Tag

renewable energy

Podcast

Future brightens for Chile as energy leader

Big changes are taking place in Chile when it comes to energy, with a strong push for renewable energy in recent years. And there’s more to come, according to the country’s president, Sebastián Piñera. In this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, I sit down with Susana Jiménez, Chile’s energy minister, who’s overseeing her government’s plan to change significantly the way the nation produces and uses energy. In the process, she aims to make her nation a model for not only South America but also the world. The fifth largest consumer of energy in South America, Chile is only a minor producer of fossil fuels and therefore has relied heavily on energy imports That’s changing, however, as Chile looks increasingly to solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. In fact, renewable energy now accounts for about 18% of…

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Podcast

Taking stock of ESG risks for U.S. utilities

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are becoming increasingly important to judging the credit worthiness of electric utilities, especially as climate change makes their work more challenging. On this episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks to Jim Hempstead, a managing director in Moody’s Global Project and Infrastructure Finance Group. In his role at Moody’s, one of the largest credit ratings firms in the world, Jim helps oversee the North American Regulated Utility and Power Team. He also heads Moody’s working group in charge of ESG issues in the Americas. In the conversation with Bill, Jim makes clear that defining ESG standards is still very much a work in progress for the credit rating firms and the companies they assess for credit worthiness. Nevertheless, ESG metrics are an important means of evaluating the utility sector where shifts…

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Podcast, Policy

“What’s the value of national security?”

The Trump administration continues to look for ways to keep old coal and nuclear power plants operating, as lower-cost natural gas and renewable energy offers cheaper alternatives for generating electricity. A new proposal under consideration at the U.S. Department of Energy takes a new tact on the topic, claiming ongoing retirements of coal and nuclear plants presents a national security risk to the U.S., given growing concerns over the vulnerability of the grid to cyber and even physical attacks. If nothing else, the thinking goes, coal and nuclear plants have the advantage of storing fuel on-site rather than relying on pipelines, as is the case with gas power plants, or intermittent supplies of solar and wind energy. Here, in a Columbia Energy Exchange podcast with me, DOE’s assistant secretary for electricity, Bruce Walker, speaks out on the national-security rationale for…

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Watch

5 Steps to a Compelling Live Interview for a Conference

Can a live interview make a difference at your conference, trade show or meeting? Yes, it can! You start, of course, with a good guest, someone who’s appealing with an interesting story to tell, and one that’s relevant to the audience. But just as important is the person conducting the interview. I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years as an energy journalist anchoring the TV show “Platts Energy Week,” co-hosting the “Columbia Energy Exchange” podcast, and conducting interviews for business meetings in the U.S. and abroad. And while I don’t pretend to be an expert on public speaking, I’ve learned enough from hundreds of sit-downs with CEOs, government officials, authors and others to give an audience a good run for their time. I’ve also seen how a live interview with a prominent guest can give a meeting…

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Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Mauricio Gutierrez

My first Columbia Energy Exchange podcast of 2018 with one of the new leaders in the U.S. electric power industry. This comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prepares to respond to a Trump administration plan to aid old coal and nuclear plants, and the U.S. power sector faces even more disruption. Mauricio Gutierrez, the CEO of NRG Energy, responds frankly to these developments. I enjoyed the conversation! Listen here.

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Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Bill Richardson

Few people in public service can tote up the career resume of Bill Richardson, especially when it comes to energy policy. So, I thought it just made sense to invite him on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast to discuss what he thinks of the Trump administration and its approach to energy policy. Richardson’s 40 years of experience include stints as a member of the House of Representatives from New Mexico, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and governor of New Mexico. He’s also been a Democratic candidate for president and the negotiator of difficult talks with North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan that resulted in the release of hostages and American servicemen. Oh, and need I mention his four nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and his three books, including one called “How to…

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Blog, Climate, Sustainable Energy

With void in Washington, energy policy shifts to states

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local,” and that pertains to energy as much as any issue. Take the Metro section in the May 17 Washington Post where three stories remind us that battles over climate change are increasingly shifting from Washington to the states and local communities, as the Trump administration puts the kibosh on Obama-era environmental policies. The lead story reports that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has ordered state officials to develop regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and encourage solar and other clean energy sources. McAuliffe wants the plan, which is consistent with the Obama strategy for climate change and energy, implemented by the time he leaves office in January, a tall order given the resistance he will face from the Republican-controlled legislature in Virginia. Nonetheless, his bid…

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Energy, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Rep. Fred Upton

Amid the political upheaval in Washington, is there an opportunity to legislate on something relatively routine but still critical to the U.S. like energy policy? The top energy lawmaker in the U.S. House, Fred Upton, says “yes.” Now, the Michigan Republican is an optimist by nature, noting, for example, “I’m a Cubs fan!” And he finds reason for hope when it comes to energy legislation, recalling bills on pipeline safety and other energy measures that he initiated and former President Obama signed. Perhaps the best opportunity for energy action on Capitol Hill is promoting infrastructure, especially steps to further protect electricity transmission and oil and natural gas pipelines from cyber attacks, he tells me in this edition of the “Columbia Energy Exchange” podcast. And Upton, the chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee, isn’t necessarily toeing the line when it comes…

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Podcast, Policy, Sustainable Energy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Bloomberg’s Ethan Zindler

Sustainable energy in the form of natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency, is gaining ground in the U.S. and around the world, as concerns over climate change increase. And sustainable energy isn’t just cleaner, it’s cheaper, as well, as Ethan Zindler, the head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tells host Bill Loveless in this episode of the “Columbia Energy Exchange.” Their conversation took place just after BNEF and the Business Council for Sustainability released their 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

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Article, Climate, Energy, Government and Politics

Trump may be good for oil, trouble for renewables

U.S. energy producers of all kinds see reasons for optimism as they start 2017, though the incoming Trump administration may spell trouble for some of a greener hue. Among oil drillers, a recent uptick in prices suggests an end to a slump that has persisted since mid-2014, while natural gas, solar and wind energy companies aim to build on their gains in U.S. electric power markets in 2016. Even the struggling nuclear sector can point to victories in New York and Illinois, where unprofitable reactors were saved by state actions last year. That said, here’s a list of some of the most notable energy developments for the U.S. in 2016 — ones that may set the stage for how Americans produce and use energy in 2017. (Read More)

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