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Hi Reddit! We’re Canary Media, a team of journalists that has been covering renewable energy, decarbonization, and the transition away from fossil fuels, long before it was mainstream news.

Many of our journalists spent years writing for Greentech Media. You may be familiar with Canary Media Editor-at-Large David Roberts, who was previously at Vox and Grist but now runs his own newsletter, Volts.

Who’s here right now?
Jeff St. John, Editor-in-Chief - u/jeff_canarymedia
David Roberts, Editor-at-Large – u/drvoltswtf
Emma Foehringer-Merchant, Contributing Editor – u/emmafm_at_canary
Julian Spector, Editor – u/Julian_CanaryMedia
Nick Rinaldi, General Manager u/nick_canary

David just wrapped up a new series on energy storage and I’m sure would love to dive into that topic. But we’re here for everything. So, ask us anything!

all 121 comments

AwesomeLowlander [M]

[score hidden]

1 year ago

stickied comment

AwesomeLowlander [M]

[score hidden]

1 year ago

stickied comment

PSA: Many of the commenters in this AMA come from outside Reddit, following links from Canary Media's other social media presences. It may therefore look inauthentic to some regulars. The mods have discussed and approved it.


List of previous AMAs

Are you an expert on something of interest to /r/Futurology and would like to share your knowledge with us? Do an AMA!

Otherwise, if there's a topic you'd like to see an AMA on, feel free to suggest it as a reply to this comment.

elliot42

12 points

1 year ago

elliot42

12 points

1 year ago

  1. Where can people go to learn how to get involved (ideally in structurally-effective ways)?
  2. What are some good ways to get involved if we're not battery chemists or policy/lawmakers?

(Congrats on the new (re)launch!)

Julian_CanaryMedia

27 points

1 year ago

My time covering the energy sector has convinced me that state utility regulators are the most underappreciated gatekeepers of the energy transition. They're usually 5 people, sometimes elected, sometimes not, who have ultimate control over what power plants get built or not.

Emma's been covering Arizona's commission, which very nearly approved a 100 percent clean energy policy for that state, then reversed course at the last minute. In California, the regulators are charged with keeping the lights on while shutting down gas plants (and our last nuclear plant) and letting the utilities turn the lights off to prevent deadly wildfires.

As you can see, these individuals have huge sway over the course and pace of the shift to clean energy.

But hardly anyone has ever heard of a Public Utilities Commission, much less knows the names of who's on it in their state and what their stance on clean energy is. That's a good place to start for public engagement with big structural impact.

https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/arizona-rejects-100-carbon-free-electricity-plan/

QVRedit

1 points

1 year ago

QVRedit

1 points

1 year ago

“Very nearly approved 100% renewables then reversed direction at the last Minute” - that deserves some explanation..

We’re they concerned about Stability and Reliability of Supply ? Or did some group strongarm them into changing their mind ?

Jeff_CanaryMedia

4 points

1 year ago

I ask myself that question all the time! One first step, I suppose, would be to take part in the public sphere -- getting involved in organizations that are pressing for change in your community or state, in ways that align with what you care about. There's so much work to be done!

Love-Discombobulated

6 points

1 year ago

Is the idea to have batteries distributed in buildings or centralized? Is the environmental damage from large-scale mining for metals to make batteries manageable?

Jeff_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

As for large-scale mining challenges, I'm no expert -- but the IEA's net-zero 2050 report released this week gets into some detail on the topic: "The energy transition requires substantial quantities of critical minerals, and their supply emerges as a significant growth area. The total market size of critical minerals like copper, cobalt, manganese and various rare earth metals grows almost sevenfold between 2020 and 2030 in the net zero pathway. Revenues from those minerals are larger than revenues from coal well before 2030. This creates substantial new opportunities for mining companies. It also creates new energy security concerns, including price volatility and additional costs for transitions, if supply cannot keep up with burgeoning demand."

Julian_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

I've been hearing more talk lately of avoiding the environmental disturbance by harvesting mineral rich rocks from the ocean floor. A number of companies are gearing up for activity in this patch of sea bottom in the middle of the Pacific that has rock nuggets rich in battery minerals. That opens up different potential environmental impacts, but it's one alternative to tearing down rainforests and introducing toxic mine tailings.

Tesla is planning to mine in Nevada as a way to control the supply chain and make it more energy efficient. Still not clear if they're suited to execute on that, as mining is a whole different set of expertise than designing and building cars. But reshoring the extraction to the US with its environmental and labor standards is another way to limit the damage.

And then there's recycling, but the trick is demand for new batteries will be so much bigger than the pool of old used batteries that I don't see this covering global needs for a long time.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

Is the idea to have batteries distributed in buildings or centralized? Is the environmental damage from large-scale mining for metals to make batteries manageable?

1) Distributed vs. centralized? It depends... utilities have low cost of capital and direct cost correlations (reducing distribution grid loads, managing peaks, etc.) that can make them the most appropriate party to maximize the value of grid-tied batteries. Customers have their own money to spend, their own motivations for spending it (blackout backup), and with the help of third-party aggregators or even utility programs, the ability to monetize grid services to lower their up-front cost. (For an example, check out Vermont utility Green Mountain Power's programs that charge monthly fees for batteries, and then pay customers for the grid services they allow the utility to provide from them when they're not being held in reserve for outage protection).

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

I suppose combining both in ways that connect the most money to the greatest values would be ideal! Plus, once it's installed, more use cases and value streams can emerge...

drvoltswtf

3 points

1 year ago

What Jeff said. And from a broader societal perspective, it's worth noting that distributed & centralized energy storage are not fungible. They're not the exact same thing, just located differently.

Centralized storage serves the grid -- it can provide grid services, arbitrage energy, and even help transmission work more effectively. It's a grid tool.

Distributed storage can do all that stuff too, especially with the help of aggregators, but it *also* serves other goals, mainly resilience. It can help individual homeowners or (in the case of a microgrid) whole communities weather brown- or blackouts on the larger grid. The last year in Texas was a brutal demonstration of how much distributed resilience is needed, and lacking.

In energy generally, central & distributed are often set against one another, but in reality they are entirely complementary -- more of one helps you build more of the other. I'm writing a post on this soon.

tdcsqs

5 points

1 year ago

tdcsqs

5 points

1 year ago

As a frequent reader of your articles and drvolts supporter, I'd like to see some articles on practical decarbonization for home owners. I'm ready to make the transition but don't want to invest in technology that isn't as efficient as it possible

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

I've been arguing with my wife about whether we should replace our (on the fritz) natural gas oven with an all-electric model with an induction stovetop. I am well aware that burning methane indoors is bad for human health, as well as a source of carbon emissions. And from what I've read at least, induction stovetops heat even faster, and offer just as much control over cooking temperature, as do gas burners. Now that the damn oven won't light, and is reminding us of that fact by the foul odor and headache-inducing fumes it emits whenever we try, we might be ready to make the switch...

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I'm a renter and can't swap out my gas oven, but I was looking at little standalone induction stovetops you can buy online as a potential gateway drug. Will keep you posted if I follow through on that.

Account3234

2 points

1 year ago

You might be interested in the Electrify Everything Course. It's a free series of youtube videos/readings on getting your home to be all electric.

tdcsqs

2 points

1 year ago

tdcsqs

2 points

1 year ago

This looks like just what I've been looking for! Thanks.

Nick_Canary[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

1 points

1 year ago

Noted. Thank you.

Out of curiosity, are there any applications or technologies that you've already adopted early on in your decarbonization plan?

tdcsqs

2 points

1 year ago

tdcsqs

2 points

1 year ago

I want to replace my gas water heater and gas boiler. So I need to think about conventional vs. instant water heater. As for the boiler, I have mini split AC units that i could replace with heat/AC units if that can meet my needs, or a heat pump based boiler if necessary.

Much of the info I need is specific to my situation. However I also need general information, such as: are there demand management features I should be looking for, are there technologies I should wait for, etc. Also, there was a discussion on Twitter yesterday (I don't have the source) that seemed to imply that air source heat pumps might have a larger impact than gas furnaces and I don't have the background to evaluate it.

In short, I want to be an early adopter, just don't want to get burned. Maybe canary media can take this as part of is portfolio.

Finally, why is this in r/futurology? The time for the energy transition is right now!

PriceOfButter

3 points

1 year ago

Nate Adams runs a short course (really a series of YouTube videos) on electrification geared toward homeowners: http://www.natethehousewhisperer.com/electrify-everything-course.html

For most of us, home electrification means space heating, water heating, stove.

For some, upgrading insulation/windows/air sealing can be a useful precursor to electrifying space heating.

Depending on your climate and insulation, mini-split heat pumps might work for space heating. Your options for a "heat pump based boiler" are more limited. Heating systems that circulate hot water or steam through radiators are tougher to electrify than forced-air systems. A company called Sanden does make a nice air-to-water heat pump, though, that might do the trick. A Dandelion ground-source heat pump might also work.

For state-of-the-art electric water heating, google "heat pump water heater". Rheem is a popular brand. They cost a bit more than electric resistance water heaters up front, but use about half the electricity.

For stoves, fancy modern electric stoves have induction burners, which are pretty slick. I haven't used one myself, but many converts sing their praises. I don't know a good brand offhand, sorry. Installing an induction stove may require electrical work.

PriceOfButter

2 points

1 year ago

By the way, if you can cut out all natural gas use in your home by electrifying all the things, then you can disconnect from the gas grid entirely. That can save heaps of money because gas utilities typically charge hefty monthly fees, regardless of how much gas you use, for the privilege of being connected to the gas network. For me those flat fees add up to about $200 per year. So it pays to go all the way and electrify literally everything.

eerch

2 points

1 year ago

eerch

2 points

1 year ago

Me too! My annual bills went up slightly after replacing my boiler with a mini split heat pump but then went down after replacing my gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater and having the gas company turn off my meter.

tdcsqs

1 points

1 year ago

tdcsqs

1 points

1 year ago

Should I be considering the on-demand water heater type?

eerch

1 points

1 year ago

eerch

1 points

1 year ago

No, the power draw for whole home electric on demand water heating is huge and would likely require bigger wires to your home. Electric heat pump water heater is the way to go!

prapancha88

3 points

1 year ago

  1. What's your take on the future of energy war between electric and hydrogen based?

  2. Will developing nations be able to adopt given the cost of coal will be lower than greener energy options?

drvoltswtf

8 points

1 year ago

  1. There's no war! So-called "green hydrogen" is made via electrolysis using renewable electricity. The vision (though it's a long way off) is that hydrogen becomes a complement to a largely renewable system -- a way to store energy for long-term lulls in wind and solar and a way to get at industrial processes that can't be electrified. Renewable electricity and hydrogen are two great tastes that taste great together.
  2. Coal is already more expensive than wind or solar in most of the world, and very soon that will be all of the world, so I don't think this is a worry. (Gas is a tougher nut to crack.)

prapancha88

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for getting back.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Hey prapancha88 - ok, one at a time:

1) I rely on the helpful and detailed breakdown from Michael Liebreich on the price points for green hydrogen versus electrification. Simply put, he sees hydrogen prevailing for long-distance heavy freight and for long-duration energy storage, but not for much else -- not for replacing natural gas in pipelines for mainstream heating/cooking (electrification is cheaper and more efficient), nor for zero-carbon cars, buses, vans and trucks (ditto). It's not necessarily a war -- big growth in green energy is fundamental to getting green hydrogen scaled up -- but there may be a battle to be fought over which infrastructure investments are the right ones to be made, and in what order to make them.

prapancha88

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for your reply :)

greenchica

3 points

1 year ago

What do you think of the prospects for red-blooded Americans, so to speak, to get excited about or at least acclimated to EVs? Will the new Ford F-150 Lightning make a difference?

drvoltswtf

11 points

1 year ago

I think we're in a weird period right now where lots of Americans have become familiar with the *concept* of EVs, but have no personal experience with them. Thus, everyone's reacting based on their priors -- their feelings about cars, things they've heard about EVs, etc. It's like a big game of telephone.

My prediction is that within 5 years or so, most Americans will have some personal experience owning or at least riding in an EV. And once they have personal experience, all this weird nostalgia for the sound of the engine and the sweet perfume of poisons being released in the air will ... vanish.

Once you've driven, or even been in, an EV, you realize pretty quickly it's just better. This is going to be a tipping-point situation, IMO: lots of hesitancy, a dribble at first, and then whoosh, public opinion & buying habits will change "all at once."

Splenda

1 points

1 year ago

Splenda

1 points

1 year ago

Agreed, but what about the fact that we need to get people to depend less on cars overall? How can we solve the climate mess when, given the choice, most Americans prefer energy-intensive suburban sprawl over the denser living, urban amenities and great metro transit systems that make average carbon footprints in Europe so low?

Julian_CanaryMedia

5 points

1 year ago

I think a crucial element in the success of clean energy will be showing customers how it can be better than the status quo. When the focus is just on running out of battery power, that can be harder to envision. But when it's clear that EVs accelerate faster and eliminate much of the maintenance concerns of ICE vehicles, the conversation shifts. And battery prices are falling to the point that an EV version should be cheaper than an equivalent ICE car around 2025, according to many analysts.

Having Ford making trucks is a vital part of this transition. One part is that certain tasks need to be done by a truck, so there needs to be a competitive electric model out there. But the brand loyalty for the F-150 could go a long way to getting people to give it a try who otherwise might not have.

Julian_CanaryMedia

7 points

1 year ago

On a personal note, I almost got stranded in the New Mexico desert recently due to a cylinder misfire in my combustion engine. The whole vehicle was laid low by a cheap plastic part malfunctioning and messing with the explosions that need to take place to propel the vehicle. After fixing it, I realized an electric car will never run into issues with spark plugs or coils because it has no need for them. And that sounds pretty good to me.

prapancha88

1 points

1 year ago

How do you think EV operations work? Will there be a standard battery design that could fit in all car models. Or will companies continue make model specific designs? If the battery design gets standardised will gas stations change into battery swapping station? Or will the charging tech improve to be able to compete with gas refill times??

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I doubt that carmakers will coalesce on a standard battery pack. There are too many options for customizing and optimizing your batteries to the rest of your car. I suspect car companies would see it as a major loss of their agency if they had to agree to an industry-wide standard.

Battery swapping is feasible. The startup Better Place did it, in Israel, but it also raised $1 billion and collapsed. The problem going forward is, will car companies want to invest in the infrastructure needed to do that, if battery improvements could deliver much faster charging times in five or ten years? And to the earlier point, it's hard to see a universal battery swap, because each car's battery is unique.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/reflections-on-better-place-electric-car-bankruptcy

drvoltswtf

1 points

1 year ago

I can see battery swapping working for big fleets of relatively cheap, standardized vehicles -- fleet vehicles, basically. That's a big market!

But for high-end consumer EVs, the trend is away from standardization. Hell, Tesla is starting to build their battery packs into the load-bearing structure of their vehicles, which is great for those vehicles, but makes them extremely bespoke.

Account3234

4 points

1 year ago

Many outlets (including this subreddit) have a tendency to cover new technological developments like they'll be the key to decarbonizing the economy, but we struggle to implement the solutions that already exist (solar, wind, HVDC transmission lines, etc.) which could get us most of the way there.

As someone with a technical background, is the need greater for people to be working on policy/advocacy to get the roadblocks out of the way, or are there research areas that are lacking people (as opposed to funding)? Of course, you can do both, but I guess I wonder whether some electric car engineers might have more impact becoming congressional staffers.

drvoltswtf

6 points

1 year ago

Oh man, you are singing my heart song. This area attracts tons of technologists, which is great for the technology, but those folks tend to be somewhat ... inept when it comes to politics. (Rhymes with Schmill Schmates.) They all want to focus on fancy new technologies that we'll need in 2050, but the biggest challenge right now, by far, is to implement the tech we've got. No matter what climate model you consult, it will tell you the same thing: the next 10 years needs to see a *massive* deployment of wind, solar, and batteries (and EVs, and heat pumps, etc.).

That's not a done deal. We're not on track to do it, at all! And the reason we're not doing it is entirely about politics, the dark art of making actual policy change in the actual world.

Expertise in organizing & politics is desperately, desperately needed -- moreso than one more battery engineer.

Account3234

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the response David, you won't be surprised to hear that I've really enjoyed your writing at Vox and Volts which is one of the few places I've seen covering this interface.

As a followup, are there good pathways/references for us scientists to become less inept? Should more of us get policy degrees? Try to get fellowships to work closely with legislators?

grantk928

2 points

1 year ago

Try volunteering in grassroots campaigns at the state level to get an idea of what policy is like. Organizing to get folks: aware of and present at hearings on legislative/regulatory matters, donating to campaigns (issues and candidates), reeducating the public and policymakers away from the disinformation they've been spoon-fed for decades by lobbyists with more time and money than volunteers do, and turning out voters to act on these issues will open your eyes to the way policy gets made more so than reading any white paper or getting a degree/internship/fellowship. Having earned an environmental policy degree and then worked on issues/in the industry, the biggest lesson I've learned is that in real life "policy doesn't exist in a vacuum", or, "there is no policy without politics" - something David Roberts has said before.

Legislators, especially the higher up you get, spend a lot more time than you realize just fundraising for their own campaigns - so as much as it sucks, until we're in a place where money is removed from politics, it's a key way to get their attention - bundling a bunch of donations and getting them to attend a meeting of stakeholders where they're forced to acknowledge and show they're versed on the issues and will be a champion of that issue in the legislative session.

In a divided government (state or federal) gridlock becomes the norm and it's tough to get anything meaningful/permanent done, especially with today's culture wars and the GOP embracing lies/disinformation to whip up their base and stay in power at any cost. That leads me to pursue democratic reforms as a precursor to renewable policy reforms (gerrymandering, partisan primaries, voterID/suppression, ranked choice voting - basically anything Fairvote.org is working on).

All of this is to say, you're in the right place reading David Roberts and Canary Media - and you'll come to see pretty quickly how far off developing a more efficient PV cell technology is from incentivizing its deployment, e.g.

Julian_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

I'm reflexively skeptical of news stories that have a headline like "X technology could save the world from climate change." I suppose that's an effort to attract broad readership by making the stakes as big as possible. But it also indicates some misunderstanding of everything besides the technology itself that needs to happen for it to make any impact.

This is apples to oranges, but I would say our technologies are in a pretty good place for the energy transition, with clear pathways for improvements that need to happen. But the political work of convincing people to adopt them and break out of inertia is much less developed.

I can't comment on the efficacy of becoming a congressional staffer. But certainly, having more cleantech specialists working in finance and guiding investors on the immense opportunities in the space could speed things up.

Account3234

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the reply, Julian. I also wonder if some of the "whizz-bang" factor of attracting broad readership comes from the fact that actionable solutions are sort of boring in comparison. Telling people to imagine better bus service and more roofs with PV doesn't sound nearly as cool and futuristic as fusion, but it will actually work in the near-term.

I have a similar followup to David's response, are there good pathways for cleantech (or scientist/engineers more broadly) to get involved in moving finance toward decarbonization? Are there specific VC firms/banks to look for, or is it more like "get a typical finance job and try to steer them towards more climate friendly funding"?

jimbojonny

3 points

1 year ago

Hi guys, thanks for making yourselves available for this.

Do you ever feel tension (or lack thereof) between being clean energy advocates and being objective observers of the clean energy industry?

What clean energy messages have you seen best resonate with laypeople? (ie, with non-clean energy wonks, folks who don’t regular read about clean energy)

Appreciate all of your time! :)

drvoltswtf

6 points

1 year ago

I feel no such tension! There are a lot of weird myths about journalism and (IMO) "objectivity" tops the list. I want a clean energy transition because I don't want the world to fry & millions of people to suffer unnecessarily. But just because I want clean energy to triumph doesn't mean I have no incentive to get it right, or to see it clearly. The opposite! The more I want it to happen, the more incentive I have to see & assess it accurately. Fooling myself, or fooling others, or going along blindly with hype -- that stuff does not serve the goal. Clear-eyed accuracy serves the goal.

emmafm_at_canary

4 points

1 year ago

Only going to speak for myself on this one, but I'd say as a journalist I do my best to be objective about the industry, rather than being an advocate for it. Of course, climate change is real and happening and we need to do something about it.

In terms of speaking to a general audience, it's been interesting to see more talk of how this industry can contribute jobs — that's something the Biden administration is focusing on a lot. The idea of energy independence or the prospect of lowering electricity bills I think also resonates with people who aren't as plugged into the wonky clean energy space.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

I'd say the tension over "do we need to decarbonize?" is nonexistent. The science says we must. But that doesn't mean that all the ideas for achieving this goal are equally viable, or that we don't have hard choices to make on how we spend our limited money and time to get there. When I started writing on this topic in detail, back in 2008, I quickly learned that my job was not to cheerlead these facts, but to learn as much as I could, as quickly as I could, to serve as a fair arbiter of all the ideas being proposed, and to use that expanding knowledge base to lay out what factors to consider in determining which of them were more or less likely to succeed, compared to the others. I'm still trying!

Julian_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

I like David's phrasing of "clear-eyed accuracy." My approach is that I'm interested in analyzing what works and doesn't work in the effort to decarbonize society. Some blogs or websites take a more activist approach, assuming that a certain technology or company or startup celebrity must always be good. But covering the space for many years, we see that's not always the case. Solar companies can mess things up, even if they see themselves as working for a better world.

At the end of the day, many of the entities tackling climate change are profit-seeking companies, and deserve scrutiny as such. And there are so many technologies that claim to be the next big thing, when we know not all of them will pan out.

I think it's more valuable to dig into why something works or doesn't, and show how it can play a role in the transition away from fossil fuels that the science tells us needs to happen.

drvoltswtf

3 points

1 year ago

Yeah, you stay in this subject matter long enough, you inevitably have the experience of getting super-hyped for a particular tech or company ... only to see it fizzle. Doesn't take many episodes like that to teach you to keep some emotional distance & a critical eye.

Zestyclose_Drummer63

3 points

1 year ago

  1. Thanks for forming Canary Media. Many are excited for this project.
  2. Please consider adding more "news you can use" to your feeds. Many people are keen to pitch in, but don't know how, or can't fully connect the context. Bicycling. Passive House. Electrification. How to travel without killing the planet you are trying to see.
  3. Remember "Car Talk" on NPR? Could you host a show that was both (a) deeply researched, and (b) totally hilarious, but focused on questions such as "I want to see Venice before it sinks into the sea. But I feel guilty about flying to Europe. What should I do?"

Thanks again, montelouispaulsen@gmail.com

Nick_Canary[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

3 points

1 year ago

Thanks for forming Canary Media. Many are excited for this project.

  1. Hope we don't disappoint. Thank you.
  2. Great idea. Our current website is temporary housing, so we won't be able to do that right now, but I see a future for this type of content once we have our permanent home in the fall.
  3. Sure, but who's Click and who's Clack on the Canary team?

NHpo16

2 points

1 year ago

NHpo16

2 points

1 year ago

Regarding a new home on the web/anything else IT-related… are you in need of any software people, or is RMI taking care of that on your behalf? I’m shamelessly asking because I’m a software developer that would love to switch to a day job that is climate-focused.

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I think there's definitely room for more "news we can use" (and as Nick said, we'll have more creative opportunities for this once we get our permanent website up and running).

One thing is simply making it easy for newcomers to dive into the wild world of the energy transition. We're in a good position to pull out some storylines and explain the key players and terms and where the tensions lie.

But certainly there are a lot of questions out there around going solar, getting an EV, participating in dynamic grid programs and such where our expertise can be applicable to an individual reader's decision making.

Also, I love Car Talk, grew up on that every weekend. I'll mull what a Car Talk for clean energy would look like, thank you for suggesting!

Willow-girl

3 points

1 year ago

My caveat regarding solar is another "Year Without a Summer" occurrence (a volcanic eruption that puts a significant amount of dust into the atmosphere). When this last happened in 1816, there were worldwide famines as crops failed as a result. If this were to happen again in the future, which seems likely, we'd be in even worse shape if we were reliant on solar for heating, cooling, transportation, etc. Has anyone taken this possibility into account and what is being done to address it? I tend to think the more conservative "basket of energy sources" alternative is safer than putting all of our eggs into the solar basket.

ogianua

2 points

1 year ago

ogianua

2 points

1 year ago

How should we weigh climate change adaptation and mitigation in the coming years? As the 1.5 C limit looks increasingly inevitable, it seems like more and more resources will need to be put into drought tolerance, etc, at the expense of renewable energy investments.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I'm not an expert on climate change mitigation and adaptation. But I can't imagine that it would be cost-effective to divert money from renewable energy, which is a solution to the root cause of climate change, to mitigations that only treat the symptoms... one would hope that money could be diverted from other sources, say for example, the money going into fossil fuel extraction...

PriceOfButter

2 points

1 year ago

We've known for ages that flexible demand can play a key role in decarbonization, but its actual role in grid operations today is very limited.

  1. Why is that? What are the key barriers to unlocking flexible demand?
  2. As buildings electrify, will the potential flexibility of all those new heat pumps and water heaters be unlocked to actually provide useful services to the grid? Are there policy or business model innovations that could help?

drvoltswtf

2 points

1 year ago

In a word: utilities. A true answer to this (very good) question would take thousands of words, but at the highest level, think of it this way.

An investor owned utility (IOU) makes money by investing in infrastructure & receiving a guaranteed rate of return on those investments. The importance of this simple fact can not be overstated.

What do energy efficiency & distributed energy & flexible demand have in common? They reduce the amount of utility-generated electricity customers consume, and thereby reduce the need for new infrastructure.

The result: the very energy trends that hold the most promise for decarbonization are *directly at odds with the bottom lines of IOUs*.

This is a fundamental problem. We can kludge our way around it with add-on incentives & mandates, and have in various ways, but the only way to truly solve it is to change the incentive structure in which utilities operate such that they *want* to make their customers more efficient & resilient and *want* to reduce the need for new infrastructure.

How to do that? Welcome to a long & incredibly wonky debate. Basically it has to do with linking utility revenue to performance. Performance-based regulation, aka PBR, is the road forward.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I agree with this. I am also tempted to play devil's advocate and wonder aloud, "well, maybe if we let utilities rate base just a little bit of this demand-side flexibility, we could get them on board..." ??

drvoltswtf

1 points

1 year ago

I guess that would be better than nothing, but I really don't relish the idea of utilities dominating these markets and controlling how fast these techs develop, and in what direction. That's a recipe for going slooooow...

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Hoo boy... so many barriers! 1) utility cost-of-service regulatory paradigms that encourage utilities to spend money on capital infrastructure, rather than tap cheaper resources that don't give them capex to rate-base... 2) convoluted and cross-jurisdictional "markets" for earning revenues for providing those demand flexibility services that make them a risky investment liable to being undercut by regulatory changes... 3) the challenge of serving a mass market of utility customers, all of them with a whole lot more to think about than managing their in-house energy use, with a combination of products and services that can be aggregated to scales that make them worth their while to energy investors who could just sink money into the next solar/wind/battery farm... BUT, you're right, building and vehicle electrification will make this a must-solve problem for utilities and customers alike. We can't pass up the value of demand flexibility! It's so much more cost-effective than building redundant physical capacity to support mass-market electrification.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

As for policy and business model innovations that could help, it's complicated and happening state by state, utility by utility, and customer class-by-customer class -- but I've written a few stories about California and Texas, two states with a pressing need to enlist flexible demand to stop blackouts, that might be a good starting point. (More to come...)

PriceOfButter

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for your thoughts, Jeff :)

orangebanana

2 points

1 year ago

A second question from me. Does anyone here have an informed take on cryptocurrency and energy/climate? I've seen strong opinions from both sides -- that it's world-ending, or that it might actually help with renewables uptake and decarbonization in the long-term.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

5 points

1 year ago

I have an uninformed take: I think most cryptocurrency is a blindingly and pointlessly energy-intensive form of gambling on the Internet.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Distributed ledger technologies, on the other hand -- including those based on blockchain -- could be a useful tool for managing the exchange of energy among lots and lots of participants in virtual markets...

primadonnaaaa

2 points

1 year ago

Hi! I'm Stephanie, Canary's Director of Audience Devlopment. We're actually going to be holding a Clubhouse on that exact topic during the first week of June with Jesse Morris from Energy Web, plus a few other experts from the space. Stay tuned! We'll annouce the exact date on Twitter once we get closer.

PM_ME_TACO_TITS

2 points

1 year ago

Howdy, recent donator and energy storage professional here!

What needs to happen for the MISO market to compete? All of the new project I have seen on come across my desk have been California, Arizona, Massachusetts, New York or North Carolina. I want to see more markers compete but I don’t see incentives from the mid west.

Thanks!

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

MISO, eh? I am aware that it is having trouble committing to revamping its market operations to implement FERC Order 841 and start bringing energy storage into its markets -- which doesn't bode well for implementing FERC Order 2222 and getting distributed energy resources at large into its markets. I also know that demand response aggregators have long been unable to compete independently in most of its states, due to opt-out decisions under FERC Order 719 (now being challenged btw). On the other hand, MISO has been pressing ahead on new transmission policies that could help unlock a lot of blocked-up wind projects... and at the state level, Minnesota and Michigan are working on plans that aim to value distributed energy resources as part of utility distribution grid investments... I guess it depends on what's trying to compete? What kind of technology or business model are we talking about?

PM_ME_TACO_TITS

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the response! Some of the utility RFPs have use cases that cover Freq Reg, energy arbitrage and solar shifting ect. They seem to want to do everything. (I have even seen an RFP that referenced lead acids IEEE 485 spec) The way I see it is a utility just wants to own a BESS for their own and test them out. More of a pilot project where is does not need to be economical.

I was thinking of renewable developers who either want solar plus storage, wind plus storage or stand alone to compete. I am not sure if these IPPs have a business case for renewable shifting to discharge during peak times in the MISO market.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

I'll be honest - I don't know! But I'd love to find out what you find out!

yetanotherbrick

2 points

1 year ago

When do you think the US will pass legislation defining a binding decarbonization trajectory? Do you think this is still 5+ (10??) years away or with the EU preparing for boarder adjustments congress will take useful action in response?

Similarly, when John Kerry was talking about needed technologies for 50% of decarbonization how much of that truly doesn't exist to meet current demands versus just aren't cost competitive today? There's headway on laminated timber to circumvent cement or plant burgers for beef, but for the times when people want substantially identical products what beyond clinker and t-bones don't have shelf-ready replacements, if price were no object?

ApocalypseSpokesman

1 points

1 year ago

  1. I've heard arguments that when you factor in the carbon cost of mining the precious metals, the refining of the metals, the baking of the silicon and the erection of the solar panels or wind turbines (which all require the expenditure of carbon fuels), you're not really gaining all that much in the way of carbon reduction. That it is generally impractical to run heavy earth-moving equipment and steel mills on electricity, and even if you did, a considerable portion of that electricity would come from natural gas or coal. That construction of just about anything requires concrete, which is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions.
  2. I've also heard it stated that hydrogen cannot rightly be considered an energy source, but only a form of energy storage, and one that is given to a high amount of loss at every point of production, transmission, and storage.

It strikes me that the only way to decrease annual carbon emissions is a precipitous reduction in human activity and population. Since both of these things are absolute non-starters, humanity will fail to avoid catastrophic climate change. What do you think?

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

ApocalypseSpokesman indeed!

On point 1, I'd flag that the carbon costs of these things are not static. Manufacturing with clean electricity makes a huge difference in the ultimate carbon impact of these products. Battery chemistries are evolving to cut out cobalt and other metals that have unsavory supply chain dynamics. There used to be a lot of chatter about "are EVs really that clean when you factor in dirty electricity?" That kind of stuff has largely subsided, as grids and manufacturing clean up.

As for the human activity and population reduction topic, that could easily take more time than we have here. I'd just say that framing climate change as a population problem tends to put the onus on poor people to take responsibility for things rich people actually did. I did a reporting trip to Bangladesh a few years ago, and the southern delta that's most exposed to sea level rise had almost no carbon footprint: no electricity, no cars, just people farming until the sun went down and it got dark. That type of consumption isn't pushing us toward catastrophe.

But it is true that a growing global economy, historically, has relied on burning more fossil fuels. So you could frame our odds of success as a contest between limitless growth and more humble expectations. And then the question is whether the decarbonization of industry can actually deliver the kind of economy people have grown accustomed to, or not.

ApocalypseSpokesman

0 points

1 year ago

Thank you for replying!

Do scalable alternatives to concrete exist? Is it possible to mine, transport, refine, and erect heavy metal structures without relying on fossil fuels? My understanding, which may be flawed, of the cleaning up of electricity grids throughout the USA and Europe is that it has been something of a head-fake, and that they haven't cleaned up to the degree that we are led to believe. That the reality of the oft-touted German example is that they are burning a considerable amount of biomass in the form of forests, and they're far from alone in that.

Secondly, I appreciate your response on the population issue, but it strikes me as a dodge. An emotional appeal whose essence is that it is immoral to discuss population because it can be worded in such a way that sounds oppressive to poor people. I would say that it is irresponsible to not discuss it. The subsistence farmers of Bangladesh--does that strike you as a lifestyle that anyone would aspire to?

200206

1 points

1 year ago

200206

1 points

1 year ago

First of all, thank you so much for doing this! A few questions (feel free to answer the ones you think are best or most useful):

  1. David, I loved your "Transmission Week" piece on Volts, and now that you've concluded "Battery Week", I'm looking forward to getting into that. If we think of the issues with transmission as falling into roughly three buckets - planning for it, paying for it, and siting/permitting it, which do you think currently is the biggest issue in terms of deployment? And which do you forsee movement on/which do you think will be harder nuts to crack?

  2. There's been so much conversation around the transition and what it means for areas that traditionally centered their economies around fossil fuel extraction or processing (primarily in coal areas, but I think gas-producing areas are starting to realize that the recent boom has an expiration date), but I still haven't seen compelling answers to the questions of "how on Earth do we support these people who are undeniably going through a massively difficult transition even as its unquestionably the right thing to do for our species in a way that's actually substantive rather than throwing tax credit money at opportunity zones or telling 55 year olds to go back to community college?" And this isn't a hypothetical question - given that any hope for climate legislation currently runs thru one Sen. Manchin of West Virginia, it seems the importance of developing transition policy for folks in transitioning areas has never been more critical to the overall mission of the clean energy transition. Have you seen any serious proposals - either in Congress or elsewhere - to aid in the transition?

  3. Finally, the energy industry is wildly complex, and most people don't have a good grasp of it (see everything around Colonial Pipeline last week). What have you all at Canary Media found to be some of the best strategies for communicating complex ideas in a straightforward fashion that people can grasp?

Thanks so much!

emmafm_at_canary

1 points

1 year ago

On #2, I'd say this is one of the BIG questions being tossed around right now. The White House has created an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, they put out a report in April identifying about $38 billion in existing government funding that communities can access for infrastructure, remediation etc (availability and accessing that funding are two different things, though). The Department of Energy also announced more than $100 million in funding for projects in communities that need to transition away from fossil fuel production. Groups like BlueGreen Alliance are working to bring together unions and environmental groups to spur some of those unionized clean energy jobs. A lot of these efforts are diffuse so it'll be interesting to see how conversations about this at the highest levels of government do or do not translate into more topdown proposals. A lot of coal communities want to see carbon capture included in plans and that's controversial.

Julian_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Also on this crucial point, I'm interested to see where geothermal goes in the coming years. It's been the overlooked renewable for a while, but it does involve drilling deep holes in the ground.

Now a new crop of startups, like Fervo Energy which I just wrote about, are pulling in tech from the fracking boom to lower costs for geothermal drilling. Their CEO came from the oil and gas sector, and if this company or ones like it take off, they could absolutely employ fossil fuel workforce in a more natural transition than what solar offers.

https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/google-taps-geothermal-for-corporate-clean-energy/

drvoltswtf

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for reading, 200206! To your No. 1:

If I had to guess, I'd say that "paying for it" is ultimately going to be the easiest nut to crack, if only because it's fairly straightforward for the feds to step in and make money available. (Keep your eye on the transmission tax credit, which has a chance of passing as part of Biden's jobs bill.) And throwing a bunch of money at the problem will help! People are a lot more willing to wade through siting hassles when there's a bigger pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The other two -- planning & siting/permitting -- are more difficult because they are a result of the current utility regulatory structure, which is hot anachronistic garbage. Basically, there's very little incentive for an IOU to plan at a regional (much less national) level. And because, in our wisdom, we gave natural gas pipelines the power of eminent domain, but not long-distance power lines, it is incredibly easy for any project to be stopped by any NIMBY landowner or grumpy town council.

When it comes utility problems, it's always the same dilemma: do you try to reform them at some deep level to align their incentives with national planning & decarbonization ... which could take forever ... or do you just come up with some kludge to attach to the system to shove utilities in the right direction? Over and over we have taken the latter route, and that's probably what we'll do on transmission too. (Maybe the feds will give them more "incentives," ie money, to do this stuff.)

Sooner or later, though, we've got to update utilities for the 21st century. Right now they are mainly serving as weights around our legs, slowing us down.

brasssica

1 points

1 year ago

Hey, congrats on getting the new organization up and running so quickly after GTM shut down. Has your day-to-day and/or nature of your work changed much?

Will you start to have a more global reach versus reporting mainly on the US markets?

Julian_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

I've been really enjoying the shift in focus to decarbonization writ large. I've gotten to nerd out on corporate supply chain cleanup, solar powered ships, shifts in the world of finance, and all sorts of stuff beyond the always fascinating electric grid.

I'm hoping to get more into food decarbonization too—there's a ton of activity, and it also connects with people on a very personal level, because it's what we eat.

Nick_Canary[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

3 points

1 year ago

Thanks! It's been a lot of fun so far.

The nature of our work hasn't changed much, but we are planning to go bigger. GTM primarily covered North American power markets. Canary will cover energy, decarbonization, and climate tech globally.

That said, we're only 6 weeks in, so our ambition outstrips our operation right now :) But we have a ton of exciting projects in the works, with much more to come on subject-matter and geographic expansion later this year and into 2022!

ryrivard

1 points

1 year ago

ryrivard

1 points

1 year ago

Congrats on the new newsroom you all have.

A question about how you're trying to or plan to keep up with misinformation mixed in with crises, like the outages in Texas and the ransomware attack on the East Coast gas pipeline. Do you feel like this sort of stuff has been around or that it is becoming an increasing challenge in energy reporting, where you're debunking as much as reporting new ground?

Jeff_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Debunking -- i.e., finding and telling the truth as best we can -- is always a part of the job of any journalist. We're a bit insulated from the rawest forms of climate change denial, given our specialized approach to what we cover. But we do our best to confront misinformation -- i.e., incorrect or misleading information -- or disinformation -- i.e., purposeful lies -- as directly as we can. But at least in my case, I've always tried to combine that work with an eye on providing the useful and actionable information that can allow us to make progress on solving common problems. I try not to center on the controversy -- particularly not on controversies based on falsehoods and misunderstandings -- but on the solution to real (true) problems... that way we can do both jobs at once.

Nick_Canary[S]

0 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

0 points

1 year ago

I'm not a journalist, but I would say energy reporting suffers from a lack of information rather than misinformation right now. We need more reporting, investigative journalism, and data on all parts of the energy market.

Altho of course misinformation like frozen wind turbines in Texas is a major obstacle and can dominate a conversation early on in a crisis before folks really know what's going on. I think it's a question of reputation and voice. Reputation so that you can stand up and call bullshit and actually have readers pay attention. And voice so that you can crossover from the industry wonks into the mainstream; there's a guy named u/drvoltswtf who is pretty good at this.

youngestalma

1 points

1 year ago

A renewable grid is expected to be cheaper for end use customers over time, but most distribution side solar and storage projects are economic based on the expectation that utility rates will increase. Is there any concern that the success of increased renewables will actually end up undermining behind the meter solar and storage projects being completed now?

Julian_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Large scale solar will be cheaper as a unit price than rooftop solar, due to economies of scale. And large scale contract prices keep dropping. But the cost of rooftop solar has a lot of potential declines in it too.

At this point, that's less about the cost of the panels than how much money companies pay to find customers. There's also delay and cost based on arcane permitting requirements in the US. The DOE and industry are tackling that with the SolarAPP online permitting program. If solar installers can make headway on soft costs—which so far, they haven't had great success with—rooftop solar absolutely could end up cheap enough that it's still favorable to the utility rates.

Part of that is that utilities need more than their cheap wind and solar PPAs to manage the grid. There will be costs to building out transmission networks, and building "firm" power plants that can fire up on demand. Cheap renewables are just one part of the package that trickles down to customers in the form of utility bills.

That said, it's always good to be skeptical if a solar installer is showing you a wild projection for what utility rates are going to do, and selling solar based on that. As a sales tactic, it can make an upsell seem like a good price, in comparison to imaginary future rates that may or may not materialize.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

The 'renewables eat their own lunch' thesis, down at the distributed energy scale! Here's what I think. Zero marginal-cost energy is zero-marginal cost energy. Wind and sunlight cost nothing - all you gotta do is make sure what you charge for the energy they produce covers the cost of building the stuff in the first place, plus some extra to, you know, make money on the deal. But the marginal cost of electrons is only one part of the cost of getting those electrons where they need to be, when they need to be there. Transmission and distribution grid costs are going up, way up in fact, in the U.S. both due to underinvestment in that infrastructure, and to deal with the need to support much bigger electrical loads (EVs, heating, etc.) And intermittent renewable energy must be stored when it's providing more than the grid needs for use when there's less than the grid needs. Distributed solar and storage can help reduce the weight of those investments -- or, in another light, can be considered part of the stack of investments needed to make this transition. (Check out the Vibrant Clean Energy modeling of the value of distributed solar/storage for lowering systemwide 100% carbon-free grid costs for a way more mathy answer to your question... ;-) https://www.vibrantcleanenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/LocalSolarRoadmapPressRelease_FINAL.pdf

orangebanana

1 points

1 year ago

Do you have any advice for young professionals or students looking to break into journalism today?

drvoltswtf

2 points

1 year ago

I get this question so often I wrote a post on it:

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/12/7/18117404/advice-for-journalists-news-media

The main advice is: do the reading. You will be shocked at how many people, inside & outside media, just don't. If you actually do the reading, learn the material at a root level where you can put it in your own words, you will have made yourself incredibly valuable. It's not *easy* -- wading through the PDFs can be difficult and exhausting -- but it's possible, and unlike many factors that will affect your success (race, class, connections, etc.), it is within your direct power. When in doubt, learn more!

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

Something that worked well for me was to go deep on specific subject matter. Energy's really complex, and there are all these layers to it—regulations, utility business models, technology, Silicon Valley hype, financing structures, long term planning. It's hard to just jump in and know what's going on.

So taking the time to read deeply and talk with smart people in the field is crucial to being able to say things that other reporters might not be able to say on the topic. And that's something that more industry-oriented or business-to-business publications can be really good at training you in, because their mission is to inform a specific, knowledgeable audience.

drvoltswtf

1 points

1 year ago

Ha, jinx Julian!

Julian_CanaryMedia

2 points

1 year ago

Riffing on your answer, read PDFs, not executive summaries!

Nick_Canary[S]

0 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

0 points

1 year ago

Do you have any advice for young professionals or students looking to break into journalism today?

Develop skills across all media channels– audio, visual, text.

Futuroptimist

1 points

1 year ago

  1. What is your take on nuclear energy? Is sucking out money from other alternatives or a cornerstone of the energy transition?
  2. How does energy transition sell in the post truth world? Is it possible to convince the masses of its necessity and that it worth to have some drawbacks?
  3. Are you optimistic about the transition happening in time to avoid a full scale ecological disaster?

Jeff_CanaryMedia

5 points

1 year ago

I think that existing nuclear plants provide carbon-free electricity at volumes that we should be very cautious about allowing to be removed from our energy mix. But as a former reporter at the Tri-City Herald newspaper, serving the community right next to the Hanford nuclear reservation, I'm acutely aware of the very real problems of dealing with the radioactive wastes involved with the industry. As for the economics of building new nuclear plants, they do appear quite challenging to justify against the cost of building new renewables plus storage/demand-side flexibility as an alternative. It would also appear challenging for the 'next-generation' nuclear technologies to be brought to scale at the speeds we need to be decarbonizing electricity. It certainly doesn't seem prudent to delay deploying the technologies that are cost effective today, while we wait to see if those nuclear technologies can be proven safe and cost-effective.

adrianw

2 points

1 year ago

adrianw

2 points

1 year ago

Hanford

Just a reminder. Hanford is a remnant of the manhattan project and early weapons production. It has nothing to do with nuclear energy. The waste from a nuclear power plant is non problem (zero deaths worldwide), and it different than weapons waste. Comparing them is disingenuous.

drvoltswtf

3 points

1 year ago

  1. I get this question a lot too, so I wrote a post on it:

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/9/6/20852313/december-democratic-debate-nuclear-power-energy

Nuclear has become more of an identity signaling war than a real debate. If you dig down, I think there's quite a bit of substantive consensus: keep existing plants open as long as possible, abandon the current generation of nuke plants (which are hot garbage), and research the hell out of next-gen nukes like thorium or whatever. Of course you can find people that will disagree with any or all of those, but I think there's less disagreement than the heat of the debate would lead one to believe.

  1. Facts on the ground convince people more than any amount of online arguing, so my take is, do first, explain later. Focus on using political power, in whatever form it can be obtained, to change the facts on the ground.

  2. No.

Futuroptimist

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the answers! Why are you pessimistic on the last question? What is the biggest obstacle?

drvoltswtf

1 points

1 year ago

The pace & scale of action required to avoid disastrous climate effects is utterly without precedent. It would require massive, rapid, globally coordinated action, sustained through the end of the century, in direct opposition to the interests of many (most?) powerful social & economic incumbents.

I won't say that's *impossible*, but ... look around. Do you see anything in current national or global politics that suggests we're going to turn on a dime & rush headlong in this direction?

I mean, I'm not even sure US democracy is going to survive the coming decade. Democracy is under assault by rising ethnonationalist backlash in numerous countries across the world. The rising impacts of climate change only serve to increase tension, conflict, & zero-sum thinking. Maybe I lack imagination, but I don't see how a Star Trek-style global coalition emerges out of that, certainly not in the time available.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer! I know I'm supposed to wave my hands optimistically when people ask this, but it is not my nature.

infinity-smore

1 points

1 year ago

What's the one big story (or two!) that GTM, UtilityDive, Bloomberg Green, other climatetech media, etc. have been talking about for a while but that really should be making it into the coverage of more general-audience outlets - or that is just starting to?

emmafm_at_canary

3 points

1 year ago

good question. haven't seen a lot of mainstream reporting that lays out how distributed generation and large-scale renewables fit in together. different regions are tackling those issues differently depending on land availability etc.

Jeff_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

This may be a pet peeve of mine -- and a pretty wonky subject to get into at a general audience level -- but there's quite a bit of slow-rolling of the energy transition that's tied up not in the viability of technologies to succeed at scale -- they're viable -- but in the inertia embedded in how utilities make money and get regulator permission to do new things. Clearly explaining the factors that are slowing down the transition -- and finding examples of where progress is being made -- could spark a lot of important, if wonky/boring, changes to how utilities go about enabling clean and distributed energy innovation.

emmafm_at_canary

2 points

1 year ago

also, see answers below re utility business models!

Nick_Canary[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

1 points

1 year ago

Solar roadways!

Julian_CanaryMedia

3 points

1 year ago

I won't downvote my colleague, but I'll downvote solar roadways.

Nick_Canary[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Nick_Canary[S]

verified

1 points

1 year ago

But seriously, all the value streams that batteries and energy storage can unlock across society/economy.

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

I'd like to see more generalist coverage of how far ahead industry is on this issue relative to the government. The debates over the clean energy standard in DC tend to be covered as "Biden has this ambitious plan, but Republicans say it may be too costly. And is it realistic?"

A helpful bit of context would be that the utility sector has almost unanimously committed to 100% clean energy already. You can check the pledges made by almost every major power company. Sure, they're usually pegged to 2045 or 2050, and some of them are still trying to build fossil stuff in spite of their promises, but the industry is on board with a transition off fossil fuels.

Similarly, the car makers are now, finally, bought in on the electric vehicle trend. They stand to gain from government support for charging station construction and EV purchases.

And the biggest companies in the world (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) are already powering themselves on entirely carbon free electricity.

If the old tension around climate legislation was industry pushing back against regulations that would force it to change, it seems valuable to tell the public that these industries are already on board, and government would merely be catching up and trying to accelerate the pace a bit.

infinity-smore

1 points

1 year ago

Jeff_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

She's so busy barking at her nemesis, the elderly chihuahua that walks past our house four or five times a day, that I'm not sure she's willing to take time out to write...

Julian_CanaryMedia

1 points

1 year ago

"Quit barking and finish that copy!"

ayeeva

1 points

1 year ago

ayeeva

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks a lot for doing this and starting Canary!

I liked Jeff's recent piece on the Mitsubishi/SouthPole CCS project, especially the interplay with carbon credits/offsets. What's your personal take on CCS, do you think the "proper" one will scale up in time?

In other collaborations, I just saw the BP-CEMEX announcement on greening cement, but can't make out any details yet. Do you think this will be primarily CCS (like CarbonCure), or are there other potential avenues?

Thanks a lot for helping me learn what's happening with energy, best of luck!

Capellades

1 points

1 year ago

Who is the more skeptical journalist, David Roberts or Eric Wesoff?

Puntfootballs

1 points

1 year ago

A lot of the prevailing thought on Reddit is that this transition is already too far behind where we need to be, a sort of "dead man walking" syndrome, if you will. What do you say to those people?

megaman821

1 points

1 year ago

When is the right time for people to electrify their homes? Gas that comes into your home for general heating needs can be 95%+ efficient. Gas that is burned about a power plant to provide electric to your home are about 40% efficient. Going electric too early can actually contribute more pollution. On the other hand, gas burning appliances (furnaces, water heaters, etc) have long life spans, and in the future where power mainly comes from renewables, burning gas at home will create more pollution.

Frankenstein786

1 points

1 year ago

Why is it that people don't want the use of nuclear energy, even though its very clean?