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The Energy Gang is a weekly digest on energy, cleantech and the environment produced by Greentech Media. The show features engaging discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Editor Stephen Lacey. Join us as we delve into the technological, political and market forces driving energy and environmental issues.

The Energy Gang is a weekly digest on energy, cleantech and the environment produced by Greentech Media. The show features engaging discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Editor Stephen Lacey. Join us as we delve into the technological, political and market forces driving energy and environmental issues.
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The Energy Gang is a weekly digest on energy, cleantech and the environment produced by Greentech Media. The show features engaging discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Editor Stephen Lacey. Join us as we delve into the technological, political and market forces driving energy and environmental issues.




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Watt It Takes: The Origin Story of Wunder Capital

This week on Watt It Takes: Wunder Capital CEO Bryan Birsic on why he wants to solve the commercial solar financing challenge, when so many others couldn't. "That is what a startup is to me. It's 50 or 100 people who can move a multi-billion-dollar industry in a way that an incumbent with thousands of people and multitudes of resources cannot," says Birsic. Since its launch in 2014, Wunder has exploded onto the solar scene. In this edition of Watt It Takes, Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch...


Can Geothermal Scale?

Back in 2008, there was a lot of excitement about geothermal. Many major banks were backing large-scale geothermal projects around the world; a wide range of startups were promising to unlock new resources; and wind and solar hadn’t shown their explosive growth yet. But then the financial crisis hit. In the decade since, growth in geothermal has been lumpy — relegated to a handful of supportive markets around the world. Why has geothermal grown so slowly compared to other renewables?...


What if Utilities Are to Blame for Wildfires?

California has seen a million and a half acres of forest burned this year. As the state recovers from the devastating Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire, residents are looking for someone to blame. Now attention turns to utilities. Both Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric are under investigation and facing class-action lawsuits for potentially starting the blazes. What happens to utilities if they are found at fault? And how do you protect a vulnerable electric grid as these...


Watt It Takes: The Origin Story of Sunrun

This week on Watt It Takes: How Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich convinced homeowners and banks to invest millions into third-party rooftop solar during the great recession. “Everybody said it won’t work. We took it as a challenge,” says Jurich. “And so we just went for it.” Sunrun was a pioneer in residential solar services. Unlike some of its fallen brethren pushing the national model, Sunrun grew at a much more sustainable clip. Today, the company is at the top of its game. Sunrun installed 100...


Post-Election Punditry

This week: we make sense of America’s midterm elections. Will Democrats do anything on energy in the House? Why did so many ballot initiatives fail? What does the score tell us about the value of running as a climate hawk? First, we’ll look at what happened in states with major ballot questions on carbon pricing, market design and renewables. Then, what happens over the next two years under Democratic leadership in the House. Finally, some specific races we were watching and...


How the 2008 Financial Crisis Shaped Clean Energy

Ten years ago this week, stock markets around the world cratered as fears grew that the global economy was headed into a deep, dark recession. Alan Greenspan called it “a once-in-a-century credit tsunami.” Today, we are still feeling the economic and geopolitical consequences of the financial crisis. Energy markets were also transformed as a result — often in surprisingly positive ways. In this episode of The Energy Gang, we’ll discussing the impact of the 2008 market meltdown a decade...


Trump's Coal Bailout Stalls; Brexit Looms Large for Energy

This week: the White House abandons a plan to save coal plants. Did Trump read the IPCC’s latest report and have a change of heart? Turns out, the legally-flimsy effort caved under its own weight. We’ll explain. Then, failing Brexit talks weigh heavily on energy companies in the UK. If a deal can’t be struck with the EU, what will happen to energy markets? Finally, Illinois came out of nowhere with an ambitious community solar program. But it’s gone nowhere. What happened? Recommended...


Debating the New IPCC Report: Hellish or Hopeful?

For two years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been working on a new analysis about global emissions pathways. The report was released this week — and the conclusion is pretty dire. Or is it actually more hopeful than it appears? This week, we’ll discuss the IPCC’s findings, debate the tone, and dissect media coverage of the report. Then, Orsted, the Danish mega-energy producer, is buying a leading American offshore wind developer. What does it say about the coming...


Live in NYC: Are We Making Progress?

This week, we're live in New York City. Our theme: are we making progress? We're joined by special guest Eric Roston, the sustainability editor at Bloomberg. A big thanks to the Urban Future Lab, ACRE and Solar One for organizing the show as part of Clean Energy Connections.


Watt It Takes: How to Fly a Solar Airplane Around the World

For all our East Coast fans of The Energy Gang: make sure to get your tickets for our live show on October 4 in New York City! Find them here. This week on Watt It Takes: Why one man spent 15 years of his life obsessed with flying a solar airplane around the world. We’re going to hear from Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss-balloonist-turned-futurist who co-piloted Solar Impulse, the first solar-electric airplane to navigate the globe. Piccard is a very inspiring person. His entire mission was...


Hurricane Redux: Toxic Sludge, Climate Denial and Battery Storage

Before you do anything else, buy tickets to our live show on October 4 in New York City. It sells out fast, so get your tickets now! One year after Hurricanes Harvey and Maria crushed Texas and Puerto Rico, Florence became one of the ten costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. North Carolina is still reeling from severe flooding. And like Houston last year, the damage was made worse because of coastal development policies — even while state scientists sounded the alarm about rising sea...


Watt It Takes: How Sunnova's John Berger Convinced Oil & Gas Investors to Believe in Solar

This week on Watt It Takes: How a Texas entrepreneur with fossil fuel roots came to see solar and storage as the future of energy. We feature a conversation with John Berger, the CEO of the residential solar-and-storage firm Sunnova, about his mission to convince traditional energy investors to put their money into solar. Sunnova has pulled in tens of millions of dollars from investors who once thought solar was laughable. "I'm proud of getting a bunch of oil and gas money. I worked hard...


California's 100% Clean Energy Gambit

This week: California passes a bill to source 100% clean electricity by 2045. What does that actually mean? And more importantly, how will the target be met? Then, writing in the New York Times this weekend, journalist Bethany McLean warned about fracking’s financial bubble. Is this a dire warning or a re-hash of old arguments? We’ll end with a look at battery materials. Sustainability concerns are growing, while markets for lithium, nickel and cobalt fluctuate wildly. Are EVs and...


1979-1989: The Decade We Almost Saved the Planet

This week, we're using an entire episode to discuss an ambitious piece of reporting on climate change. Earlier this month, the New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to a specific period of time in modern history: 1979 and 1989. It was a time when we first reckoned with the impact of climate change — a period of great awakening in science, politics and industry to the threat of greenhouse gases. As we’re painfully aware, that awakening didn’t turn into action. The 31,000-word...


Watt It Takes: The Promise of Electric Buses With Proterra CEO Ryan Popple

This week on Watt It Takes: How Ryan Popple’s experience in the military, Tesla and venture capital helped him lead electric bus maker Proterra. “It’s good for the ‘keep calm and carry on mentality’ when people tend to bring me a box of broken parts. So if you’re the founder or CEO of an organization, you shouldn’t be surprised when most of what is brought to you is bad news.” Proterra is on a roll. The company is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty electric buses in North America, with...


One Trillion Watts of Wind and Solar

There are now one trillion watts of wind and solar installed around the world, according to new figures from BNEF. It took a few decades to get here, but it’ll only take five years to do it again — and nearly 50 percent cheaper. Now that we’ve reached the terawatt scale, the true acceleration begins. This week on the podcast, we'll contextualize that landmark for renewables. Then, we'll discuss Tesla’s privatization debacle. Musk claimed on twitter that he has a plan to take Tesla...


Introducing Political Climate

The Gang is on summer vacation this week. We'll be back soon with our regular analysis and debate on the stories in energy. Meanwhile, we'd like to introduce you to Political Climate, GTM's newest podcast hosted by Senior Editor Julia Pyper. The show features healthy debates from Republicans and Democrats over the politics of energy and climate. Enjoy this bonus episode and share your feedback with The Energy Gang and Political Climate on Twitter. Subscribe to Political Climate via Apple...


Watt It Takes: How Schwarzenegger’s Chief of Staff Built a Battery Company

This week on Watt It Takes: We’ll hear from Susan Kennedy, the CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions, about her transition from politics to behind-the-meter energy storage. Kennedy was an important player in California environmental politics. She influenced some of the biggest pieces of legislation that launched the state’s solar industry and cap-and-trade market. She also worked as a senior advisor to some the biggest names in both parties, including Dianne Feinstein and Arnold...


A Grab Bag With Vox's David Roberts

This week, David Roberts, a staff writer at Vox, joins the gang to talk about a wide range of topics in the news. How would a good carbon tax work? Are we fooling ourselves thinking Republicans will ever support one? In the absence of a carbon price, is 100% renewable energy good politics? Is it good policy? Should we bail out nuclear? Can renewables fill in the gap created by closing nuke plants? What should we be hopeful about? We’ll spend the second half of the show talking about...