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The Rethink Energy Podcast complements the Rethink Energy weekly strategy bulletin, as we dive deeper into the dynamic factors of the energy market. We discuss the week’s key issues, while providing insight into our own research and forecasts to give clearer direction of where momentum is building through the energy transition.

Guests welcome for future episodes. Write to [email protected] for details.

Hosted by Bogdan Avramuta, with Andries Wantenaar and Connor Watts

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20 June 2024

Rethink Energy 188: Perovskites at SNEC, Norway looks to nuclear

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-The latest SNEC Exhibition in Shanghai, the biggest conference in the solar industry, shows that technological upgrading continues, with some silicon PV modules over 25%, and the first perovskites brought to market by Microquanta and Utmolight in the BIPV sector.

-Norway’s hydropower fleet is getting gradually outscaled by rising electricity demand – prompting the country to join the ranks of Nordic governments considering a nuclear-powered energy strategy.

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19 June 2024

Rethink Energy Talks Ep. 6: Novatech Automation discusses the future grid

Conrad Oakey of Novatech Automation, which runs 25% of US substations, joins us to discuss grid automation. The US grid is seeing a resurgence of demand growth amidst supply chain re-onshoring, EV adoption, and data center build out. It’s also changing in quality, with demand and supply becoming much less predictable over time. “You have to electrify and automate everything in order to reach net-zero on time.” says Oakey. “Those devices in your house, that grid-forming inverter on your solar panel, needs communication with the grid. And as the grid becomes more and more varied in its generation sources, we have to sense and adapt, rather than the old mode of plan and predict. That means more points of measurement and automation and control, with-fidelity and low-latency data for system operators.”

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13 June 2024

Rethink Energy 187: New Zealand backslides on gas; solar megafactories proposed across Gulf states

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-New Zealand has lifted its ban on offshore oil and gas exploration, with the government expecting $6 billion investment – a similar sum would build 1 GW of wind-solar for each million citizens.

-GCL Technology is to build an FBR granular polysilicon factory in the UAE – one of several proposals from Chinese solar manufacturers made over the past 12 months. If they all go ahead, this future ‘Gulf state solar industry’ across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman would be big enough to supply the entire EU or US market.

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7 June 2024

Rethink Energy 186: Solar wafer reshoring better off in India than West; Shell seeks pressurized SOEC electrolyzer

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-The EU’s adoption of the Net Zero Industry Act is still just a preliminary step, allowing national subsidies for manufacturing – but we remain sceptical. Solar wafer production, for example, is better off under the low cost conditions of India.

-Shell has contracted UK equipment manufacturer Ceres to develop a pressurized solid-oxide electrolyzer (SOEC), for use in high-heat industries – relying on free heat provision to sustain more power-efficient electrolysis.

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24 May 2024

Rethink Energy 185: Biden Administration doubles down on solar protectionism; Gotion is the latest LFP battery release

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-The Biden Administration doubles down on solar tariffs – but the more important move to protect US solar manufacturing is a new round of Department of Commerce anti-dumping investigations.

-Gotion has joined its fellow Chinese giants in releasing a fast-charging lithium iron phosphate battery, stating that this will deliver 500km range off a 10-minute charging time.

-In the US, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) adoption will continue to languish until a political decision is made and EU-style minimum-usage targets are imposed.

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21 May 2024

Rethink Energy Talks Ep. 6: Power Roll's microgroove perovskites

Neil Spann, CEO of Power Roll, joins us to discuss the British startup’s microgroove technology. The main development angle which the company is pursuing for these microgrooves is a unique photovoltaic cell-module architecture which can be used for thin-film solar – for now, that means perovskites. We discuss the state of the solar market, of the Building-Integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) sector, of perovskite adoption in general – and the specifics of Power Roll’s technology and its plans for manufacturing scaleup and commercialization.

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16 May 2024

Rethink Energy 184: liquid carbon dioxide energy storage (LCES) pilots come online; Europe's nuclear fleet to host pink hydrogen

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-Several liquid carbon dioxide energy storage (LCES) projects have now come online in the past few years – with perhaps 1 GWh total worldwide of what may constitute a more efficient and powerful version of compressed-air technology.

-Pink hydrogen production agreements have become a minor trend for scandinavian nuclear power plants. Nuclear’s status as consistent green power which however can’t easily load-follow and thus can end up as cheap “excess” power makes it a natural fit for electrolyzers, and Europe has a large nuclear fleet with many decades of potential lifespan remaining.

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13 May 2024

Rethink Energy Talks Ep. 5: Ramboll discusses heat pump adoption

Philip Hodges, Country Market Director Energy UK at engineering and consultancy company Ramboll, joins us to discuss heat pump adoption in the UK – and related topics of building energy efficiency, district energy, and industrial decarbonization.

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10 May 2024

Rethink Energy 183: Grid battery industry doubles in 2024, US uranium sanctions

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-China and the US are both set to double both their rate of battery installations and their cumulative battery capacity on the grid in 2024 – making batteries the third main type of renewable energy project development alongside wind and solar.

-The US sanctions on Russian uranium fuel – and how Kazakhstan’s mined uranium can still find its way to the US market despite Russia having a plurality of enrichment and hexafluoride conversion production capacity.

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4 May 2024

Rethink Energy Podcast 182: Rethink Energy's VPP forecast, BHP's bid to acquire Anglo-American, Liquid Hydrogen's potential viability

In this episode the Rethink Energy team discusses:

-Rethink Energy’s latest forecast, predicting that VPPs take a major role in the energy transition, with efficient use of battery energy storage ultimately requiring the complex forecasting of demand and supply which VPP software offers

-BHP’s bid to buy Anglo-American, which would have given the former over 10% of global copper supply

-Why liquid hydrogen can be a cost-competitive form of hydrogen transportation, in light of its high energy requirement for conversion being paid at the source

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