Month: March 2021

Electricity Markets for the Masses – Leonardo Meeus

This week we are speaking with Leonardo Meeus. He is the professor of strategy and director of the Energy Center at Vlerick Business School in Brussels. He is also the deputy director of the Florence School of Regulation, and professor at the European University Institute in Florence. He has numerous academic articles on regulation and market design. his new book just came out in 2020, the evolution of electricity market design in Europe with Edward Elgar Publishing.

And today we’ll be asking him questions about his book and about how Europe’s electricity market works. And the institutions involved in developing an EU wide electricity market.

The Ecology of Energy Technologies — Ed Vine

This week we speak with Ed Vine, who made his career at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working on assessing and improving energy efficiency policies, technologies and programs.

He is an early pioneer in the area of improving how people use energy. He received his PhD from the University of California Davis. Ed provides us with a big picture of change over time.

In fact, we have a wide-ranging discussion on many topics with lots of twists and turns. But as you’ll hear is a fascinating discussion we have on how energy technologies and policies have changed over time.

One of the areas we discussed is when solar was just getting its feet in California, and being experimented with by hobbyists and the challenges of integrating it into buildings and the electricity system itself.

Now in California, solar is mandated into new buildings, we discussed the shift from producing energy, like solar or wind to technologies that save and prevent energy from being used.

As long career provides us with an exciting look at how we move from policies to build nuclear power plants, up and down the Pacific Coast, to phasing out coal power plants and promoting high energy efficiency standards around the world.

Ed’s PhD is in ecology, and we discussed the benefits of a multidisciplinary perspective and bringing together a multidisciplinary team. This includes tackling problems highlighted by the Sustainable Development Goals, and was also part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

We discuss energy cultures, which includes how we design homes, how people use their homes, and how social norms influence consumption habits. We discussed the impact women have on improving air quality, which results in fewer people going to the hospital. By understanding the impact of gender in the energy system, lives can be saved and improved. As you will hear, we do cover a lot of ground.

The Utility and Grids of Energy Transition – Kristina Hojckova

This interview with Kristina is important because we discuss a unique angle on the energy transition. The role that grids play in shaping both how we produce and consume electricity.

We discuss the opportunities of electrification in developing countries, how electricity can help women earn more money by powering the machines to help make clothing or pottery, and how the electricity grid will be shaped in the future.

Kristina provides a conceptual framework to understand how super grids to microgrids shape our self-sufficiency and interconnectedness as a society.

We also discuss blockchain technologies and the potential limits of peer to peer payment systems. This brings up how utility companies change their business models to meet these new technologies, integrating and changing both the energy system and society. 

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