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The Energy Gang

Technology Podcasts

Looking to understand the fast-changing world of energy? Every week, we debate and discuss the latest trends in energy, cleantech, renewables, and the environment. Join us as we explore the forces transforming energy markets in America and around the world.

Looking to understand the fast-changing world of energy? Every week, we debate and discuss the latest trends in energy, cleantech, renewables, and the environment. Join us as we explore the forces transforming energy markets in America and around the world.


United States


Looking to understand the fast-changing world of energy? Every week, we debate and discuss the latest trends in energy, cleantech, renewables, and the environment. Join us as we explore the forces transforming energy markets in America and around the world.




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A New Podcast: 'The Big Switch'

This week, we are offering the first episode of a new podcast: The Big Switch. It’s a five-part series about how to clean up the energy system -- told in a clear, understandable and fun way. The show is hosted by Dr. Melissa Lott, research director at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. Stephen Lacey is the show's executive editor. Listen to the first episode of The Big Switch right now -- and subscribe to the show on Apple, Spotify, and any other place you get...


Tracking the Equity Outcome of Decarbonization

We can measure the energy transition in any number of ways. The hundreds of millions of solar panels and wind turbines installed. The gigatons of carbon reduced. Or the number of jobs created. But how do we measure the equity outcome? Our guest co-host, Dr. Destenie Nock, is focused on exactly this question. She is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Nock is creating new models for energy-systems planning that factor in positive...


Coal Is Uncompetitive. Why Do We Burn So Much?

America gets 20 percent of its electricity from coal. That’s a 50 percent drop since the peak in 2007. But if coal is becoming so economically uncompetitive, why does it still make up so much of our grid mix? This week: Coal is no longer king. But it still has a lot of power across the land. How do we banish it for good? Katherine and Stephen welcome Joe Daniel as a guest co-host this week. Joe is a senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Joe joins us to talk about the...


A Wartime Plan for Electrifying America

What if someone told you that we have everything we need to decarbonize most of the economy? We would just need to start electrifying every new car, furnace, water heater, drier, and cookstove, and industrial process starting right now. And yeah, and put solar on every roof that can handle it. This week: a wartime plan for winning the climate fight with clean electricity. What’ll it take? How possible is it? Saul Griffith is our guest co-host. He’s the founder and chief scientist of...


What Are ‘Transformational’ Utilities Doing Right?

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then they transform? This week: a look at some positive trends guiding the utility sector. What are power providers that are leading the energy transition doing right? We’re joined by Julia Hamm, the president and CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance. We’re talking about SEPA’s 2021 utility transformation profile -- a survey and ranking system of over 130 electric utilities in the US. There are thousands of power...


Is Offshore Wind *Finally* Coming to America?

The lack of progress on offshore wind in America is one of the most baffling and frustrating stories in energy. The technology and resource availability are tremendous. Europe has de-risked the technology and proven it can be deployed at scale, and at low cost, with minimal disruption. U.S. states are setting big targets. And at a national-scale, people want it. And yet, we have not been able to get any meaningful amounts of offshore wind capacity in the water. That may be about to...


Banking Is the Pressure Point for Climate

In 2015, then-Secretary of State John Kerry called the Paris climate treaty a “tremendous victory.” In the years since, $3.8 trillion has flowed into fossil fuels globally. Now Kerry and other White House officials are focusing on banks and insurers that are still offering a lifeline to new fossil fuel projects. Can they slow the flow of cash? This week: why finance is the main pressure point for climate. Today, all the major banks are collectively supporting hundreds of billions of...


Is America Halfway to a Zero-Carbon Grid?

In 2005, it looked like heat-trapping gases from power plants were only going up. That year, the EIA put out a projection: CO2 emissions from power plants would steadily rise every year, thanks to the incumbency of coal and gas. Today, they’re half of what was projected. A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab calls it “halfway to zero” -- meaning we are already halfway to a zero-carbon grid. This week: why the path to net-zero may surprise us once again. Then: America’s climate...


Unlocking Home Electrification With Heat Pumps

Every few seconds, a new residential HVAC system or water heater is installed around America. Most of them are designed to burn oil and gas -- locking in 15-20 more years of carbon pollution. So how do we electrify 100% of that new equipment rapidly? This week: a wide-ranging conversation about how to unlock the residential market. Katherine and Stephen are joined by Nate Adams, the co-founder of HVAC 2.0. He’s called “the house whisperer” for a reason. They discuss the benefit of home...


Can California Move Fast Without Breaking Things?

California is the proving ground for every major change that President Biden wants to accelerate nationally: 100% carbon-free electricity, fossil fuel phaseouts, climate-resilient grid hardening. The state wants to make 100% of retail electricity sales carbon-free by 2045. To that, it’ll need to match its best year ever for renewable energy installations -- for 25 years more years in a row. It’ll amount to $4.5 billion in yearly spending. California is moving fast. Is there such a thing as...


How Do We Decarbonize the Food System?

The systems that support growing, shipping and processing food make up one-third of heat trapping gases. How can Agtech help us tackle this tangled and underserved sector? We’ll look at investment activity, technological solutions, and policy levers. Then, we revisit long-duration storage. A net-zero grid will require new ways to store and discharge energy over long periods. How’s it shaping up? Plus, is carbon pricing back on the table here in the US? This week, Katherine and Stephen...


America’s Trillion-Dollar Climate Infrastructure Play

This week, the nuts and bolts of climate policy: infrastructure. With a $2 trillion covid relief package under his belt, Biden looks to harness another $3 trillion on building clean energy, hardening the electric grid, installing electric car chargers, and updating roads and bridges. We’ll game out what’s needed and what’s possible. Then: is this the moment for the black climate agenda? And if so, what are the priorities? Finally, how will pressure campaigns over new fossil fuel...


The Clash Over Gas Bans in Buildings

This week: natural gas bans are the newest flash point in the energy transition. What does it mean for the electrify-everything movement -- and the gas industry’s public relations battle? Then: how do we build back better for everybody? We’ll look how Biden’s recent stimulus and climate agenda could mend America’s growing wealth and race divide. Plus: it’s been a year since the start of the pandemic. What transformed, and what didn’t? What did we get right and wrong? We’ll revisit the last...


Climate Tech Is Changing Fast

This week, we present a crossover episode of our sister podcast, The Interchange. In this episode, host Shayle Kann talks with fellow venture capitalist Abe Yokell about the state of climate tech investing. It’s safe to say that this year has brought some of the biggest changes to the space we’ve ever seen. Shayle and Abe try to separate what’s real from what’s hype. Thanks to everyone for their kind emails and social media reactions after Jigar's final episode. The show goes on! We’re...


Jigar's Final Episode

Jigar Shah has been our co-host since 2013. But now he's moving on to new pastures. Starting this this week, Jigar will be leading the Department of Energy's loan programs office -- running the government's strategy to finance the deployment of up-and-coming clean energy technologies. In this episode, we reflect on Jigar's career and his role on the show. Plus, we'll learn more about his mission in the Biden Administration. Read the announcement. Privacy Policy and California Privacy...


Watt It Takes: Executive Producer Stephen Lacey

This week, we have a bonus episode of Watt It Takes featuring Stephen Lacey, our founding host and executive producer. Back in December, Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch interviewed Stephen for a holiday edition of Watt It Takes. They talked in front of an audience about his career in journalism, how the world of podcasting has evolved, and his entrepreneurial journey launching a production company. And great news! Watt It Takes is now a standalone series. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify,...


The Texas Grid Failure

Even for energy veterans, the depth of failures in Texas last week were breathtaking. As arctic air froze power plants, gas lines, and mechanical instruments, the grid was shut down -- leaving 4 million people without electricity, unknown millions without heat, and three times that many without water. Texas has been through freezes like this before in 2011, 2014 and 2018. Regulators were warned. So who is to blame for this historic catastrophe? This week, we’ll talk about what happened in...


How a ‘Climate Emergency’ Could Harness Wartime Powers

This week: climate change is certainly the most urgent issue we face. But should it be formally declared an emergency? There’s a real conversation over the label in the US -- and it could have a very real impact on what the president can do. This has been a growing priority for environmental groups. Grist reported that in December, more than 380 of them sent a letter to Joe Biden’s transition team, urging him to issue an executive order mobilizing the National Emergencies Act. And now,...


The Dirty Secret Behind Utility Climate Goals

Net-zero pledges are becoming common for utilities. But a huge number of them are failing to decarbonize on any timeframe that truly matters. They’re not phasing out coal, they’re building lots of new gas plants, and they’re not building enough clean energy. We’ll talk about a damning new analysis of utility climate goals from the Sierra Club that digs into the actual numbers. Then, the urgency of a national clean energy standard. What are the new political pieces in place to get a...


Reversing Trump's Destruction

It was hard to keep up with the destruction of the Trump era. And it’s already getting hard to keep up with the rebuilding. This week brought a series of actions on climate change from the White House that are building a framework for the climate economy. Sam Ricketts, a prominent climate policy advisor, told the Los Angeles Times: “This is the most ambitious climate platform put forward by an American president...It is mobilizing the entirety of the federal government in an unprecedented...