Cover image of The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder
(96)
News

The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder

Updated 5 days ago

News
Read more

Straight talk about the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables with energy expert Chris Nelder

Read more

Straight talk about the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables with energy expert Chris Nelder

iTunes Ratings

96 Ratings
Average Ratings
86
4
3
2
1

I’m paying for a full $60/yr subscription but can not access the full length episodes! Please help.

By mellingson - Oct 06 2019
Read more
Please help - I have looked at the video on your website that supposedly helps people log in to hear full episodes but it didn’t have sound and did not help.

Excellent podcast on energy

By Seb Rattansen - Dec 02 2016
Read more
Probably my favourite podcast on energy.

iTunes Ratings

96 Ratings
Average Ratings
86
4
3
2
1

I’m paying for a full $60/yr subscription but can not access the full length episodes! Please help.

By mellingson - Oct 06 2019
Read more
Please help - I have looked at the video on your website that supposedly helps people log in to hear full episodes but it didn’t have sound and did not help.

Excellent podcast on energy

By Seb Rattansen - Dec 02 2016
Read more
Probably my favourite podcast on energy.
Cover image of The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder

The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Straight talk about the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables with energy expert Chris Nelder

Rank #1: [Episode #4] – Energiewende

Podcast cover
Read more
All about Germany's famed energy transition effort, the Energiewende. What it is, what it isn't (with a strong dose of mythbusting), and what the future of grid power looks like from one of the countries on the leading edge. And in the news segment: US LNG export terminals could be in trouble; China's massive push for renewables; and the latest action in oil prices.

Oct 14 2015

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #2: [Episode #10] – Grid Architecture of the Future

Podcast cover
Read more
What kind of grid architecture and markets will we need in order to actually operate the distributed, decentralized grid of the future? What sorts of regulatory models will be needed? And what does it all mean, from a philosophical point of view, about how human society is organized? How can mere mortals begin to understand these subjects? Never fear: We’ve got you covered, in this ultra-geeky yet accessible episode.

Feb 10 2016

1hr 27mins

Play

Rank #3: [Episode #46] – Is 100% Renewables Realistic?

Podcast cover
Read more
Can we run the world on 100% renewables? Is that even the right goal? A new critique of Prof. Mark Jacobson’s work on 100% renewables offers some insights.

Jun 19 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #4: [eLab Extra #3] – Grid Modernization and DERPs

Podcast cover
Read more
This is a special, free "extra" episode recorded at RMI’s eLab Annual Summit in December 2016 in Austin, Texas.

Grid architecture is evolving, with loads becoming increasingly indistinguishable from generators, and local generators and other distributed resources increasingly supplying the services that were always provided by large central generators in the past. Meanwhile, an ever-evolving set of regulations for wholesale market operations is both enabling new market participants and challenging the security of old market participants. Lorenzo Kristov of the California Independent System Operator returns to the Energy Transition Show to share more of his view of the future in an interview from RMI’s eLab Annual Summit 2016.
Disclaimer

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on these podcasts are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Rocky Mountain Institute or any employee thereof.

Jan 04 2017

42mins

Play

Rank #5: [Episode #90] – How Will Decarbonized Power Markets Work?

Podcast cover
Read more
This one is for the grid geeks! With the Green New Deal now a hot topic in the US Congress, while wholesale power markets still struggle to figure out how to accommodate new kinds of resources even as coal plants and nuclear plants continue to retire, the question of how wholesale power markets should work, and how they should value new kinds of assets and services, is becoming increasingly urgent. What would a power market look like if it consisted mainly (or totally) of wind and solar, with their zero-marginal-cost power? And if we continue to use out-of-market payments to keep clean but uneconomic nuclear plants operating, what will be the effect on power markets? Will power markets ultimately crash under the weight of accumulated patches and workarounds, or can their design be adapted to new social priorities—like combating climate change—and new kinds of resources, like large-scale storage systems? Can we replace the market construct of locational marginal pricing with something more suited to the new reality of grid power? What kind of policies can keep us on track to support transition and facilitate the evolution of the fuel and technology mix toward a high renewables future? Will FERC Order 841 succeed in opening the doors to storage on the grid? Are real-time prices the future of rate design? And as we move toward a deeply decarbonized grid, what are the implications for our economic system?

In this episode, we delve into all those questions and more with an expert who has worked on power markets for over 30 years.

Mar 06 2019

26mins

Play

Rank #6: [Episode #33] – Fracking Follies

Podcast cover
Read more
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) regularly updates its estimates for how much oil and gas might be recovered in the future, and at what rate. With the application of new technology from year to year, those estimates generally keep going up. But it’s important to remember that they are just estimates — and the devil is always in the details.

Our guest in this episode is a career geoscientist who has diligently delved into those devilish details. In his new reports, he finds that EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 seems to significantly overstate how much oil and gas might be recovered using fracking technology, with estimates for shale gas and tight oil production that exceed the estimates for how much of those resources are even technically recoverable. In this extended and technically detailed interview, we discuss EIA’s most recent forecasts and try to understand what’s realistic for future US hydrocarbon production.

Dec 28 2016

1hr 18mins

Play

Rank #7: [Episode #13] – The Oracle of Oil

Podcast cover
Read more
Many have heard of peak oil, but few seem to understand what it really means, and fewer still know much of anything about the father of the idea, M. King Hubbert. In this episode we interview science journalist Mason Inman, who has written the first biography of Hubbert: The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future, which hits the shelves April 11. Deeply researched and rich with detail about the debates over our energy future (and energy transition) from the 1940s through the 1980s, the book is a terrific read for anyone interested in peak oil theory, what it is about, and what it is not about (for example, oil prices!). Today’s debates about the future of energy aren’t too dissimilar from the debates of 60-70 years ago…and that should make us think hard about where we’re going.

Check out the interview that critics are calling “way too long!” with the author of the book that Publisher’s Weekly called “tedious!”

No, seriously: Check it out. It just may be the best material you’ll ever find on what “peak oil” really is.

Plus: I explain why I’m skeptical about IEA’s new report on the decoupling of carbon emissions and economic growth.

Mar 23 2016

2hr 32mins

Play

Rank #8: [Episode #72] – The Future of Solar

Podcast cover
Read more
What’s next for solar, as it becomes the cheapest form of new power generation? Do we still need solar advocates and incentives, or can it now stand on its own?

Jun 27 2018

28mins

Play

Rank #9: [Episode #35] – Green Bonds

Podcast cover
Read more
What are green bonds, and how can they help mobilize private capital to fund energy transition and climate change mitigation measures? What kinds of things can green bonds be used to fund? What are the various roles for private, corporate, and sovereign issuers? Why does the green bond market need to grow by roughly 10x over the next few years to $1 trillion a year globally, and is there even enough capital out there willing to accept single-digit returns to buy that amount of green bonds? Are green bonds an answer to the stranded assets problem in the fossil fuel sector? And what can the appetite for green bonds tell us about monetary policy and appropriate discount rates for climate change mitigation measures? We get deep into all of these questions with the CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO working to mobilize debt capital markets for climate solutions.

Jan 25 2017

11mins

Play

Rank #10: [Episode #23] – Facts and Falsehoods in Energy Transition

Podcast cover
Read more
Should we tweak our markets to keep nuclear plants alive, or forget about markets and pay for them another way… and do we really need them at all to keep the grid functioning? Is nuclear power really declining because of overzealous environmentalists, or are there other reasons? Is it possible to balance a grid with a high amount of variable renewables and no traditional baseload plants? Is cost-benefit analysis the right way to approach energy transition? How much “decoupling” can we do between the economy and energy consumption, and how can we correctly measure it? Why are we so bad at forecasting energy and economic growth, and how can we do it better? How will energy transition affect the economy?

We explore all of these questions and more, and try to separate fact from falsehoods in this wide-ranging interview. It might even change your mind about a few things.

Aug 10 2016

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #11: [Episode #37] – Corporate Buyers of Renewables

Podcast cover
Read more
Corporations have emerged as some of the top buyers of renewable electricity, even buying it from wind and solar farms in other states. But why are they doing that when they could just buy grid power? And how do “virtual PPAs” work, anyway? Erin Craig has the answers.

Feb 22 2017

16mins

Play

Rank #12: [Episode #100] – Teaching Energy Transition

Podcast cover
Read more

For our 100th episode, we thought we’d do a little something special: Interview professors from four US universities who are using the Energy Transition Show as coursework, and make the full show available to everyone, including non-subscribers. We ask these teachers about the specific topics they’re teaching, how they’re using the show in their classes, what concepts students find difficult, what misconceptions students have about energy, and how students are reacting to having study materials in podcast form. We also talk with two of the professors about their new energy transition textbooks, which are being published this year.

Jul 24 2019

1hr 46mins

Play

Rank #13: [Episode #8] – Storage on the Grid

Podcast cover
Read more
All about storage on the grid -- in front of the meter -- with a little bit about behind-the-meter storage.  How to value storage, how storage complements and replaces generation, and some geeky excursions into locational marginal pricing, PURPA, non-market uplift payments, and FERC Order 819! And in the news segment: Comments on the COP 21 United Nations Climate Change Conference and an update on carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Dec 02 2015

59mins

Play

Rank #14: [Episode #68] – Environmental Economics

Podcast cover
Read more
How can we count the uncountable in energy transition, and turn it into relevant data that can inform climate policy?

May 02 2018

26mins

Play

Rank #15: [Episode #66] – Transition’s Disruptors Part 1

Podcast cover
Read more
What do disruptive companies like oil and gas frackers and Tesla have in common, and what can they tell us about energy transition? Part 1 of 2.

Apr 04 2018

26mins

Play

Rank #16: [Episode #29] – Grid Simulation and Wind Potential

Podcast cover
Read more
What combination of power generators on the U.S. grid produces reliable power at the lowest cost? Or, what’s the most renewable energy that can be deployed at a given grid power cost, and what kind of transmission capacity is needed to support it? How would the U.S. grid be different if it were one, unified grid with more high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission capacity? What’s the most productive design for a wind farm? How might weather and a changing climate affect future electricity production from wind and solar farms? And how much renewable power is really feasible on the U.S. grid?

These have been devilishly difficult questions to answer, but now advanced mathematical simulations are beginning to make it possible to answer them much more quickly…and if quantum computing becomes a reality, we could answer them instantly.

In an homage to Comedy Central’s Drunk History, this episode features a conversation conducted over several pints of IPA with a mathematician who recently developed such a simulator while he was working at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in Boulder, CO. His insights on how the grid of the future might actually function are fascinating, and will likely shatter some of your pre-existing beliefs. It also contains a few nuggets for the serious math geeks out there.

Nov 02 2016

2hr 5mins

Play

Rank #17: [Episode #30] – The Future of Wind

Podcast cover
Read more
The cost of wind power has been falling steadily again since the 2008 price spike, and newer projects have been coming in at 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, making them very competitive with natural gas fired power and ranking among the very lowest-cost ways to generate electricity. But can wind prices keep falling, or have they bottomed out?

A recent report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and other organizations offers some clues. Based on a survey of 163 of the world’s foremost wind energy experts, it examines in detail what factors have led to wind’s cost reductions in the past, and attempts to forecast what will drive further cost reductions in the future. It also looks at some of the reasons why previous forecasts have underestimated the growth and cost reductions of wind, and suggests that many agency forecasts may be underestimating them still. In this episode, one of the report’s principal authors explains the findings and offers some cautionary words about how much confidence we can have in our forecasts.

Nov 16 2016

1hr 11mins

Play

Rank #18: [Episode #56] – Blockchain in Energy Transition

Podcast cover
Read more
Could the blockchain be a powerful new enabler of energy transition, or is it just another overhyped solution in search of a problem?

Nov 15 2017

20mins

Play

Rank #19: [eLab Extra #7] – How NREL Supports Energy Transition

Podcast cover
Read more
This is a special, free "extra" episode recorded at RMI’s eLab Annual Summit in December 2016 in Austin, Texas.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) based in Golden, Colorado provides a wide range of research, guidance, and policy support to the whole government stack in the U.S., from the local and city level all the way up to the federal and tribal level. From supporting the rebuild of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to informing policies with things like calculating the Value of Solar (VOS) and figuring out better ways of doing demand response, NREL is helping to lead the way on energy transition. We interview Elizabeth Doris of NREL at RMI’s eLab Summit 2016.
Disclaimer

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on these podcasts are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Rocky Mountain Institute or any employee thereof.

Jan 18 2017

32mins

Play

Rank #20: [Duke Energy Week extra #3] – Storage Potential, the Role of EVs, and Data Analytics

Podcast cover
Read more
How should we value storage services? Will CSP and EVs change the grid? How can machine learning and data analytics accelerate energy transition?

Feb 01 2018

55mins

Play