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Conversations about the global energy transformation The Interchange is a weekly podcast on the global energy transformation, hosted by Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann. Each week, the duo provide deep insights into technology trends, markets, projects, company financials, mergers and acquisitions, policy changes, and market data. Join us as we go deep on the forces disrupting energy markets around the world.

Conversations about the global energy transformation The Interchange is a weekly podcast on the global energy transformation, hosted by Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann. Each week, the duo provide deep insights into technology trends, markets, projects, company financials, mergers and acquisitions, policy changes, and market data. Join us as we go deep on the forces disrupting energy markets around the world.
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Conversations about the global energy transformation The Interchange is a weekly podcast on the global energy transformation, hosted by Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann. Each week, the duo provide deep insights into technology trends, markets, projects, company financials, mergers and acquisitions, policy changes, and market data. Join us as we go deep on the forces disrupting energy markets around the world.






Energy Policy in a Tweet

Elon Musk recently laid out his plan for a government on Mars in one tweet: “Direct democracy by the people. Laws must be short, as there is trickery in length. Automatic expiration of rules to prevent death by bureaucracy. Any rule can be removed by 40% of people to overcome inertia. Freedom.” That got us thinking. Could we craft an ideal U.S. energy policy in less than 280 characters? On this week’s podcast, take up the challenge. Stephen and Shayle will each lay out their overall...


Ode to the Pivot!

Ah, the pivot. Did you know that Nokia started out as a paper mill in Finland? Or that Nintendo once made instant rice? Many of the world's leading companies start out in radically different markets. Cleantech is the same. Sales cycles are often slow, technologies don't work as planned, and customer needs are constantly evolving. In the tumultuous world of energy, companies pivot all the time. On this week's episode of The Interchange, we celebrate the pivot. We'll look back throughout...


'Energy Independence' in Trump's America

The politics of energy independence are both deeply bipartisan and deeply partisan. Every president since Richard Nixon has declared a goal of eliminating America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. But each President approaches independence from a very different political lens. Jimmy Carter was the first to make renewable energy a centerpiece. Ronald Reagan dismantled that strategy and instead focused on lifting price controls on oil and gas. Later, George W. Bush focused on...


Are Robots Coming to Take Over the Grid?

On this week's Interchange podcast, we saddle up to some adult beverages in a back room at GTM's grid edge conference to discuss the biggest topics in the industry. First, to artificial intelligence and machine learning: What do we exactly mean by "distributed intelligence?" We'll examine some clear use cases. Then to utility innovation: How do power incumbents grapple with the technologies that could break open their business models? We'll give a candid take how they're doing. Finally...


Solar Is Getting Super Cheap. What Next?

Coal has taken center stage publicly within the Trump Administration. But solar is the real innovation star behind the scenes. This week, we're talking with Charlie Gay, the director of DOE's solar technologies office, about all the activity happening in the agency. We'll discuss the solar power plants of the future: advances in power electronics; the normalization of energy storage; new ways to value and distribute solar electrons; and integration with the internet of things. We'll also...


Would Electricity Work in a Zombie Apocalypse?

Would electricity work during a zombie apocalypse? Does Elon Musk own Amazon or Uber? Are electric vehicles better for the environment? These are questions that people are asking Google — and we're going to answer them. This week on the Interchange, what our collective search history tells us about our perception of Elon Musk, electric vehicles and zombies. Plus, we'll have the results of last week's Deep Decarbonization Draft. (Listen to that episode, if you haven't already.) This...


Deep Decarbonization Draft: Fantasy Sports for Energy Nerds

Like fantasy sports? Listen to our deep decarbonization draft. In this episode, Shayle and Stephen choose their rosters of nine technologies to decarbonize the global economy. The goal: find the best resource mix to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. After they battle it out, listeners decide who has the best team of technologies. Vote here. Here are the rules: Once you've listened to the episode, access our GTM poll. We'll tally the results for a future episode.


Damn, Commercial Solar Is Complicated

This week on The Interchange, a listener tries to convince his office building owner to install solar: "he's open to the idea, but we're struggling with the question of who pays," says Daniel from Menlo Park, California. This conundrum gets to the heart of C&I solar's complexity. We'll address the landlord-tenant split that plagues commercial solar — and the broad range of financing and policy solutions. Later in the show, we'll talk with two of our senior solar analysts at GTM Research,...


Batteries Are Changing Residential Solar

The solar industry is talking about battery storage almost as much as solar these days. On this week's Interchange, we're addressing the shift toward storage in residential solar. Sunrun, a top installer, is at the forefront of the trend. In California, the company is adding storage to 20 percent of rooftop PV systems — and it believes other states will soon catch up. Sunrun now thinks of itself as a grid services provider. We'll talk with Sunrun Chief Policy Officer Anne Hoskins about...


European Solar Rises Again, With Fewer Subsidies

Europe was once the world's biggest solar spender, until the region's PV market fell into a structural decline after subsidies were pulled back. Now Europe is on the upswing once again — this time, with far less government spending. As European countries embrace competitive auctions, the Old World of solar is getting new attention. The region is expected to install 10-17 gigawatts a year through 2022, bringing cumulative installs from 111 gigawatts to 182 gigawatts, according to GTM...


Shell Thinks Solar Could Beat Oil & Gas

Shell, the world’s sixth biggest oil and gas company, just published a future "sky" scenario that's getting a lot of attention. That potential future: By 2050, renewables could overtake oil, gas and coal as the primary energy source; by that date, it could be “impossible” to purchase a new internal combustion car; and by 2070, there could be 10,000 carbon capture plants operating globally. Shell's energy transition report is receiving mixed reaction. Many energy experts are hailing Shell...


What Will Energy Blockchain Become?

Blockchain is largely untested compared to its potential. We know it’s likely transformative — we just don’t know exactly how. There are hundreds of potential applications in the electricity business. Which ones will win out? To kick off this week's show, Shayle, Scott and Stephen will examine different pathways for the technology. We'll answer: In the second half of the show, we’ll talk with Kristen Brown, a business technology expert at Commonwealth Edison, about how the regulated...


How Blockchain Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Might Work

Out of the 122 startups (and counting) that GTM Research is tracking in the energy-blockchain space, 22 are focused on peer-to-peer energy trading. Sharing electrons directly with peers sounds cool, but why do it in the first place? Would it help the grid? Will it be a catalyst for more distributed energy? Or is it just a novel application? In this episode of The Interchange, we're exploring the potential of peer-to-peer trading. We'll start with a segment of Consensus, where we explore...


Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy isn't happy watching Scott Pruitt dismantle the climate plan that she helped President Obama build. But she doesn't think Pruitt will be successful. "They've made a lot of announcements, they haven't made a lot of progress," she said in an interview on The Interchange podcast. McCarthy predicted that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will keep getting "slapped back" by legal challenges. And even if Pruitt makes progress, the markets have spoken against him. "The market has...


Why US Solar Had a Down Year

Last year was a tough one for many U.S. solar companies. For the first time, America's solar market saw a decline in growth and solar employment. What gives? In this podcast, we're going to walk through the sector-specific factors that threw solar off its axis in 2017. Some of the questions we address in this episode: Don't forget to come to our 11th annual Solar Summit in San Diego, where we'll be dissecting data in the top solar markets around the world. This podcast is brought to...


Google and Microsoft Are Shaping Energy Markets

Since 2015, large corporations have signed deals for more than 7 gigawatts of renewable energy. As activity picks up, these companies are grappling with increasingly complex deals. They're no longer just thinking about renewable energy credits or average consumption over the year; they're now looking at matching wind, solar and hydro supply directly with their on-site demand in a more granular way. Consequently, energy storage is becoming more attractive. This week, we're talking with...


A Blueprint for the Distributed, Transactive Grid

Ryan Hanley is convinced that the distributed electric grid will create vastly more economic, security and societal value than today's centralized system. Over the course of his career as a civil engineer -- working at Pacific Gas & Electric, SolarCity, Tesla and now Advanced Microgrid Solutions -- Hanley has worked to understand and extract that value. "A macro theme that I've been tracking in my career is that exchange of value over the grid [that] I'm convinced will only become more...


Don't Like the Solar Buying Process? Start Your Own Company

In 2009, Sara Ross and her husband bought a dilapidated farmhouse in Massachusetts, intending to turn it into a net-zero home. Solar was an important part of the plan. And then came the price tag: $81,000 in cash. Their local solar installer had no financing options at that time. Ross cobbled the money together, but she became obsessed with the buying process: "How are other members of our family going to do this? How are our friends supposed to do this? How is this supposed to work? How...


Can Solar Become the World's Dominant Source of Energy?

Nothing can stop solar's growth trajectory -- except maybe solar itself. This week, we have a deep discussion on the future of solar photovoltaics. Solar is exploding around the world, but have we grappled with the technology and market limitations that could stop the next order of magnitude in growth for PV? On this week's episode of The Interchange, Shayle Kann sits down with Varun Sivaram, author of the new book, Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the...


Cleantech's Top Venture Capitalist, Nancy Pfund

Nancy Pfund is perhaps the most recognizable venture capitalist in the clean energy space. Before she raised multi-hundred-million-dollar funds at her firm DBL Partners and made early investments in the likes of Tesla, SolarCity, Off Grid Electric, PowerLight, NEXTracker and Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Pfund had to start somewhere. "In college, I didn't know what a venture capitalist was -- I was an anthropology major," she said at the January recording of Watt It Takes, the live...