About this podcast

Straight talk about the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables with energy expert Chris Nelder. The Energy Transition Show podcast is a production of the XE Network.

About Chris Nelder
Rocky Mountain Institute

Chris Nelder is an energy analyst and consultant who has written about energy and investing for more than a decade. He is the author of Profit from the Peak and the co-author of Investing in Renewable Energy and has published more than 200 articles. Chris is a manager in the Mobility practice at Rocky Mountain Institute, working on EV-grid integration. He is active on Twitter at @chrisnelder.

Energy Transition Progress Report

As the world slowly starts to emerge from lockdown and get back to business, energy analysts and climate activists alike are wondering if we will use this opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, or if we will just go back to what we were doing before the pandemic and fire up the nearest coal-fired power plant or diesel engine.

Guest: Nat Bullard of BloombergNEF.

Geek Rating: 6

Sustainable Energy Transitions

Addressing the threat of climate change means executing a successful energy transition. But as the transition proceeds, we are increasingly having to confront the impacts of transition technologies, and consider the trade-offs of choosing those technologies over the conventional technologies that they are displacing – because nothing we can do is without an impact of some kind, and everything we build requires the use of raw materials.

Guest: Dustin Mulvaney of San Jose State University

Geek Rating: 5

Energy Transition in India and Southeast Asia, Part 2

This is Part 2 of our two-and-a-half hour interview with Tim Buckley, of the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, based in Australia. In this second part, we expand on the India story and look more broadly at energy transition across Southeast Asia.

Geek Rating: 4

Transition in Europe

Europe has been the global leader in energy transition for decades, offering to the rest of the world many useful examples of both policies that work and those that don’t. As a result, European countries now have some of the world’s most energy efficient economies, and the largest shares of renewable energy. But getting there wasn’t easy, and still isn’t.

Geek Rating: 2

Transition in South Africa

South Africa is one of the most coal-dependent countries in the world, but also has excellent wind and solar resources, enabling renewable projects to easily beat coal on price. So one would think that energy transition there is a no-brainer. But the picture is actually much more complex, having more to do with politics than technology or economics.

Geek Rating: 1

Revisiting Germany’s Energiewende

Germany gets a lot of criticism for its Energiewende (energy transition): for not phasing out coal quickly enough, for paying “too much” for solar early in the worldwide solar boom they helped create, and for phasing out carbon-free nuclear. To the contrary: Germany’s energy transition is proceeding along on plan and on schedule.

Geek Rating: 2

Transition in Australia

Australia has the highest proportion of households with rooftop solar PV systems of any country in the world. It also has the second-dirtiest grid in the world, getting three-quarters of its power from coal.

Geek Rating: 9

Financing Coal Plant Retirements

The coal power sector in the US is continuing to shrink due to poor economics, but this doesn’t mean we’re retiring coal fired power plants quickly enough to reduce carbon emissions at a rate that achieves our climate goals. So what’s the best way to get rid of coal plants before they reach the end of their expected lifespans?

Geek Rating: 7

Powering the world with RE

Can we run the world on renewables alone? Various researchers have tried to model how a given country might run a grid using mostly renewables, oftentimes finding that carbon-negative technologies, advanced nuclear power, and even coal power plants equipped with CCS will be a part of the solution set.

Geek Rating: 6