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Catalyst with Shayle Kann

Catalyst with Shayle Kann

Author: Latitude Media

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Investor Shayle Kann is asking big questions about how to decarbonize the planet: How cheap can clean energy get? Will artificial intelligence speed up climate solutions? Where is the smart money going into climate technologies? Every week on Catalyst, Shayle explains the world of climate tech with prominent experts, investors, researchers, and executives. Produced by Latitude Media.

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Driven by the AI boom, data centers’ energy demand could account for 9% of U.S. power generation by 2030, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. That's more than double current usage. So how do we meet that demand? And what impacts will it have on the grid and decarbonization? In this episode, Shayle talks to Brian Janous, former vice president of energy at Microsoft and current co-founder of Cloverleaf Infrastructure. Brian talks through the options for meeting data center demand, including shaping computational loads to avoid system peaks and deploying grid-enhancing technologies. He and Shayle also cover topics like: Why AI-driven demand will be big, even with “zombie requests” in the interconnection queue How hyperscalers are “coming to grips” with the reality that they may not hit decarbonization targets as quickly as planned Why Brian thinks efficiency improvement alone “isn’t going to save us” from rising load growth Why Brian argues that taking data centers off-grid is not a solution  Options for shaping data center load, such as load shifting, microgrids, and behind-the-meter generation How hyperscalers could speed up interconnection by shaping computational loads Recommended Resources: Electric Power Research Institute: Powering Intelligence: Analyzing Artificial Intelligence and Data Center Energy Consumption The Carbon Copy: New demand is straining the grid. Here’s how to tackle it. Federal Regulatory Energy Commission: Report | 2024 Summer Energy Market and Electric Reliability Assessment Make sure to listen to our new podcast, Political Climate – an insider’s view on the most pressing policy questions in energy and climate. Tune in every other Friday for the latest takes from hosts Julia Pyper, Emily Domenech, and Brandon Hurlbut. Available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to also check out Living Planet, a weekly show from Deutsche Welle that brings you the stories, facts, and debates on the key environmental issues affecting our planet. Tune in to Living Planet every Friday on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Tesla’s Master Plan Part 3 lays out the company’s model for a decarbonized economy — and makes the case for why it's economically viable. It outlines a vision for extensive electrification and a reliance on wind and solar power.  In this episode, Shayle talks to one of the executives behind the plan, Drew Baglino, who was senior vice president for powertrain and energy at Tesla until April when he resigned. In his 18 years at Tesla he worked on batteries, cars, and even Tesla’s lithium refinery. Shayle and Drew cover topics like: Why Drew isn't sure that AI-driven load growth “is going to be as dramatic as people think” Drew’s optimism about the U.S.’ ability to build out enough transmission for decarbonization How to deal with the high rates of curtailment and what to do with that excess power Meeting the material requirements of decarbonization and Drew’s experience with permitting Tesla facilities  Recommended Resources: Tesla: Master Plan Part 3 CNBC: Tesla execs Drew Baglino and Rohan Patel depart as company announces steep layoffs The Carbon Copy: AI's main constraint: Energy, not chips Catalyst: Understanding the transmission bottleneck Utility rates could make or break the energy transition – so how do we do it right? On June 13, Latitude Media and GridX are hosting a Frontier Forum to examine the importance of good rate design and the consequences of getting it wrong. Register here. And make sure to listen to our new podcast, Political Climate – an insider’s view on the most pressing policy questions in energy and climate. Tune in every other Friday for the latest takes from hosts Julia Pyper, Emily Domenech, and Brandon Hurlbut. Available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Batteries are making their way into more passenger cars and commercial vehicles than ever before, but the limits of electrification mean that we’ll likely need alternative fuels to decarbonize heavy transport like ships, planes, and trucks.  So what are those fuels and what modes of transport do they suit best? In this episode, Shayle talks to his colleague Andy Lubershane, partner and head of research at Energy Impact Partners. They talk through the limits of electrification and the alternatives for decarbonizing trucks, ships, and planes, drawing on Andy’s recent blog post, “How will we move the big, heavy things?”. They cover topics like: The main limitations of batteries: density and infrastructure Volumetric and gravimetric density, and why they matter for different types of vehicles How fossil fuels would beat out even a theoretical “uber-battery” multiple times denser than current batteries Why upgrading “always-on” grid infrastructure can be lengthy, expensive, and disruptive  The alternatives to electrification: biofuels, hydrogen, and e-fuels The advantages and limitations of each for different modes of transport Recommended Resources: Port of Long Beach: Our Zero Emissions Future Enterprise Mobility: Electrifying Airport Ecosystems by 2050 Could Require Nearly Five Times the Electric Power Currently Used Catalyst: Understanding SAF buyers Utility rates could make or break the energy transition – so how do we do it right? On June 13th, Latitude Media and GridX are hosting a Frontier Forum to examine the imperative of good rate design, and the consequences of getting it wrong. Register here. And make sure to listen to our new podcast, Political Climate – an insider’s view on the most pressing policy questions in energy and climate. Tune in every other Friday for the latest takes from hosts Julia Pyper, Emily Domenech, and Brandon Hurlbut. Available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
This week, we’re featuring a crossover episode of With Great Power, a show produced by Latitude Studios in partnership with GridX. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts. Ahmad Faruqui has been researching electricity pricing since the mid 1970’s, when the cost of a kilowatt-hour was flat. But in the 80’s and 90’s, he started working on dynamic pricing – pioneering the concept of time-of-use rates. The big breakthrough for time-of-use rates came during the fallout from the California energy crisis. Later, thanks to the rollout of smart meters, more power providers started experimenting with dynamic rates. Now, new technology is making time-of-use rate design more transparent. This week, Ahmad talks with Brad about why dynamic pricing is gaining momentum among electric utilities – and what makes for good rate design.  On June 13th, Latitude Media and GridX will host a Frontier Forum to examine the imperative of good rate design – and the consequences of getting it wrong. Register at the link in the show notes, or go to latitudemdia.com/events. See you there!
The U.S. rooftop solar market has tanked. Residential applications in California, the largest market in the country, plunged 82% from May through November 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Contractors are going bankrupt. The big culprits are high interest rates and California’s subsidy cuts. But there are some bright spots. Battery attachment rates in California have surged. So what will it take to revive the U.S. rooftop solar market? In this episode, Shayle talks to Jigar Shah, director of the Loans Programs Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. Jigar argues that the rooftop solar industry should reinvent itself, relying on batteries and virtual power plants (VPPs). He also argues that regulations should focus on system-level dispatchability.  Shayle and Jigar cover topics like: The pros and cons of California’s latest regulations, new energy metering or NEM 3.0 Learning from the mistakes of California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (S-GIP) The role of VPPs and rooftop solar in meeting accelerating load growth Incentivizing system-level dispatchability  How VPPs complicate the sales pitch for rooftop solar How VPPs could help utilities increase the utilization of infrastructure How to make VPPs more reliable Recommended Resources: U.S. Department of Energy: Virtual Power Plants Commercial Liftoff Latitude Media: Defining the rules of DER aggregation Latitude Media: Unpacking the software layer of VPP deployment CalMatters: What’s happened since California cut home solar payments? Demand has plunged 80%  The Wall Street Journal: The Home-Solar Boom Gets a ‘Gut Punch’ Catalyst is supported by Origami Solar. Join Latitude Media’s Stephen Lacey and Origami’s CEO Gregg Patterson for a live Frontier Forum on May 30th at 1 pm Eastern to discuss Origami’s new research on how recycled steel can help reinvigorate the U.S. solar industry. Register for free on Latitude’s events page.
Understanding SAF buyers

Understanding SAF buyers

2024-05-1628:411

Airlines are lining up to buy as much sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as they can, despite it costing two to three times more than conventional jet fuel, according to BloombergNEF. United Airlines has secured 2.9 billion gallons of SAF over, and others like Delta, Air France-KLM, and Southwest have secured around 1 billion gallons each. And yet to meaningfully decarbonize aviation, the SAF market needs to grow thousands of times larger than it is today. BloombergNEF estimates that global production capacity will grow 10-fold by 2030, but by then supply will still only meet 5% of jet fuel demand. So how are airlines thinking about scaling up their procurement of SAF? In this episode, Shayle talks to Amelia DeLuca, chief sustainability officer at Delta. They cover topics like: Who pays the green premium Infrastructure considerations, like SAF hubs and blending Technical pathways, like hydroprocessing, alcohol-to-jet, and power-to-liquids The role of incentives and regulation, like ReFuelEU Why airlines should procure SAF instead of buying carbon removal Recommended Resources: BloombergNEF: United Airlines Is Betting Big on a Pricey Green Aviation Fuel The Verge: Delta Air Lines lays out its plan to leave fossil fuels behind  Canary Media: Can corn ethanol really help decarbonize US air travel? Canary Media: How hydrogen ​‘e-fuels’ can power big ships and planes Catalyst: CO2 utilization Catalyst is supported by Origami Solar. Join Latitude Media’s Stephen Lacey and Origami’s CEO Gregg Patterson for a live Frontier Forum on May 30th at 1 pm Eastern to discuss Origami’s new research on how recycled steel can help reinvigorate the U.S. solar industry. Register for free on Latitude’s events page.
The news quiz episode!

The news quiz episode!

2024-05-0844:53

This week, we have something a little different: a news quiz.  We recently took the stage with four investors at the Prelude Climate Summit — armed with a bell, a buzzer, and four different categories of questions. We tested two teams of venture investors on their knowledge of the most recent industry news. Shayle Kann and Cassie Bowe, partners at venture firm Energy Impact Partners, are team High Voltage.  Dr. Carley Anderson, principal at venture firm Prelude Ventures, and Matt Eggers, Prelude’s manager director, are team Shayle Gassed. (Prelude led fundraising for Latitude Media.) Stephen Lacey, executive editor of this show and host of The Carbon Copy, quizzes the teams on the latest in climate tech news. Which team will come out on top? Catalyst is supported by Origami Solar. Join Latitude Media’s Stephen Lacey and Origami’s CEO Gregg Patterson for a live Frontier Forum on May 30th at 1 pm Eastern to discuss Origami’s new research on how recycled steel can help reinvigorate the U.S. solar industry. Register for free on Latitude’s events page.
CO2 utilization

CO2 utilization

2024-05-0248:07

The IPCC says that we likely need to capture hundreds of gigatons of CO2 if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. So what are we going to do with all that carbon? In this episode, Shayle talks to Julio Friedmann, chief scientist at Carbon Direct. Julio says we will store the vast majority of that CO2. But the markets for using CO2 in things like concrete, fizzy water, and chemicals will play an important role in developing the carbon management economy. Shayle and Julio cover topics like: The roughly 50 carbon capture facilities operating today and how much carbon they capture Why we should recycle carbon at all when we could just store it  Current uses for CO2, like fizzy water, enhanced oil recovery, and concrete Emerging chemical uses, like jet fuel, ethanol, urea, and methanol Substituting glass and metal with products that use recycled carbon, like polycarbonate and carbon fiber The “over the horizon” stuff, like making space elevators from graphene Solving the challenge of local opposition to carbon infrastructure Who will pay the green premium for products made with recycled carbon   Recommended Resources: Center on Global Energy Policy: Opportunities and Limits of CO2 Recycling in a Circular Carbon Economy: Techno-economics, Critical Infrastructure Needs, and Policy Priorities Canary Media: US Steel plant in Indiana to host a $150M carbon capture experiment NBC: Biden admin seeks to jumpstart carbon recycling with $100 million in grants Are growing concerns over AI’s power demand justified? Join us for our upcoming Transition-AI event featuring three experts with a range of views on how to address the energy needs of hyperscale computing, driven by artificial intelligence. Don’t miss this live, virtual event on May 8. Catalyst is supported by Origami Solar. Join Latitude Media’s Stephen Lacey and Origami’s CEO Gregg Patterson for a live Frontier Forum on May 30th at 1 pm Eastern to discuss Origami’s new research on how recycled steel can help reinvigorate the U.S. solar industry. Register for free on Latitude’s events page.
Rare earth elements (REEs) are essential ingredients in electric vehicles, wind turbines, and many electronics. As with most critical minerals, China controls the vast majority of the REE supply chain. And so when it banned the export of REE processing technology last December, it raised concerns about supply. So what will it take to secure the supply of REEs?  In this episode, Shayle talks to Ahmad Ghahreman, CEO and cofounder of Cyclic Materials, a rare earth elements recycling company. (Energy Impact Partners, where Shayle is a partner, invests in Cyclic.) They cover topics like: The five high-value REEs used in the permanent magnets inside EVs, wind turbines, and other electronics The many steps in the supply chain, from extraction to end-of-life Building magnets without REEs Increasing production outside of China The role of recycling Why Ahmad is optimistic about developing a supply chain in North America Recommended Resources: MIT Technology Review: The race to produce rare earth elements IEEE Spectrum: Who Will Free EV Motors from the Rare Earth Monopoly? Are growing concerns over AI’s power demand justified? Join us for our upcoming Transition-AI event featuring three experts with a range of views on how to address the energy needs of hyperscale computing, driven by artificial intelligence. Don’t miss this live, virtual event on May 8.
A little-known U.S. law called the Jones Act shapes climate tech in weird ways — like hindering offshore wind deployment and pushing up energy prices. The law, part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires all cargo shipped between U.S. ports to be carried by ships that meet strict standards. Those ships must be built in American shipyards, owned by an American company, registered in the U.S., and crewed by a majority American crew. As a result, building cargo ships in the U.S., and operating them between U.S. ports, is way more expensive than building and operating ships in other countries — and relatively few U.S. ships get built. So what are the impacts on climate tech? In this episode, Shayle talks to Colin Grabow, research fellow at the Cato Institute's Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies. They cover topics like: How the Jones Act increases the money and time required to deploy offshore wind turbines Why it costs less to ship U.S. oil and gas abroad than to domestic markets How it pushes domestic shipping to rely on trucks and trains instead of ships The history of the act and potential ways it could change Recommended Resources: WIRED: The US Has Big Plans for Wind Energy—but an Obscure 1920s Law Is Getting in the Way Cato Institute: Jones Act Leaves New England Vulnerable to Wintertime Calamity Cato Institute: Environmental Costs of the Jones Act Are growing concerns over AI’s power demand justified? Join us for our upcoming Transition-AI event featuring three experts with a range of views on how to address the energy needs of hyperscale computing, driven by artificial intelligence. Don’t miss this live, virtual event on May 8.
This week we’re bringing you a deep dive into battery supply chains — the season premier of The Big Switch, a show that Latitude Media makes in partnership with Columbia University’s SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy. Across this five-episode documentary series, hosted by the acclaimed energy scholar Dr. Melissa Lott, we examine every step of the sprawling global supply chains behind lithium-ion batteries. In this first episode, we break apart one of the battery cells that was in the original Tesla Roadster. Then we explore how critical minerals, like copper, lithium, and nickel, are becoming a major force in global geopolitics, especially involving China, which dominates battery supply chains. The supply chain behind all those batteries could be worth nearly half a trillion dollars by 2030. Whoever controls that supply chain has enormous power — figuratively and literally.  In this episode, we explore the stakes of the battery-based transition and ask whether critical minerals will look anything like oil. To listen to the full five-part series, including episodes on mining, manufacturing and more, subscribe to The Big Switch on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
The lithium-ion battery business is taking off, and the battery recycling business is close behind. Financiers are pouring over a billion dollars into recycling companies like Redwood Materials, Ascend Elements, and Li-Cycle. But success depends on a steady supply of used batteries, and with batteries lasting longer than expected — and the battery market still in its infancy — there just aren’t enough dying batteries to go around.  As a result, a significant portion of recyclers’ feedstock is coming from manufacturer scrap, i.e. the waste that companies like SK On and Panasonic don’t turn into cells at the factory. But these battery makers are incentivized to minimize waste, which raises big questions about whether recyclers will be able to get enough used batteries to sustainably feed their operations. So which technologies and business models will succeed in this chapter of the battery industry? In this episode, Shayle talks to Dan Steingart, chair of the earth and environmental engineering department at Columbia University. (Steingart’s lab gets funding from battery manufacturer Northvolt.) Shayle and Dan cover topics like: The steps in nickel-manganese-cobalt battery recycling and what Dan calls “zombie lithium” The differences between pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy Dan’s bet on solvent extraction as an under-appreciated technology Redwood Materials’ focus on winning the feedstock battle Ascend Elements’ hydro-to-cathode technology Li-Cycle’s focus on making inputs for cathode manufacturers How these recyclers want to compete downstream by producing cathode precursor and cathode material  Why Dan is surprisingly bearish on direct recycling for lithium-iron-phosphate Recommended Resources: Nature Sustainability: Examining different recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries Latitude Media: What’s so hard about building a circular battery economy? Are growing concerns over AI’s power demand justified? Join us for our upcoming Transition-AI event featuring three experts with a range of views on how to address the energy needs of hyperscale computing, driven by artificial intelligence. Don’t miss this live, virtual event on May 8.
The electricity gauntlet we covered last year has been having a moment in the national spotlight, with coverage of rising load growth in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.  On one side of the gauntlet, demand for electricity is rising, driven by new loads like EVs, data centers, and electrification. On the other side, electricity supply is slow to grow, bogged down by years-long interconnection queues, the immense challenges of building transmission, and other bottlenecks. And utilities are stuck in the middle, struggling to deliver enough power to meet that rising demand. These challenges have been brewing for years, but the AI race is supercharging demand as big tech companies seek out power for their growing data center fleet.  So what does all this mean for emissions and prices? And what tools do we have to make it through this electricity gauntlet? In this episode, Shayle talks to his colleague Andy Lubershane, partner and head of research at Energy Impact Partners. Shayle and Andy cover topics like: Why utilities are building new natural gas plants and keeping coal plants open to meet load growth How technologies like nuclear, grid-enhancing technologies, geothermal, and multi-day storage could meet load growth with fewer emissions What utilities can do to prepare new gas plants for carbon-capture and storage What the gauntlet might do to electricity prices and which customers might be willing to pay higher premiums (data centers, cough cough) Whether the hype around rising power demand is overblown Plus, what medieval Swedish spearmen have to do with electricity  Recommended Resources: Andy Lubershane: The electricity gauntlet S&P Global: NERC raises North American power system reliability flags as demand could outstrip supply Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved new rules this month on what information companies must disclose about their greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, but notably dropped more stringent requirements that the commission initially proposed.  Despite being halted by lawsuits, the rules are a significant win for climate transparency. But they’re not as strong as existing climate disclosure regulations in California and the European Union, where many multinational corporations do business anyway. So how big of a deal are the new SEC rules? In this episode, Shayle talks to Mallory Thomas, risk advisory partner at consulting and accounting firm Baker Tilly US. The two talk about the details of the new rules and cover topics like: The rules’ requirements for disclosing greenhouse gasses and climate risks How the rules compare to European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and California’s twin climate disclosure laws Which companies are required to comply and under what conditions How standardized reporting may help with comparability across companies  Recommended resources: Baker Tilly: SEC announces final rules for climate-related disclosures Deloitte: A landmark ruling for ESG disclosure requirements Reuters: US climate rule will boost sustainable accounting industry Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.
Two major indicators of climate tech stocks – the S&P Clean Energy Index and the MAC Global Solar Index – are significantly trailing the overall market. They’ve been declining for months, down from their mid-pandemic highs when they performed far better than the rest of the economy. So what happened to climate tech investments in the public markets? And what do these investments tell us about the coming year for climate tech? In this episode, Shayle talks to Shanu Mathew, portfolio manager and research analyst at Lazard. They cover topics like: The macroeconomic factors behind this underperforming sector, like higher interest rates, election uncertainty, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine Trends in specific industries, like EVs, solar, and lithium Investors moving funds into (and paying more for) climate tech stocks with consistently higher performance  Analysts’ expectations for climate tech stocks in the the near- and long-term Recommended Resources: Shanu Mathew: Cleantech FY23 Recap And FY24 Outlook Catalyst: How has US industrial policy impacted climatetech investment? Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.
The first wave of digital grid infrastructure in the U.S. didn’t quite deliver on its promises. More than 100 million smart meters have rolled out across the country, buoyed initially by billions in federal funding. But instead of using them for exciting things like time-of-use pricing and automated demand response, utilities used them for more mundane things like automated billing, according to a whitepaper from Guidehouse.  Could the new wave of AI-based grid tech be different? In this episode, Shayle talks to David Groarke, managing director at the energy consultancy Indigo Advisory Group, who co-authored a forthcoming Latitude Intelligence report on utilities and AI. David says that AI is showing promise so far. Unlike the first wave of hardware-focused advanced-metering infrastructure, AI leans heavily on relatively cheap software and data. He also says that AI’s capabilities are advancing quickly (“doing pressups” as the Irish say) by improving algorithms, handling more tasks, and improving efficiency.  David and Shayle cover use-cases and other topics like: Wildfire management, using data from cameras, lidar, and satellites Customer propensity modeling, including detecting EVs to aid with infrastructure planning Automated and personalized communication with customers Predictive maintenance of substations and other grid infrastructure, using data from, for example, computer vision to detect corrosion and reduce downtime Optimizing transmission capacity by moving from static ratings of transmission lines to real-time ratings Whether incumbents or startups are leading the development of these AI-based solutions David’s take on whether AI’s impact on utilities will be revolutionary or incremental Recommended Resources: Latitude: Welcome to the smart meter’s second act Latitude: AI is simplifying complex decisions for utilities Latitude: Seven ways utilities are exploring AI for the grid Latitude: Could AI-fueled weather forecasts boost renewable energy production? Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like residential solar and electrification. FDIC-insured with market-leading savings rates, cash-back checking, and zero fees. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.
The carbon removal market could reach $400 billion to $1.6 trillion by 2050, according to McKinsey. But it’s got a long way to go. Right now the market is wild, unexplored territory filled with unproven technologies, murky cost curves, and a motley mix of price points and standards. The hope is that one day it becomes a standardized commodity market of high-quality, durable removals. But for now, brave buyers have to wade into the wilds and see what works. So what does that look like – and what have they learned so far? In this episode, Shayle talks to Stacy Kauk, head of sustainability at Shopify, which paid $55 million for 85,000 tons of removal in 2023. Kauk says that very few of those credits have been delivered yet, but the company, along with a few other early entrants like Stripe, H&M, and Microsoft, are investing in a varied field of technologies to develop the market. Stacy thinks of Shopify’s approach like a venture capitalist’s portfolio, with some companies succeeding and others failing. Stacy and Shayle walk through the practical realities of building that portfolio, covering topics like: Using forward purchases, flexible contracts, and Shopify’s internal credit standards The challenges that slow down ambitious startups, like permitting delays and the complicated work of measuring, reporting, and verifying credits Which technologies are hot and which are not, ranging from biomass burial and wastewater treatment to enhanced weathering and ocean alkalinity enhancement Comparing the lower energy requirements of enhancing natural systems with the potentially clearer cost curves of engineered systems Building a diverse portfolio across technologies and maturities What determines the prices Shopify pays for different credits Recommended Resources: Bloomberg: Stripe, Alphabet and Others to Spend Nearly $1 Billion on Carbon Removal Carbon Dioxide Removal Primer Latitude: Fixing the messy voluntary carbon markets Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like solar and electrification. Join in under 2 minutes at joinatmos.com/catalyst.
The list of things that depend on transformers is long: new housing, EV chargers, renewable projects, and more. That’s why skyrocketing lead times and prices for grid equipment that raises or lowers voltage is a real problem. The wait for a new transformer has jumped to over two years, according to WoodMackenzie. Back in 2020 it took just a few months, according to Tim Mills, CEO at transformer manufacturer ERMCO. WoodMackenzie found that prices, meanwhile, have risen over 60% since 2020.  So what’s causing the shortage? In this episode, Shayle talks to Tim about how rising demand for transformers has pushed manufacturers to capacity – and why it’s been so hard for manufacturers to expand that capacity. They also cover topics like: The state of the shortage, including prices, lead times and types of transformers that are in especially short supply. The major drivers of demand growth, including renewables, storms, federal investment, and EV chargers. How the housing boom and bust of the 2000s left transformer manufacturers wary of bubbles in demand. Why the tight labor market makes it hard to expand manufacturing capacity. How new rules proposed by the Department of Energy are throwing uncertainty into what type of equipment manufacturers should invest in. Recommended resources: WoodMackenzie: Supply shortages and an inflexible market give rise to high power transformer lead times T&D World: No Easy Answers: Transformer Supply Crisis Deepens Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like residential solar and electrification. FDIC-insured with market-leading savings rates, cash-back checking, and zero fees. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.
It's been a year and a half since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed. In that time, we've seen $110 billion in planned investments for factories that are pumping out electric cars, batteries, solar modules, and wind towers.  The upper end of 2030 forecasts show nearly twice as much zero-carbon generation getting built compared with scenarios without the law in place. Much of this activity is the result of a new shift in the US tax code that allows wind, solar, storage, hydrogen, carbon capture, and manufacturing tax incentives to be sold for cash. It’s creating a lot more deal volume as many more companies can now buy those credits to support new development. “This very rarely happens that a new market forms basically overnight. The private estimates on how big the market gets get it to something like $80 or $100 billion dollars by the back half of the decade,” said Alfred Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Crux, speaking at Latitude Media’s Frontier Forum. In January, Crux closed an $18 million Series A round led by Andreesen Horowitz – bringing the company’s total funding to $27 million to scale its sustainable finance platform. It’s been about a year since credits started trading, with activity really picking up in the last six months. Much of our understanding of how the market is performing comes from new research from Crux, which recently surveyed 150 buyers, sellers, and intermediaries – and found a mix of eagerness, hesitance, surprises, and lots and lots of questions. Stephen Lacey spoke with Alfred Johnson live during Latitude's Frontier Forum to address many of those questions – and riff on how this new market is taking shape. You can watch the full conversation, including questions from the audience, here.
There was so much to talk about in Nat Bullard’s 200-page slide deck on 2024’s biggest decarbonization trends that we broke the conversation into two parts. For the first half of our conversation with Nat, listen here.  Nat has worked as an analyst and writer in climate tech for two decades and was BloombergNEF’s chief content officer until 2022. In this second part of the conversation, Shayle and Nat cover topics like: How ESG has become the new third rail of finance, falling out of the spotlight of corporate reports and the annual Larry letter  The vexing problem of what to do with curtailed power and why we need to design around the intermittency Whether you can have too many carbon certification standards How biodiesel is eating up Europe’s biofuel supply First Solar’s underappreciated success in surviving the decline of U.S. solar manufacturing Plus: Declining hydropower, slowing coal growth, and the rising hype around AI Recommended resources: Nathaniel Bullard: Decarbonization: Stocks and flows, abundance and scarcity, net zero Washington Post: ‘Greenhushing’: Why some companies quietly hide their climate pledges World Economic Forum: Hydropower: How droughts are affecting the world's biggest renewable energy source Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more. Catalyst is brought to you by Atmos Financial. Atmos is revolutionizing finance by leveraging your deposits to exclusively fund decarbonization solutions, like residential solar and electrification. FDIC-insured with market-leading savings rates, cash-back checking, and zero fees. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.
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mrs rime

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Mar 18th
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