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The Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

Welcome to the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast, a fresh take on North Carolina’s evolving clean energy policy landscape. Covering technologies such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biogas, electric vehicles, battery storage, and the whole nine yards. Hosted and produced by Matt Abele on behalf of NC Sustainable Energy Association.


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Welcome to the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast, a fresh take on North Carolina’s evolving clean energy policy landscape. Covering technologies such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biogas, electric vehicles, battery storage, and the whole nine yards. Hosted and produced by Matt Abele on behalf of NC Sustainable Energy Association.






Episode 88: Pathways to Decarbonizing NC's Economy

The NC Governor’s Office just released their Deep Decarbonization Pathways Analysis which outlines potential strategies that the state can adopt to reach carbon neutrality across the economy by 2050. In this episode, we sit down with Zach Pierce, Senior Advisor for Climate Change Policy for Governor Roy Cooper, to discover the interplay between emissions reductions efforts in electricity, transportation, and harder-to-abate sectors. Equipped with the latest standards and scenarios, the...


Episode 87: Short, Sweet, and a Solar Lease

On one of our shorter episodes of the podcast, we travel out to Pembroke, NC to learn more about a commercial PV system installed for the Lumbee Regional Development Association. Eagle Solar & Light, along with Sunwealth, put together a financial package for the non-profit, allowing them to install the solar system with no upfront costs via a monthly lease. Learn more about why solar leasing hasn’t taken off yet in North Carolina and what the loss of the Duke Energy rebate program means for...


Episode 86: A Solar CEO Shares the Keys to Success

On the latest episode of the podcast, we sit down with Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables to talk about the secret sauce of scaling a clean energy business. We cover the company’s success along the way, some of the unforeseen challenges, and how the clean energy market as a whole has changed over the past 10 years. The conversation also covers the intersection of policy, business model, and timing as crucial factors to growing a leading clean energy company.


Episode 85: Cutting-Edge Innovations in EVs & Energy Storage in North Carolina’s Backyard

Imagine a future where EVs can travel 50% further with batteries that are cheaper than they are today. What if that future was being led by research and development stemming out of North Carolina? Well that’s exactly what we’re covering on this episode of the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast, where we feature an interview with Dr. Glen Merfeld, Chief Technology Officer with Albemarle. Tune in to hear about the exciting investments they’re making right here in North Carolina, and the innovations...


Episode 84: What Caused the Elliott Outages? Renewables? Nope…guess again.

On episode 84, we’re highlighting what really happened during Winter Storm Elliott, which led to millions of customers without power across the southeast. Despite some who were quick to blame renewables, the outages actually were caused by natural gas and coal plants, forecasting miscalculations, and issues importing power from neighboring states. We talk with Simon Mahan of the Southern Renewable Energy Association about what really happened and what can be done in the future to prevent...


Episode 83: North Carolina’s Carbon Plan is Here – All the Deets

Episode 83 of the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast is the episode you’ve been waiting for. The Carbon Plan order from the NC Utilities Commission is finally here and we’re diving into all the details. How does it compare to what advocates asked for? Does it set us on a path to 2030 emissions reduction compliance? Does this mean more fossil generation in North Carolina? All your questions and more answered by Tyler Norris of Cypress Creek Renewables, Taylor Jones of NCSEA, and Ben Smith of...


Episode 82: Green Light— North Carolina is Ready for EVs, Are You?

The first episode of 2023 features a conversation with Shakaya Cooper, Program Associate at Generation180. We delve into findings from the organization’s recent report ‘North Carolina Drives Electric 2022’ to highlight consumer readiness for EVs across the state. In fact, over half of North Carolinians are likely to consider an EV for their next vehicle, getting us one step closer to Governor Cooper’s goal of 1.25 million EVs on the road by 2030. Tune in to learn more about the report,...


Episode 81: Middle of the Pack— NC’s Energy Efficiency Report Card

On the final episode of the year, we are joined by Sagarika Subramanian, Senior Research Analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). She shares results from the most recent report card on North Carolina’s energy efficiency efforts and discusses the common threads of top performing states. Our conversation covers the latest in energy efficiency trends and the roles that policy, building codes, utility market structure, and equity play for national leaders in the...


Episode 80: Aligning Customer & Utility Interests: Lessons from PG&E’s Shortcomings

On the 80th episode of the podcast, we bring on Wall Street Journal Reporter Katherine Blunt to unearth the issues that arise when a utility neglects grid maintenance and community resilience in pursuit of profits. On this episode we cover how a series of regulatory and corporate missteps led to the deadliest wildlife in California’s history. We then contextualize this situation for the grid and energy system in North Carolina and the southeast, and talk more about our own challenges with...


Episode 79: #InflationReductionAct – Getting the Funds to Those Who Need it Most

Earlier this fall, we headed down to Atlanta for the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (SEEA) Southeast Energy Summit to delve into the complexities of distributing funds from the IRA, environmental and housing justice, and considerations for overarching systemic change. In this live-recorded conversation, we are joined by Joe Gehrdes, Director of Community Relations for Huntsville Utilities, and Odetta MacLeish-White, Director of Georgia Initiatives at the Center for Community...


Episode 78: The Big Fix—A Citizen’s Guide to Carbon Neutrality

On this episode, Justin Gillis of The New York Times and Hal Harvey of Energy Innovation talk about their new book, The Big Fix: 7 Practical Steps to Save Our Planet. In the conversation, the authors highlight inspirational carbon emission reduction stories at the state and local level and ways in which clean energy solutions can transcend political divide. We also discuss the interplay of the seven areas most critical to focus carbon cutting efforts — electricity, transportation, buildings,...


Episode 77: Conserving the Clean Energy Future

On episode 77, Representative John Szoka reflects on his time in the NC General Assembly and how clean energy has become a staple of his legacy in the state. We talk through his journey from being a non-supporter to strong supporter of clean energy technology and the important role it plays in the generation mix to ensure reliability while keeping prices low. We also talk about the path both HB589 and HB951 took to receive the Governor’s signature. Tune in to find out what’s next for...


Episode 76: From the Ground Up - Better Plans to Achieve a Carbon-Free 2050

On the latest episode, we’re joined by a group of carbon plan intervenors who discuss more cost-effective pathways to achieving meaningful emissions reductions in North Carolina. Tyler Norris of Cypress Creek Renewables, David Neal of the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Adrienne Mouton-Henderson of the Clean Energy Buyers Association break down why Duke Energy’s proposed carbon plan doesn’t go far enough. Further, our guests talk about the importance of proactive transmission planning...


Episode 75: Out with Inflation, In with Clean Energy

In episode 75, Bob Keefe, Executive Director of E2, joins us to talk about the exciting news of the week – the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. In our conversation, we break down what’s in the bill for clean energy, while contextualizing how this investment would further increase the number of jobs in the clean energy sector across the country. Speaking of jobs – we hit on the National Clean Jobs Report released last week to highlight the year over year job growth coming...


Episode 74: Raising the Roof on NC's Residential Solar Market

On the latest episode of the podcast, we sit down with Lauren Bowen, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, to shed light on the quickly evolving rooftop solar market in North Carolina. It’s no secret that this has been a hot topic in the clean energy industry over the past year or so, including proposals for time of use rate structures and new HOA updates resulting from recent NC Supreme Court ruling. We dive into what led to these changes and how homeowners should plan...


Episode 73: SEIA Later Solar Tariffs

On the latest episode, we sit down with Dan Whitten, VP of Public Affairs with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), to talk about international trade and tariffs in the solar energy industry. Specifically, we delve into the weeds of the latest Auxin Petition and the Biden Administration’s Executive Action waiving new tariffs on imported solar panels for the next two years. We discuss what these policies could mean for the solar industry, along with the legislative efforts...


Episode 72: Cooperatively Electric - Addressing the Energy Burden in NC

On the latest episode, we sit down with Marshall Cherry, President & CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative. Cherry continues to have a transformative impact on clean energy across the state after nearly three decades with the cooperative. In our conversation, we delve into the innovative programs offered to its member-owners in Northeastern North Carolina, including proven initiatives like a tariffed on-bill energy efficiency program, community solar options, and a recently rolled out electric...


Episode 71: So, What's the Plan for All of That Carbon??

On this episode, we sit down with three experts in the clean energy sphere to talk about Duke Energy's proposed Carbon Plan filed at the NC Utilities Commission. In the conversation, Maggie Shober of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, highlights the plan's over reliance on technologies not yet commercially available, and its proposals to build out new natural gas resources. Claire Williamson, joining from the NC Justice Center, elevates the lack of considerations for low- and...


Episode 70: Buckle Up! On the Road to Electrification with NC's Clean Transportation Plan

On the latest episode of the podcast, we’re joined by Jen Weiss, Senior Advisor for Climate Change Policy at the NC Department of Transportation. With the transportation sector emerging as the largest emitter in the state, NC DOT has been tasked with developing a Clean Transportation Plan by April 2023. In our conversation, we cover NC’s goal of deploying 1.25 million ZEVs on the road by 2030, synergies that exist between decarbonizing the power and transportation sectors, and the importance...


Episode 69: Farm to Table for Electrons

On episode 69, we talk with Bill Nussey, a serial entrepreneur, successful tech executive, and NC State alum. Bill is the CEO & Founder of Freeing Energy, along with the CEO & Co-Founder of Solar Inventions. In the conversation, Bill dives deep into the details of local solar and storage with host, Matt Abele, to discuss the opportunities that the technology presents for wide-scale disruption, while highlighting the benefits it brings to local communities. Additional resources from today's...