In 2005, it looked like heat-trapping gases from power plants were only going up. That year, the EIA put out a projection: CO2 emissions from power plants would steadily rise every year, thanks to the incumbency of coal and gas.
Today, they’re half of what was projected. A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab calls it “halfway to zero” — meaning we are already halfway to a zero-carbon grid.
This week: why the path to net-zero may surprise us once again.
Then: America’s climate image on the world stage is in tatters. What will it take for the Biden team to stitch it back together before COP negotiations this fall?
Finally: a ton of specific policy ideas that can help us expand solar to the people who need it most.
BlocPower CEO Donnel Baird joins Katherine and Stephen as our guest co-host this week.
A decarbonized power sector will unlock massive opportunities across nearly every other sector, either via direct electrification or indirect electrification via the production of low-carbon fuels, like green hydrogen.
But here’s the rub. Many of the companies that are working on these solutions rely on pretty heroic assumptions around the cost, availability, and cleanliness of electricity in order for the economics to work.
To put it bluntly, many decarbonization business models hinge on a cell deep in their spreadsheets that has 1- to 3-cent per kilowatt-hour electricity. Is it a realistic assumption?
To tackle that question, Shayle Kann turns to his colleague at Energy Impact Partners, Andy Lubershane, the Senior Vice President of Research & Strategy.
They survey the technologies that depend on this super cheap, superabundant power, such as EVs, space heating, carbon removal, green hydrogen, and industrial heat.
Then, they examine the talk of cheap renewables, covering the difference between cheap wholesale and more expensive delivered prices. They break down the variables that make up the difference between wholesale and delivered prices, namely transmission, distribution, and capacity factors.
So what are the solutions that could shrink that gap?