I made a guest appearance on The Energy Gang podcast today (a production of Greentech Media), to talk about peak oil and the challenges of energy and transportation transition. My segment runs for about the first half an hour. You can listen to it here or via your favorite podcast player, or just play it below.
My thanks to host Stephen Lacey for having me on the show!
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December 12, 2014 at 9:40 am Contributed by: Chris
Oil is back above the fold as prices continue to crash, but most of the coverage has been overly focused on geopolitical narratives and missing the point, which is written in the data as plain as day. So I wrote a short explainer about what’s going on. Read it here: Drilling Down on the Oil Price Slide
For my final article for SmartPlanet, which is closing down as an independent publication, I take an in-depth look at the research to date on stranded carbon assets, and offer my own thoughts on the subject. I believe that the risks of stranded assets are far larger than has been contemplated thus far.
(Note: The title at SmartPlanet wasn’t mine. As my article details, estimates of the size of the “carbon bubble” vary from $1.1 trillion to $28 trillion, and I think even the latter estimate is too low.)
Back in early April, I had the pleasure of attending the Bloomberg New Energy Finance “Future of Energy Summit 2014” conference in New York City, where I heard from a large number of decidedly upbeat executives in the sector, who were very optimistic indeed about the future of renewable energy and cleantech in general. The buzz in the finance and insurance space was particularly interesting.
If you’d rather listen to my thoughts than read them, I have made three recent guest appearances on some podcasts.
– On the Extraenvironmentalist podcast with Seth and Justin: Episode 76 (I last appeared on the Extraenvironmentalist podcast in August 2012.) Update June 2, 2014: Thanks to Scott Bohachyk, an amazingly dedicated Extraenvironmentalist listener who transcribed my whole segment, you can read it as well: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
– On the KunstlerCast podcast with James Howard Kunstler: Episode 251
For SmartPlanet this week, I reviewed the trends I have explored over the past several years and updated them with fresh data, and concluded that the world has reached a tipping point in energy transition from which there will be no going back.
February 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm Contributed by: Chris
For SmartPlanet last week, I reported on my trip to the 2014 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, and the slow progress United Arab Emirates appears to be making on its goals to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels and build Masdar City.
December 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm Contributed by: Chris
For SmartPlanet this week, I featured a new report by geoscientist David Hughes, which is the first publicly available empirical analysis of actual oil production data from the Monterey shale formation in California. Widely touted as the next big play in fracking, the Monterey looks to be a dud.
November 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm Contributed by: Chris
For SmartPlanet this week, I followed up on my previous story about securitization and other financial innovations in renewable energy with a look at the emerging “green bond” market, which is bringing billions of dollars of financing to bear on climate change solutions. I also talked to a creative New York-based financing company that is packaging off-balance-sheet bonds to help cities implement self-financing energy efficiency improvements.
November 11, 2013 at 11:08 am Contributed by: Chris
For SmartPlanet this week, I reviewed the “capital gap” problem in financing clean energy and efficiency, and how a slew of new players and approaches aim to solve it. Move over, mortgage-backed securities, solar-backed securities are the next big thing.
October 27, 2013 at 11:38 am Contributed by: Chris
For SmartPlanet this week, I reviewed a slew of developments from the past two months in the grid power storage sector, including California’s new storage procurement mandate, commercial microgrids, innovative financial models, utility testing of storage systems, and the opening of the PJM capacity market to storage. It all adds up to a very exciting picture of storage finally growing into a serious grid player, which will enable more renewable energy on the U.S. grid.
For Greentech Media last week, I explained how FuelCell Energy, the largest of the publicly traded fuel cell makers, is partnering with utility NRG Energy to market and deploy its fuel cells. This is good news, after so much contention between utilities and the makers of smart grid/microgrid/renewable energy equipment. Some utilities are finally figuring out the new business models they’ll need to survive the energy transition, and how to replace conventional baseload power with a cleaner, decentralized alternative.
For SmartPlanet this week, I observed that oil prices are still in triple digits but Big Oil is taking losses and the fracking boom is cooling down. That can only mean one thing: prices are going higher.
For Greentech Media this week, I reviewed the new Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013 from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and found a surprisingly bullish forecast for renewables, especially wind and solar. Most interesting are the phenomenal growth rates they project for the developing world.
Investor and StockTwits Executive Editor Phil Pearlman liked my article for Quartz comparing the costs of nuclear power to solar, and invited me to a Google Hangout to discuss it. You can see the video below; it’s about half an hour long. The video struggled a bit with my weak Internet connection in the UK, but the sound came through clearly. Worth a listen if you just can’t get enough of my views on solar vs. nuclear! (more…)
For Quartz this week, I ran down the data on the cost of nuclear power vs. the cost of renewables, in response to The Breakthrough Institute’s recent claim that the cost of German solar is four times the cost of Finnish nuclear power. If you want to know what nuclear power really costs, here’s the data.
Note: I would not have said we should “fight” nuclear power; the title wasn’t my choosing, and it was more in reference to a previous Quartz article on the health aspects. I just don’t think the current generation of nuclear technology makes economic sense, and the next generation has yet to prove itself…despite the claims of a loud chorus of nuclear advocates and a well-promoted film.
For SmartPlanet last week, I reviewed the recent closure of four nuclear plants in the U.S., including the San Onofre Generation Station in California, and concluded that nuclear power is headed for a long goodbye. Read it here: Nuclear’s swan SONGS
For SmartPlanet this week, I updated my outlook for oil and gas prices this year. So far my model is working beautifully, and has proved to be far more accurate than the calls made by the big-name analysts at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.