Oil is a humongous market, it has sailed though crises during its history and has always managed to reinvent itself. But is this time different? The reality is extremely complex as a lot of conflicting forces (such as carbon, price of alternatives, geopolitics, tax revenues, security of supply...) are here at play.
We might end-up with surprising outcomes!
Please note: these podcasts are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell financial instruments. These podcasts do not constitute a personal recommendation and are not investment advice
Sun, 01 Mar 2020 04:20:20 +0000
19. Hydrogen: broken promises (with Paul Martin) - feb20
Gerard and Laurent invite Paul Martin to review the various development routes for Hydrogen, the forever “fuel of tomorrow”. Behind the smoke and mirrors of the current H2 PR blitz, are powerful incumbent industries looking for new markets.
Unfortunately the laws of thermodynamics are not playing in favor of Hydrogen.
The debate explores how Hydrogen is produced, and what are its best uses.
Can "Green" Hydrogen ever compete with "Blue" Hydrogen?
Is there any possible scaling of Electrolysers to reduce their price?
As for its uses, Hydrogen for Ammonia, for Transportation and others are much trumpeted options. But can Hydrogen be cheaply moved?
And what should government do? Subsidise or Tax?
During an in-depth episode, we debunk myths and start providing sensible answers from an environmental and economic stand point.
Sat, 15 Feb 2020 03:35:02 +0000
18. Offshore Wind, clean energy new Titans (with Equinor) - feb20
In this episode, Gerard and Laurent analyse the incredible development of Offshore Wind in the past decade and debate the future of this industry.
We have the privilege to interview Stephen Bull, Senior Vice President Offshore Wind at Equinor, one of the world’s leading expert on the subject. From a pipe dream 10 years ago, Offshore Wind has come a long way, representing one the fastest growing clean energy segment in the EU.
The technical performances of those new Titans of the sea are dazzling; machines are now the size of the Eiffel Tower and deliver carbon-free baseload at a third of the cost of new nuclear.
And the 2020’s will see developments in more geographies like USA and Asia as well as the conquest of a new frontier: floating offshore.
Sat, 01 Feb 2020 03:15:14 +0000
17. Our Energy World in 2030 - jan20
Gerard and Laurent take a look at the 2020’s and discuss what could be the biggest changes in energy.
Will Tesla continue its meteoric rise? How will carbon be priced or taxed, with what potential impacts? Will grids turn smart? How cheap solar and storage will become? Will we see the emergence of environmental protectionism? Is Bill Gates doing useful investments in Clean Tech? Will Energy and Data converge? What will be the role of Hydrogen? Do alternative technologies, such as wave, tidal, small hydro, floating offshore wind and small nuclear stand any reasonable chance? Will Blockchain and crypto become mainstream?… And finally, will the Oil sector resist the Revolution to come.
Wild or sensible predictions, but always with humor and common sense.
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 04:15:13 +0000
16. The '10s: a decade of Energy Revolutions - jan20
Gerard and Laurent review the incredible decade of the 2010’s, one in which the US shale boom has transformed the energy landscape from being threatened by a supply deficit to a global glut. At the same time, falling prices in solar, wind, LEDs and battery storage as well as advances in digitalization have triggered an extensive decarbonization of the power sector.
There were also dramatic events like Fukushima which killed the nuclear renaissance as well as worrying trends such as the relentless growth of Emissions.
But the 2010’s picture would not be complete without disruptors such as Aubrey McClendon and Charif Souki, who led the Shale Revolution and its export around the world, and last but not least Elon Musk who singlehandedly launched the EV revolution.
Thu, 02 Jan 2020 04:55:10 +0000
15. Green Datacenters (with Google and Microsoft) - dec19
Gerard and Laurent address the critical role of Datacenters in the new Energy landscape. Datacenters, Internet's backbone, have become significant Energy guzzlers in the past decade, with their consumption multiplied by 5.
We interview Marc Oman, Senior Energy Lead at Google and Vanessa Miler-Fels, Renewable Energy & Sustainability Strategist at Microsoft, and learn how tech giants have become prominent drivers of the Energy Transition through their Green Power Purchasing Strategy.
Along the way, Google, Microsoft and peers have taken over the yesteryear governmental programs and now provide Wind and Solar developers with long term revenue certainty that help develop new Renewable Energy Assets across the globe.
But Gerard and Laurent recognize that dealing with Techgiants may come with string attached: credit support, reverse auctions and proxy PPAs are hard to fathom for a lot of Clean Energy developers.
Techgiants have opened a path for other Corporates, through initiatives like Re-Source, RE-100, to expand the Green Energy revolution in the 2020’s. New platforms such as Zeigo and Pexapark are bringing transparency to this new market.

Marc Oman: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcoman/
Vanessa Miler-Fels : https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessa-miler-fels-03851231/
Zeigo: https://zeigo.energy/
Pexapark: https://pexapark.com/
Re-Source: http://resource-event.eu/
Sun, 01 Dec 2019 04:55:04 +0000
14. The rise and fall of Mobisol, pioneer of Rural Electrification in Africa - nov19
Gerard and Laurent discuss the daunting challenge of electrifying Africa. We interview Thomas Gottschalk, founder and ex CEO of Mobisol, a German Start-Up which provided off-grid power to one million Africans over the past 10 years. But, along the way, Mobisol burnt up 100mUSD and Thomas saw his personal health eventually deteriorate.
In September 2019, Mobisol has been purchased by Energy giant Engie. Thomas - who had resigned a few month beforehand - is rebounding in a new venture and is relentlessly pursuing his global dream of providing world class technology to the poorest while building a sustainable business around it.
Laurent and Gerard analyse the rise and fall and rebirth of this visionary entrepreneur.
Fri, 01 Nov 2019 05:20:14 +0000
13. Electric Vehicles: VW vs. Tesla. Game on! - oct19
Happy 1 year anniversary to the podcast! In this episode, Gerard and Laurent review the state of play of the Electric Vehicle (EV) market following a visit at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Who are the leaders, the no-shows and the laggards? Is the German Auto Industry catching up on Tesla? How is shaping up their collaboration with Asian battery producers? What to think of Chinese start-ups? How will software and mobility impact the industry in the coming years… and a lot of other analyses of the EV industry and where it is heading.
Tue, 01 Oct 2019 04:35:08 +0000
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