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[Episode #7] – EROI

Full Episode

All about EROI (Energy Return on Investment), the state of biophysical economics, the relationship between energy and ecology, and what EROI could and should tell us about the outlook for a fuel -- for example, can we run a society on renewables? And in the news segment: LNG's troubled future, how low oil prices are causing surging gasoline consumption, and the risk of the next oil price spike.

Geek rating: 6

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Guest:

Dr. David Murphy is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University. His scholarship examines the intersection of energy, the environment and economics with a focus on energy transition – broadly defined. His past work has included energy and environmental policy work for various agencies within the federal government, as well as net energy analysis work within academia. Much of Dr. Murphy’s recent research is focused on the energy transition, with a forthcoming textbook called “Renewable Energy in the 21st Century.” Dr. Murphy was previously a faculty member at Northern Illinois University and a research associate with Argonne National Laboratory.

On Twitter:  @djmurphy04

On the Web: Dave’s page at St. Lawrence University

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[Episode #6] – Transition from Oil

Full Episode

The recent history of oil production and prices, the future of the oil industry, the potential for transitioning away from oil and the opportunity for EVs, and ERCI - the Energy Returned on Capital Invested. And in the news segment: the oil industry's latest moves and announcements about climate change; three important trends we should recognize in the retirement of yet another US coal plant; and a new report from Carbon Tracker calls IEA and EIA on the carpet for consistently overestimating future demand for fossil fuels, and consistently underestimating the growth of renewables.

Geek rating: 6

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Guest:

Mark Lewis is Head of Research and Managing Director at Carbon Tracker, a non-profit company based in London which publishes research on the financial aspects of climate risk. Prior to Carbon Tracker, Mark was Managing Director and Head of European Utilities Research at Barclays (2015-18), Chief Energy Economist at Kepler Cheuvreux (2014-15), and Managing Director and Global Head of Energy Research at Deutsche Bank, where he worked for 14 years until 2013. In addition to his experience as a sell-side financial analyst, Mark spent one year as Deputy Head of investor relations at E.ON at the beginning of the Energiewende, and two years as a credit analyst covering the European utility sector at Standard & Poor’s. In total, Mark has over 20 years’ experience as a financial analyst covering global energy and environmental markets.

On Twitter: @MCL1965

On the Web:  Carbon Tracker

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[Episode #5] – Winning the Carbon War

Full Episode

One man's sweeping ride through three decades of campaigning for action on climate and deploying solar from a veteran of the "carbon wars," plus his pithy observations on what our leaders in government and in the energy industry really think. And in the news segment: New studies are finding that renewables are getting cheaper than any other grid power; the continuing death of "baseload power" and the rise of flexible grids; more coal and nuclear power plants are being closed; and why deregulation and consumer choice isn’t necessarily the fastest path toward grid power transition.

Geek rating: 2

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Guest:

Jeremy Leggett, Founder of Solarcentury and SolarAid, Chair of Carbon Tracker, and author of five books on energy transition.

On Twitter: @JeremyLeggett

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[Episode #4] – Energiewende

Full Episode

All about Germany's famed energy transition effort, the Energiewende. What it is, what it isn't (with a strong dose of mythbusting), and what the future of grid power looks like from one of the countries on the leading edge. And in the news segment: US LNG export terminals could be in trouble; China's massive push for renewables; and the latest action in oil prices.

Geek rating: 4

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Guest:

 Craig Morris, editor of Renewables International and lead author of EnergyTransition.de

On Twitter: @PPChef

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[Episode #3] – Limits on the Grid – Part 2

Full Episode

How energy markets need to change to level the playing field for renewables, how renewables should be valued, and whether wind and solar must "eat their own lunch" by virtue of having a free marginal cost, or whether markets can be adjusted to prevent that. And in the news segment: Shell gives up on the Arctic; the new premier of Alberta does an about-face on fossil fuels; and solar is even cheaper than most energy analysts think (because the data is old).

Geek rating: 7

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Guest:

Bentham Paulos, Principal of Paulos Analysis and Director of the Power Markets Project

On Twitter: @benpaulos
On the Web: www.paulosanalysis.com  | www.powermarkets.org

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[Episode #2] – Limits on the Grid – Part 1

Full Episode

What the modeling work of our national renewable energy lab tells us about how far renewables can go on the grid under various scenarios, and their real technical limits.

Geek rating: 7

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Guest:

Mackay Miller is Principal Analyst in the US Strategy division of National Grid.

On Twitter: @mackaymiller

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[Episode #1] – The Real War on Coal

Full Episode

How the real war on coal is about economics, geology, and little skirmishes in local courts, not a national or presidential campaign; and the tragic failing of politics to address the phasing-out of coal that has been going on in the US for many years. And in the news segment: More calls to kill the UK's planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant; shale drillers' dirty little debt secret; the latest in the battle over the US oil export ban; and what the Fed's inaction says about energy transition.

Geek rating: 1

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Guest:

Michael Grunwald, senior writer at POLITICO and author of The New New Deal – The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era and The Swamp – The Everglades Florida and the Politics of Paradise.

On Twitter: @MikeGrunwald

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