Redefining Energy podcast

Redefining Energy

Laurent Segalen + Gerard Reid

Two investment bankers bimonthly explore how tech, finance, markets and regulations are radically redefining the world of energy: Renewable Energy, Electric Cars, Hydrogen, Battery Storage, Digitisation... your co-hosts: from Berlin, Gerard Reid and from London, Laurent Segalen.
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49 episodios

  • Redefining Energy podcast

    60. From Energy Transition to Energy Crunch: The “Natgaspocalypse” - oct21


    For the past decade, Natural Gas has been promoted as the “Clean, Reliable and Cheap” fuel to assist the Energy Transition. Well that cosy theory, heavily promoted by the fossil fuel companies, is collapsing in front of our eyes with the Gas crunch affecting Europe, Asia and Latin America. As of 6 October 2021, TTF (the Dutch gas hub) front month prices briefly touched 160EUR/MWh, 8 times higher than where they were at beginning of the year, and equivalent to a staggering 56USD/mmbtu or 350USD/bbl of Oil.In this episode, that we record almost live, Gerard and Laurent try to analyse the causes, the impacts, and the long-term consequences of what we dub “The Natgaspocalypse”. We might as well have called the episode “From Russia with love” as we are discussing, amongst other factors, the role of Russia in the current energy crunch. But a lot of other long-term and short-term factors have come together to create the perfect storm. So, if supply is being analysed, there is also a lot to discuss about demand.How those crazy energy prices are fed to the final consumers is creating havoc within the Energy supply chain and triggers heavy-handed, hastily designed, government interventions. Such crises certainly distract the decision makers from their lofty “Net Zero by 2050” goals. Even when the market ends up rebalancing, as commodities market always do, the suddenness of the shock and its magnitude will generate significant consequences that will go beyond price controls and geopolitics. Governments will need to be more hands-on, whether through a faster decarbonisation or simply doubling down on gas. The Energy Transition will not be a smooth journey.We thank Aquila Capital for their support
  • Redefining Energy podcast

    59. Long Duration Energy Storage: the “Final Frontier” - oct21


    What are the technological options to compensate for – as the German say - the “Dunkelflaute” (dark doldrums), those winter weeks of low winds and low solar? That’s the code that will have to be cracked by Long Duration Energy Storage (above 8 hours and up to several days). Because, if no realistic solution is implemented in the coming years, we will still have gas peakers in the XXIIth century.Gerard and Laurent have invited Michael Barnard, an internationally recognised technology cleantech consultant, with world-class expertise on grid storage technology, electrification, and hydrogen. Together we review and analyse the various options: how far can Li-Ion batteries get us to? How to maximise the value of pumped hydro storage? How to scale flow batteries? Can we even rely of more breakthrough technologies? It will take time, will need government intervention, energy market reforms, but the solutions are there. Long Duration Energy Storage is definitely the “Final Frontier”.ReferencesDisclaimer: Michael works as adviser for Agora Energy Technologies - Prices of batteries: research:
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    58. Fuel Switch or Fuel Fix for Steel and Cement? - sep21


    Steel and cement with their 2,000 mills and 3,000 kilns, together currently emit 15% of the world’s CO2. So far, they’ve been exempted from carbon trading or carbon pricing, which means no significant reductions have been implemented. But in a 1.5degree and Net Zero scenarios, they start to feel the pressure. We brought Dolf Gielen, Director Innovation and Technology at IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) into the conversation to try to understand why those industries are so hard to decarbonise. And we are focusing the debate on a very simple choice: do you fix the fuel (with CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage of CO2) or do you switch the fuel (with – for example Hydrogen or Biomass)? There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, such as: bad economics, international competition (especially for steel, not so for cement), and regulators who don’t seem to be very interested.Some promising options are now on the table, but they will require massive governments interventions. References:Engineering with Rosie (Youtube) on CCS technologies: An excellent blog on cement emissions: on decarbonizing Steel: Gielen:, last but not least, a hilarious video explaining really how CCS/CCUS works Many Thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show
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    57. Methane, the invisible elephant in the room - sep21


    Methane is the largest source of greenhouse gas after CO2. The latest IPCC report has flagged the issue as “Code Red”. Until recently, Methane Emissions had not been universally monitored nor managed. Hence, how can Natural Gas legitimately claim that is it is a “bridge fuel” in the fight against Climate Change? Thankfully, the landscape is starting to evolve; and it’s about time, as methane emissions represent 8x those of the much-publicised aviation sector.Behind this major improvement is the non-for-profit MIQ, co-piloted by the prestigious RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute). MIQ had devised a ranking system for all Oil and Gas provenance, assessing and grading the content of venting, leaking, and flaring. The MIQ system leads to third party certification, a major milestone in the fight against Climate Change.Gerard and Laurent seat with Georges Tijbosch, senior advisor at MIQ, who is deploying those major advancements, which might have significant geopolitical implications.Finally, Gerard debunks Laurent’s wild conspiracy theories around Russian gas. References:MIQ: Capterio: Kayrros: A great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show:
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    56. How to decarbonise Aviation? - aug21


    The future of Sustainable Aviation is a very hot topic, but there are currently more questions than answers: How much of the aviation can be electrified? Will innovation come from start-ups teaming up with VCs or large OEMs? What new systems will have to be designed and certified? Is Hydrogen a solution or a fantasy? What role will biofuels and e-fuels play?To enrich the debate, Gerard and Laurent have invited Toby McCann to assess the various routes. Toby McCann is an Aviator and an Aircraft Engineering manager at Thales, veteran of the Fleet Air Arm with over 25 years' operating around the globe. He is also one of the top experts in Sustainable Aviation. Toby McCann: List of all new Electric planes starts ups: at this beauty: A great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show:
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    55. EVs: Tesla against the world - aug21


    2020 has proven a turning point in the EV market, and the trend is accelerating in 2021: more models, stronger public policies, mass roll-out of charging infrastructure, and a 300bnUSD race to catch up on Tesla.What’s the current state of play in the EV market? Among the OEMs, which are the Tesla challengers, and which are the laggards? Do the SPACs have any future? What are the Chinese up to? What to think about innovative outsiders such as Rivian and Rimac? What about vertical integration, software developments, autonomy, and new services?A refreshing open conversation with our friend James Carter, a 25-year veteran of the Automotive industry and recognized sharpest mind on the future of mobility. our friends:Benchmark Mineral Intelligence: Motion: great thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show:
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    54. Energy Trading: it is now man vs. machine - jul21


    The development of renewables has made power markets much more volatile, hence “volatility is the new gold”. Harnessing that volatility requires skills much beyond the traditional Energy Trader’s capabilities: welcome to the new digital energy trading system. To discuss those changes, we are invited Peter Bance, CEO of Origami. Origami’s patented technology enables energy companies to seamlessly bring together real-time data from physical assets, financial markets, and existing customer systems to optimise power trading. Peter offers us a view into a new type of Energy Trading where the Grid is dominated by Renewables. Thanks again to our partner, Aquila Capital
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    53. Oil Majors: the journey from molecules to electrons - jul21


    Navigating the Energy Transition for an Oil Major is not that simple. Decades-old simple centralised molecules energy systems are making way to decentralised electrons models. Some Oil Majors have simply decided to ignore the Energy transition, others - like Shell - are trying to adapt their business to it. A trading company by DNA, Shell has decided to mostly focus its strengths on the mid-stream and downstream segments. New businesses are being launched or acquired, centred around digital, trading, Virtual Power Plants (VPP) and EV charging. It is still early days to conclude if Shell will be able to ride the Energy Transition, but some green shoots, under the leadership of our guest, Ulrika Wising, Global VP Customer Solutions at Shell Renewables & Energy Solutions, are certainly promising.Will Oil Majors turn into Energy Majors? For once Gerard and Laurent disagree on pretty much everything!-----Thank you to our partner Aquila Capital
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    52. The German "Energiewende" - jun21


    Germany is rightly portrayed as a pioneer in the development of wind and solar. For the past two decades, the German government has granted a) a very stable framework b) very generous terms to renewables. And the “Energiewende” (the Energy Transition) as this policy is named, has delivered exceptional results, as the share of renewables has jumped from 6% to 50% of the electricity mix. But the cost to consumers has been significant. German Energy policy is very political and there is a lot of money flowing around without much consideration for economic realities. As the German Green party is expected to become an ever-dominant political actor, especially in view of the Autumn 2021 elections, we wanted to have a conversation with one of its most prominent inspirers: Patrick Graichen, who – after a long career in the German Ministry of Energy and Environment – leads the Agora Energiewende think tank. Where is the Energiewende today? What lessons can we learn from the past? How would a green-inspired Energy Transition continue to evolve both for Germany and Europe? Patrick delivers a unique insight into the future of the Energiewende. Agora-Energiewende: to our partner - Aquila Capital:
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    51. Is there a future for coal in Asia? - jun21


    While coal is being phased out in Europe and America, it is still the dominant source of energy in Asia. Why is that? And how will the situation evolve? Is there any teeth behind the net zero pledges for the second part of the century? In other words, is coal here to stay in Asia or has the tide started to turn?There is no better expert on the subject that Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at IEEFA (The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), a thinktank examining issues related to energy markets, trends, and policies.With Tim, we discover that the debate is much more than about pure climate change: it is about growth, jobs, energy security and technology. We end up with a positive message: it is really the beginning of the end for coal in Asia.Thank you to Aquila Capital for supporting the show to IEEFATim Buckley Climate finally, our hero from down underPablo Brait

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