New Energy Chinwag

New Energy Chinwag

www.astutenewenergy.com
chinwag: noun. “a long and pleasant conversation between friends” [example: “We had a good chinwag over a bottle of wine…”] Informal but Informative - your guide to issues around the UK and global clean energy transition


EPR, AMR, SMR…? A Delve into Nuclear
Jul 16 • 57 min
If there’s a subject that’s bound to either delight or dismay people - often with little in between - it’s nuclear power. Still, we never shy away from any topic - and are always open to learning something new. So this week we invited along Brian…
The covid recovery & energy: where should the UK spend?
Jul 3 • 48 min
This week, the UK’s Prime Minister promised to ‘build, build, build’, referring to housing and infrastructure. There have been statements about ‘coming back stronger and greener’. So it’s no surprise that industry sectors from hydrogen to carbon capture…
Delivering the hydrogen economy on Orkney
Jul 1 • 51 min
Many people are talking about the hydrogen economy at the moment - indeed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson specifically referred to it as he outlined the UK’s recovery proposals this week. Very few a have actually delivered hydrogen projects though, and…
A Cape Canaveral of Hydrogen?
Jun 5 • 46 min
The titular phrase was coined recently by a German government minister and was one that intrigued us. What might it mean? What might it imply as a goal and how might one reach it? Where might comparisons with the original space port make sense and where…
CCS: Carbon Capture and Storage
May 28 • 49 min
Like another topic we’ve discussed before, hydrogen, CCS is not new to the world. But, like hydrogen, it has had false dawns in the past, is back in the minds of industry now - and is on the hunt for policy support in order to progress. So it was another…
Covid & Clean Energy
May 16 • 46 min
It’s sad, but also topical and unavoidable. So in this episode we decided to chat through what some of the implications of the virus might be for the clean energy sector. We were more interested in some of the immediate-term issues, both positive and…
The Lure of Industrial & Energy Clusters
May 10 • 50 min
We’ve mentioned ‘clusters’ and ‘hubs’ in passing before, in our podcasts covering both hydrogen and offshore wind. They are receiving more and more attention in the clean energy world, so it was high time that we delved into them in a bit more detail.…
Innovation & Supply Chains (with an eye on Offshore Wind)
Apr 19 • 39 min
Starting off by discussing how a move from fixed to floating foundations might impact the offshore wind supply chain here in the UK, we widen the scope to innovation and supply chain more generally. Along the way, we touch on our usual wide range of…
Talking Hydrogen in the northwest of England with Amer Gaffar
Apr 5 • 59 min
Amer Gaffar is Director of the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University, here in the UK. Not surprisingly therefore, he’s a keen advocate of the role hydrogen could potentially play in out future energy system! He’s…
Energy Storage
Mar 13 • 46 min
We’ve mentioned energy storage a lot in passing, in our previous podcasts. So it seemed like high time to have a chat specifically about this increasingly important subject. What is it being used for? Is it all about batteries or are there other…
A comeback for onshore wind & solar in the UK? (and other news…)
Mar 5 • 37 min
This week the UK government announced a consultation into changes to its core mechanism for encouraging utility-scale renewable power deployment. That mechanism is the ‘contracts for difference’ (CfD) system, with these contracts awarded through…
Approaches to Integrating Renewables: California Revisited
Feb 28 • 50 min
We are joined once again by Lincoln Bleveans from Burbank Power & Water, for another view from ‘across the pond’ (and a lot of land) in California. In particular we explore how this US utility is approaching the challenge of integrating more renewables…
Decarbonisation and the Oil & Gas Industry
Feb 17 • 38 min
This week - the one in which BP announced its intention to be ‘net zero’ by 2050 - we decided to chat about the oil and gas industry. It’s an industry which is often painted as the flat-out enemy of decarbonisation, and one that needs to simply go away…
Can cleantech be ‘clean’, if it isn’t also ‘circular’?
Jan 30 • 44 min
One of the many sustainability issues gaining more coverage these days is the idea of a ‘circular economy’. With critics warning that the clean energy sector risks piling up mountains of end-of life turbine blades, solar panels and EV batteries, we…
Clean Energy: the view from California
Jan 23 • 54 min
For this exciting new ‘international’ episode, we were delighted to have a guest expert join us: Lincoln Bleveans, Assistant General Manager for Power Supply at Burbank Water & Power in the Los Angeles area of California. As always on New Energy Chinwag,…
The Clean Energy Transition, GeoPolitics & Trade
Jan 17 • 38 min
The clean energy transition is usually couched in terms of technologies, energy mixes, carbon impacts and other such numbers. However if we change where we source our energy, we inevitably change the trade flows and politics and geopolitics of energy too.…
SIx Highlights from 2019
Dec 13, 2019 • 49 min
For our last podcast of 2019, we decided to pick and explain our six highlights - three each - from our perspective here in the UK energy market. From plunging battery costs to policy certainty and subsidy-free wind to industrial strategy, we hope they…
Hydrogen revisited
Dec 3, 2019 • 48 min
In March of last year we chatted for the first time about hydrogen. Since then it’s been a year of strategies, roadmaps and reports - there seems to be a new one every week. The industry is awash with ‘momentum’. But is this all talk, or has there been…
Is there a future for Wave & Tidal Energy?
Nov 15, 2019 • 45 min
In this episode we discuss those other two “offshore” energy sources: wave and tidal energy. A few years ago there seemed to be much excitement about their prospects, but despite various technical trials and innovations, few actual projects have…
Implications of the UK’s fracking ‘ban’
Nov 7, 2019 • 44 min
Fracking has, at least for the moment, ground to a halt here in the UK. For a variety of reasons from earthquakes to election politics, the government has decided to withdraw its support from the nascent industry. Remember though, that natural gas…
Floating Wind
Oct 27, 2019 • 45 min
In this episode we look specifically at floating wind. The term ‘game-changer’ is one which is vastly over-used in the clean energy sector, but are floating wind turbines worthy of that tag? Will they open up entirely new project locations compared to…
What happened at Round 4 Bidders Day?
Oct 10, 2019 • 21 min
Yesterday, Charley attended the Round 4 Bidders Day at the Crown Estate in London. If that sentence makes little sense to you, then what it means is he was getting up-to-the-minute insight into how the process for the next tranches of UK offshore wind…
The Grid: what is it and how is it changing?
Oct 7, 2019 • 53 min
Regular listeners will know that ‘the grid’ pops up regularly in any of our conversations about the transitioning power system: it’s key to renewable power project development, impacting costs, land use, permitting and a variety of other key issues.…
Exciting Times for Offshore Wind!
Sep 26, 2019 • 35 min
We return to one of our core subjects for this week’s podcast: offshore wind. It’s particularly timely in the week that the latest UK government auction saw bidders winning contracts at prices below those projected to be prevailing in the market at their…
Hybrid Renewable Power Projects
Sep 16, 2019 • 51 min
Rather than build just a wind project (or just a solar project, or a battery project), doesn’t it make more sense to build hybrid renewable power projects? Why not take advantage of shared infrastructure and land, and combine multiple technologies to…
Transport: Electric or Hydrogen (or both)?
Sep 6, 2019 • 52 min
The energy world is sometimes prone to debates where two sides of an argument take up entrenched, ‘winner takes all’ positions. One example of this at the moment is the discussion around electric vehicles: in particular, will the electricity to power…
What we’ve been up to on our travels…
Aug 22, 2019 • 42 min
For this week’s podcast we review some of the key themes that have come up in the course of our recent work activities, which has encompassed a range of things from teaching a Filipino coal power plant operator about solar power, to meeting an investment…
Renewable Heat in the UK
Jun 29, 2019 • 38 min
In the week that the UK put into legislation its target to be “net zero” by 2050, we had a chat about the options for renewable heat. After all, without decarbonising heat, there is no chance of coming close to that target - heat in northern climates such…
The UK Energy Scene (Our wrap-up from “All-Energy” May 2019)
Jun 21, 2019 • 42 min
In May, we visited the All-Energy show in Glasgow, UK. It’s just about the biggest clean energy show here in the UK, so a good event to catch the mood of the industry and hear what they are talking about. Regular listeners will have already listened to…
Offshore Wind: what does the future hold?
May 6, 2019 • 41 min
In this, the week that a parliamentary committee recommended that the UK set a target for the country to be zero-carbon by 2050, we focus on offshore wind. Without a vast increase in our usage of the latter, such a target stands no chance of being…
All-Energy 2019 (Glasgow): here’s what we’d like to hear about
Apr 18, 2019 • 28 min
Both John Massey and Charley Rattan (together, Astute New Energy) will be at the All-Energy conference and exhibition again in Glasgow, in the middle of May. In this New Energy Chinwag, we chat about the kind of topics we’re going there hoping to find out…
Energy and the “Internet of Things”
Apr 18, 2019 • 42 min
In this episode, Charley Rattan & John Massey chat about the growth of connected energy, smart grid, energy Internet of Things (IoT) - call it what you will… What does this actually mean, what impacts might it have on the industry and on energy users, and…
Why’s everyone talking about Hydrogen?
Mar 7, 2019 • 36 min
There’s recently been lots of talk recently about the role of hydrogen in decarbonising energy systems. So, is the “hydrogen economy” back on the agenda? If so, how will hydrogen be produced and for which applications? Is it really low-carbon? In this…
Offshore wind… onshore
Feb 25, 2019 • 32 min
Most discussions around offshore wind focus on giant turbines, fixing foundations to the seabed and fancy cable-laying vessels. So it’s easy to forget that all that offshore work is pointless without also delivering those crucial aspects of an offshore…
Welcome to Astute’s “New Energy Chinwag” podcast!
Feb 16, 2019 • 45 min
The first podcast from Charley Rattan and John Massey, who together are “Astute New Energy”. In this episode we have a general chat about the differing fortunes of offshore wind and nuclear power here in the UK. Both provide important sources of low…