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Opinion

The Energy Gang podcast: California gets to 100% renewable electricity. Almost

How can we get to grids that are 100% carbon-free around the clock, 365 days a year?

1 minute read

In this week's episode, the gang discuss nuclear power: is it a solution for providing energy security, or could it make the problem worse? Given that many consuming countries need to import most of their uranium, does relying on nuclear power create new sources of fragility? The US imported 86% of its uranium in 2020, from a range of countries, including Russia. What does that mean for hopes that a new generation of reactors could provide affordable and reliable low-carbon power?

Next up, it’s California’s quick peek into the future. The state’s power grid ran last weekend on – very nearly – 100% renewable energy, even if it was for less than 15 minutes. How can California, and everywhere else, get to grids that are 100% carbon-free around the clock, 365 days a year?

And then it’s a topic that is at the top of the agenda right now for everyone working in energy: the current state of the global supply chain. Renewable energy products and components from little solar cells to giant wind turbines are being affected, driving up prices and restricting availability. The gang reflects on the worries of people in the industry, and discuss some solutions that might work, and some that might make the problem worse.

Joining Ed today are Melissa Lott, the Director of Research at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, and Amy Harder, returning to the show. Amy is the Executive Editor of the Cipher newsletter published by Breakthrough Energy, the network backed by Bill Gates and other investors to support investment in emissions-reducing technologies.

Welcome to this week's episode of the Energy Gang, and make sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.

View the landing page to hear all episodes of The Energy Gang.