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The Energy Gang podcast: managing mid-transition

How can countries meet their needs for heat, power and mobility, while staying on course for their climate goals?

1 minute read

We often talk about “the energy transition”. In this episode, we discuss what it means to be in the middle of that transition.

Earlier this month, California was able to avoid blackouts as people came together to cut their electricity use. In Europe, leaders are struggling to balance the urgent need for oil and gas with their goals for cutting emissions.

In this episode of The Energy Gang, host Ed Crooks is joined by regular guest Amy Myers Jaffe from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and new voice to the show, Emily Grubert, Associate Professor of Sustainable Energy Policy at Notre Dame.

The gang starts the discussion with California’s recent grid struggles. Electricity demand in the state broke records during a severe heat wave, raising fears that the grid might not be able to cope, but alerts warning customers to cut their power use helped avoid blackouts. Amy gives us a first-hand account of what it was like being in California during this time and receiving Flex Alerts asking all residents to voluntarily reduce their electricity use from 4pm to 10pm. Demand response looks like a promising part of the solution for averting an energy crisis, but will it be effective in the long haul? What lessons can we learn from this success story? How can other states and other countries facing similar challenges respond to surging demand and keep the lights on?

Next up, we take a step back and think about how the world of energy in general stands right now. Everyone – well, almost everyone – agrees we are on a transition from a high-carbon to a lower-carbon energy system. But while on this bumpy journey to clean energy, how can countries manage the transition so they can meet their current needs for heat, power and mobility, while staying on course for their climate goals? That is the challenge of being mid-transition. As we head into the cold winter months, Europe is feeling these issues very sharply. European consumers need more supplies of fossil fuels, but European leaders continue to commit to their net-zero goals.

Finally, we touch on carbon capture as the ultimate emergency brake if we haven’t managed to change the energy system and cut emissions. Emily discusses her time at the US Department of Energy, working on carbon management. She introduces us to the technologies used to mitigate emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the air. Are these technologies going to be the ultimate saving grace from catastrophic climate change? Listen now to find out.

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

This episode of the Energy Gang is brought to you by Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader advancing a sustainable energy future for all.

Learn more by listening to the Power Pulse podcast, where the Hitachi Energy team discusses the latest in the ongoing transformation of the world’s energy systems. The Power Pulse podcast is available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or any other podcast app.