Category: Climate Change

The Viability of a 100% Renewable Energy Grid: Insights from Anja Frada of Wärtsilä Energy

Offshore wind turbines

When we think about the future of energy, the concept of a 100% renewable energy grid often comes up. But is this vision feasible? To shed light on this subject, I turned to Anja Frada, the COO of Wärtsilä Energy, on the latest episode of the Climate Confident podcast.

Anja and her team at Wärtsilä Energy are at the forefront of this renewable revolution, and her insights provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie in the path towards a sustainable energy future.

Renewable Energy: An Economic Imperative

Anja emphasized the economic viability of renewable energy. According to her, “When we look at where we are today, we can clearly see the economic incentive to invest in renewables, and then flexibility as a result.” A promising statement from someone with her finger on the pulse of the industry.

She also discussed the importance of flexibility in the energy system, an essential component that goes hand in hand with renewable energy. This flexibility comes from a combination of renewable energy sources, energy storage, and other flexible technologies, providing a grid that can adapt to the variability of renewable power.

EU Energy Market Reforms

The conversation also delved into the impact of recent EU energy market reforms, which are transforming the way the electricity market operates. For Anja, a holistic view of the energy system is crucial in this era of transformation.

“I think it’s very important that we look holistically at the energy system to understand how should we build it out and what type of investments should we do? And then build also a market that ensures those investments will happen,” she explained.

Building an Incentive Structure

A pivotal aspect of our transition towards a renewable future lies in creating the right incentive structure. This drives investment into renewable energy and the necessary flexibility solutions. “We need to ensure that there is the right incentives to do those investments,” Anja emphasized.

Listen to the Full Episode

Anja’s insights underscore the reality that a 100% renewable energy grid is not only possible but also economically viable. It will require innovation, investment, and a thoughtful approach to market incentives, but the path forward is clear.

To hear more about Anja’s perspective on the future of renewable energy, tune in to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast, or watch it on YouTube. From the economic incentives driving renewable energy investment to the role of EU energy market reforms, this episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the future of our energy landscape.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit Nina Ali on Flickr

Unleashing Startups: Our Secret Weapon Against Climate Change

Climate change is arguably the most pressing issue of our time. It calls for immediate, transformative action that transcends borders, industries, and disciplines. Within this vast and urgent landscape, there is a crucial role for entrepreneurship. Startups and innovative entrepreneurs can bring fresh perspectives and agile approaches that contribute significantly to climate change solutions. In this week’s episode of the Climate Confident podcast, we delve into this very intersection of entrepreneurship and climate change.

My guests, Micol Chiesa and Chris de Koning, are at the forefront of this movement. As two of the Directors behind Planet Positive Lab, they are nurturing the next generation of climate-positive entrepreneurs, enabling them to transform their innovative ideas into ventures that can create systemic change.

Planet Positive Lab’s vision is both ambitious and inspiring. They believe in the power of entrepreneurs to create solutions that not only help mitigate climate change but also build a more sustainable and equitable future. Their mission extends beyond business profits, aiming to make a positive impact on the planet and its people.

Their summer accelerator program is a testament to this mission. The program provides entrepreneurs across the globe with the resources and support they need to turn their climate-positive ideas into reality. From mentoring and guidance to investor connections, the Lab is committed to fostering a supportive ecosystem for these change-makers.

What stands out about their approach is their focus on quality over quantity. Rather than betting on big numbers, they are dedicated to meticulously selecting and closely nurturing a smaller cohort of high-potential ventures. This approach, they believe, enables more targeted support and, ultimately, more meaningful impact.

This episode is a goldmine of insights for anyone interested in the role of entrepreneurship in combating climate change. Micol and Chris bring a unique blend of passion, knowledge, and experience to the table, making it an enlightening and inspiring listen.

At the heart of the conversation is an important reminder: Climate change is everyone’s fight. We all have a role to play, whether we’re entrepreneurs, investors, educators, or consumers. Initiatives like Planet Positive Lab demonstrate the power of collective action and the potential of entrepreneurship as a driving force in this battle.

Are you ready to dive deeper into the world of climate-positive entrepreneurship? Don’t wait! Listen to the full episode here (or search for Climate Confident wherever you get your podcasts) and join the conversation. Let’s all be a part of this crucial journey towards a climate-confident future.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit gunarsg of Flickr

Decarbonising Energy and Driving Resilience with Gareth Evans, CEO of Veckta

Have you ever wondered how businesses and communities can become more resilient while decarbonising their energy systems? Look no further! In the latest episode of the Climate Confident podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Gareth Evans, CEO of Veckta, an innovative company that focuses on helping organizations design, build, and operate clean, secure, and resilient energy systems.

During our conversation, Gareth shared some fascinating insights on the current state of energy transition and decarbonisation efforts. As we discussed the various challenges and opportunities presented by the global shift towards renewable energy, it became apparent that organizations like Veckta play a critical role in accelerating the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy systems.

One of the key points Gareth highlighted is the importance of microgrids in enhancing energy resilience. These localized energy systems can help businesses and communities maintain a stable and secure energy supply, even in the face of power outages or other disruptions. By investing in their own energy systems, organizations can not only protect themselves from outages but also save money by avoiding the costs and losses associated with such disruptions.

Gareth also explained how Veckta is revolutionizing the way organizations approach their energy systems. Through its cutting-edge platform, Veckta provides comprehensive solutions for designing, sourcing, and operating microgrids, ensuring that businesses can benefit from reliable, clean energy. By harnessing the power of renewable energy sources and advanced technologies, Veckta is helping its clients to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, while also increasing their energy resilience.

But the conversation didn’t stop there! We delved into the broader implications of the energy transition and its impact on businesses, communities, and the planet. Gareth emphasized the importance of embracing this transition as an opportunity to build customer loyalty, employee loyalty, and to do right by our communities. He also shared his thoughts on the vital role that collaboration plays in overcoming the challenges of decarbonisation and driving the energy transition forward.

To learn more about Veckta’s pioneering work in the field of energy transition and decarbonisation, and to hear Gareth’s fascinating insights on the future of energy, be sure to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast. You won’t want to miss this engaging and informative discussion that will leave you inspired to take action in the fight against climate change.

Don’t miss out on this enlightening conversation with Gareth Evans. To listen to the full episode, follow this link or search “Climate Confident” wherever you get your podcasts. Let’s come together and drive the energy transition towards a cleaner, more resilient future for all!

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit John Morton on Flickr

Asia’s Untold Renewable Energy Success Story: A Candid Conversation

Asia’s energy transition is a significant and often overlooked aspect of the global fight against climate change. In the latest episode of the Climate Confident podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Assaad Razzouk, CEO of renewable energy company Gurin Energy, host of The Angry Clean Energy Guy podcast, and author of the book Saving the Planet Without the Bullshit. Our conversation explored the ongoing transformation of the energy landscape in Asia and the positive impact it’s having on the environment.

Asia has long been seen as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, with much of its power coming from coal-fired power plants. However, the tide is turning, and the region is witnessing a massive shift towards clean, renewable energy. Assaad Razzouk shared his extensive knowledge on this topic and provided valuable insights on Asia’s commitment to building a more sustainable future.

One of the episode’s highlights was our discussion about China’s impressive progress in the renewable energy sector. The country has become a global leader in solar power, with over 250 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. This is particularly evident in the rapid expansion of rooftop solar across China, which has benefited from strong government support and policies. China’s solar revolution is not only reducing its reliance on fossil fuels but also paving the way for other countries in the region to follow suit.

Another key takeaway from the episode was the importance of energy access in Asia’s developing countries. Assaad explained that access to electricity is crucial for lifting people out of poverty and improving their quality of life. Decentralized renewable energy solutions, such as rooftop solar and microgrids, are making it possible for remote communities to access clean, reliable power. This not only benefits the environment but also helps to address social and economic inequalities.

We also touched on the issue of plastics in Asia, a complex and multifaceted problem. Thankfully, many Asian countries have taken strong measures to address this issue, banning or significantly reducing the use of single-use plastics. Assaad pointed out that countries like Indonesia have started implementing legislation to hold manufacturers accountable for their plastic waste, a step that is yet to be taken in other parts of the world, including the United States.

The conversation with Assaad Razzouk was both enlightening and inspiring, revealing the incredible progress Asia has made in its energy transition. This transformation is not only helping to combat climate change but also creating opportunities for economic growth, social development, and a brighter future for millions of people.

I encourage you to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast to hear our in-depth discussion with Assaad Razzouk and learn more about Asia’s inspiring energy transition. You can find the episode on your favorite podcast platform or visit the Climate Confident podcast website. Don’t forget to subscribe and share the episode with your friends and colleagues to spread the word about the positive impact of renewable energy in Asia.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit UNDP Climate on Flickr

Sweet Proteins: A Tasty Solution to Climate Change and Health Crises

In the latest episode of my Climate Confident podcast, I had an enthralling conversation with Ali Wing, CEO of Oobli, who introduced us to the fascinating world of sweet proteins. These zero-calorie proteins not only offer a healthier alternative to traditional sugars but also hold the potential to address the growing concerns around climate change and the global health crisis caused by obesity and diabetes.

A Sweet Revolution

Oobli’s innovation lies in harnessing the power of precision fermentation to produce sweet proteins. This process is not only sustainable but also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and resource usage compared to conventional sugar production methods. Ali explained that sweet proteins have been part of nature for millions of years, and Oobli aims to make them accessible to the masses, offering a sweet solution for people with dietary restrictions, such as diabetics.

Global Impact

One of the most striking takeaways from our conversation is the potential for sweet proteins to revolutionize the food industry and contribute to a more sustainable future. As Ali mentions, “The biggest challenge that our cousins in meat and dairy have, and I’m a huge advocate of all of them, particularly from a climate point of view, is you still don’t have consumers adopting at a fast enough rate. Whereas in sugar and sugar alternatives, you have consumers looking every which way.”

This indicates a unique opportunity for sweet proteins to gain rapid adoption among consumers, leading to a massive shift in the way we consume and produce sweeteners, ultimately benefiting the environment.

Sweet Applications

Oobli is just beginning to explore the potential applications of sweet proteins. Currently, they’re focusing on chocolates and fruity sweet teas. However, Ali believes that sweet proteins have a particularly significant role to play in the beverage industry. She notes that 40% of our daily added sugar comes from liquids, which has been the primary change in our diets over the last 20 to 40 years.

“Taking [sugar] out and just filling the rest with water is a very quick fit. But it’s also a good reminder for everybody when they think about where they are with their overall health equation is really paying attention to the sugar load in drinks.”

Call to Action

I encourage you to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast to hear more about Oobli’s journey, the incredible potential of sweet proteins, and how they can play a pivotal role in addressing climate change and global health crises.

Listen to the full episode here or look for Climate Confident in your podcast app of choice, and it will be the most recent episode.

Sweet proteins are an exciting innovation that can help us combat climate change while improving our health. It’s time to embrace this sweet revolution and create a more sustainable, healthier future for all.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit Tom Coates on Flickr

Bridging the Gap: Richard Delevan on Climate Tech, IPCC Reports, and Empowering Change

Climate change is a complex and often overwhelming issue. That’s why it’s crucial to have experts who can not only help us understand the latest scientific reports but also guide us in finding innovative solutions. In a recent episode of my Climate Confident podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Richard Delevan (@rdelevan), a communications consultant who works with energy and climate tech companies. We discussed the latest IPCC synthesis report, the importance of climate tech solutions, and the power of effective communication in driving change.

Richard shared his insights on the IPCC report, emphasizing that while it paints a dire picture, there is still hope. He highlighted the significance of climate tech in mitigating the impacts of climate change, stating that “technology and innovation are essential, especially in the energy sector.” Richard also noted that while the IPCC report is grounded in science, it is still subject to a political process, and this can sometimes dilute the urgency of its message.

We also discussed the role of effective communication in the climate change conversation. Richard emphasized the importance of crafting a compelling narrative that moves beyond simply identifying villains and victims. Instead, he argued for a more inclusive approach that helps people understand their role in addressing climate change and encourages collective action.

One of the most inspiring aspects of our conversation was Richard’s perspective on the impact of young activists like Greta Thunberg. He believes that political leaders can learn valuable lessons from her ability to ask difficult questions and cut through the noise. The key, Richard explained, is to focus on creating a vision of a desirable future where everyone has a stake and can participate.

When asked what people should be paying more attention to, I pointed out the scarcity of climate news in mainstream media, especially when it comes to positive stories. That’s one of the reasons I started the Climate Confident podcast – to highlight the good news and inspire people to take action. As I mentioned in the episode, “hearing these good news stories every week, it stops me collapsing into a ball, sobbing on the floor, throwing my hands up in despair.”

I encourage you to listen to the full episode with Richard Delevan for a deeper understanding of the latest IPCC synthesis report, the power of climate tech, and the importance of effective communication in driving climate action. Let’s face the future with a bit of humor, humility, and the knowledge that together, we can make a difference.

Click here to listen to the full episode and subscribe to the Climate Confident podcast. Don’t forget to check out Richard’s LinkedIn profile and sign up for his Week in Climate Tech newsletter for more insights.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit Ryan Orr on Flickr

From Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy: The Role of Green Hydrogen

As the host of the Climate Confident podcast, I’m thrilled to share with you an exciting episode all about green hydrogen and its role in reducing our climate emissions. In this episode, I sit down with Emily Pontecorvo, a journalist at Grist, to discuss the latest developments in the world of green hydrogen and what it means for our efforts to combat climate change.

For those who may not be familiar, green hydrogen is a type of hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, instead of fossil fuels. It’s an exciting development in the world of clean energy, as hydrogen has the potential to be a key player in helping us reach our climate goals.

One of the key highlights of this episode is a discussion of the EU Green Hydrogen Rules, which were recently published by the EU. These rules set strict criteria for what constitutes green hydrogen, including additionality (the requirement that new renewable energy must be produced to support the hydrogen production), regionality (the requirement that the renewable energy must be produced in the same region as the hydrogen plant), and time matching (the requirement that hydrogen production must match the times when renewable energy is being produced).

Emily also talks about the potential uses for hydrogen that may not make as much sense from an energy or financial standpoint, but are still on the table. For example, the gas industry is pushing for hydrogen to replace natural gas as the main fuel for heating homes. While this is technically feasible, it would require major changes to the pipelines and appliances, and may not actually reduce emissions significantly. Emily also referenced the Hydrogen Ladder that has been created by Michael Liebreich to highlight where Green Hydrogen is useful, and not.

Throughout the episode, Emily provides valuable insights and in-depth analysis of the current state of green hydrogen, and what it means for our efforts to reduce our climate emissions. Her expertise on the subject is truly impressive, and I learned so much from her during our conversation.

In conclusion, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to stay informed about developments in the world of green hydrogen. This is a rapidly evolving field with huge implications for our climate, and I highly encourage you to listen to this episode of the Climate Confident podcast to learn more.

And if you like what you hear, don’t forget to follow the podcast and support our efforts to bring you the latest and most relevant information on the fight against climate change. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I can’t wait to share more exciting episodes with you in the future!

Finally, don’t forget to follow the Climate Confident podcast for weekly inspiring stories and remember, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Photo credit Matthew Bodaly on Flickr

The Citizen Assembly Model: A Solution to the Climate Crisis?

The Climate Crisis is one of the greatest challenges humanity faces today. It requires collective action, innovative solutions, and effective decision-making. The traditional methods of decision-making have failed to produce the necessary results in combating the climate crisis, and as a result, there is a growing demand for new approaches to tackle this problem. This is where Citizen Assemblies come in.

Citizen Assemblies are groups of citizens brought together to deliberate on complex issues and make recommendations to decision-makers. They provide a platform for citizens to engage with each other and share their perspectives, experiences, and ideas. In this week’s episode of the Climate Confident podcast, we explore the role of Citizen Assemblies in solving the climate crisis.

Prof Denise Baden and Prof Matt Ryan, two experts in the field, join me to discuss the potential of Citizen Assemblies to address the climate crisis. Denise and Matt share their experiences of working with Citizen Assemblies and the impact they have had on the communities they have worked with. They also highlight the importance of involving a diverse range of perspectives in these assemblies, including those of marginalized communities who are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.

One of the key findings from the discussion is that Citizen Assemblies can provide a space for citizens to make informed decisions on complex issues. They can help to build trust and understanding between different groups of people, which is essential in overcoming the challenges of the climate crisis. By bringing people together, Citizen Assemblies can help to develop a shared understanding of the problem and provide a basis for consensus-building.

The discussion also touches on the role of technology in supporting Citizen Assemblies. Denise and Matt highlight the importance of using technology to bring people together and engage with each other, and how it can help to overcome geographical barriers. The use of technology also enables assemblies to be more inclusive and accessible, reaching a wider range of people.

Throughout the podcast, Denise and Matt, discuss the potential of Citizen Assemblies to help solve the climate crisis, and the importance of involving citizens in the decision-making process. They emphasize the need for a new approach to decision-making, one that is inclusive, participatory, and effective.

In conclusion, Citizen Assemblies offer a new way of tackling the climate crisis, providing a platform for citizens to engage with each other and make informed decisions. By involving a diverse range of perspectives, Citizen Assemblies can help to build trust and understanding, which is essential in overcoming the challenges of the climate crisis. If you’re interested in learning more about Citizen Assemblies and how they can help to solve the climate crisis, listen to this episode of the Climate Confident podcast.

So, if you want to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, and learn more about the potential of Citizen Assemblies, be sure to listen to this episode of the Climate Confident podcast.

Finally, don’t forget to follow the Climate Confident podcast for weekly inspiring stories and remember, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Image credit – Climate Stripes

The Ocean Nation: A Bold Solution for a Brighter Climate Future

In the latest episode of my Climate Confident podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Willis about the idea of bestowing nationhood and what steps we can take to make it a reality. As someone who has dedicated their life to tackling the challenges of climate change, Steve’s insights and perspectives on this topic were truly enlightening.

One of the things that stood out to me about our conversation was the emphasis Steve placed on the power of public discussion and imagination in driving change. He believes that by encouraging people to imagine a future where the ocean is treated as a nation, with its own laws and governance, we can start to build momentum towards making that vision a reality.

Steve also talked about the importance of public awareness in driving this change. He was involved in writing and producing positive outcome climate fiction short stories to inspire people to imagine a future where we can solve the climate crisis, and hopes to turn those stories into a Netflix series, or similar to reach a wider audience and help build a narrative around the idea of ocean nationhood.

Another aspect of our conversation that was particularly interesting was Steve’s discussion of TRIZ, a process for inventive problem solving that he and his team use in their work. This process involves imagining the ideal outcome and working backwards to determine the first steps necessary to get there. By using this process, Steve believes that we can overcome the challenges and obstacles that might stand in the way of creating an ocean nation.

While Steve is quick to emphasize that this idea of ocean nationhood is not about declaring independence unilaterally, he does believe that it has the potential to be a powerful solution to the challenges facing our oceans today. He believes that by inviting people to join the conversation and explore the possibilities, we can start to build a groundswell of support and momentum towards making this vision a reality.

If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting and innovative idea, I highly encourage you to listen to the episode and check out the links in the show notes. You can also connect with Steve on LinkedIn and explore the resources available on the green stories link.

At the end of the day, the idea of ocean nationhood is about imagining a better future for our oceans and taking the necessary steps to make that future a reality. By coming together and exploring this idea, I believe that we can make a real difference in the fight against climate change and ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our oceans and our planet.

So, join this exciting journey of exploration and discovery! Listen to the podcast episode, engage with Steve and the community, and let’s see where this idea of ocean nationhood can take us

Finally, don’t forget to follow the Climate Confident podcast for weekly inspiring stories and remember, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Writing for Change: Stories to Transform the Climate Crisis

I’m proud to present the latest episode of my Climate Confident podcast, where I had the pleasure of speaking with two prominent voices in the fight against climate change: Professor Denise Baden and Steve Willis.

Denise is a Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Southampton and the mastermind behind the Green Stories project, which is all about writing climate solutions into stories that can reach a wider audience. Meanwhile, Steve is the Director of Herculean Climate Solutions and the co-producer of “No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet” an anthology of 24 stories that present positive and engaging solutions to the climate crisis.

The authors took a unique approach to addressing the lack of positive stories in the climate fiction genre by using three questions to evaluate potential solutions: Does it work? Can it produce a million tons? And is it negative emissions? These solutions are then illustrated through entertaining stories that include powerful kernels of scientific truth.

Denise, who was the editor of these stories, talked about the challenge of managing perspectives from various renowned writers (Kim Stanley Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Andrew Dana Hudson, and more), experts, including engineers, ecologists, and social scientists. She highlighted the concept of “social science fiction” as a safe space for exploring more systemic solutions that can be difficult to discuss in a political environment.

Steve talked about the power of fiction and storytelling to raise awareness of transformative solutions. He compared the idea of saving the planet to saving the Titanic and the use of a holodeck to write a program of what the future could look like. The conversation also touched upon the comparison between the utopian world of Star Trek and the current world, and the goal to achieve the former within the time and effort required.

Denise talked about the need for a shift from the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) metric to a Wellbeing Index or Happy Planet Index, as well as the importance of long-term decision making that falls outside the electoral cycle. She mentioned the use of citizen assemblies and personal carbon allowances as topics explored in their stories. Steve talked about the idea of making the ocean an independent state in order to solve its problems and how this idea has been incorporated into his anthology about the future. He also discussed the potential for planting sea grass, kelp, and other ocean vegetation, and the lack of awareness around the ocean.

The authors have big dreams for the future of their project, including turning the stories into a Netflix series and focusing on refreezing the Arctic as a crucial step in fixing the climate crisis. They hope that these stories will inspire people to take action and make a positive difference in the world.

So if you’re looking for a podcast that’s both informative and entertaining, then look no further! Listen to the latest episode of Climate Confident and discover the inspiring work of Professor Denise Baden and Steve Willis. They’re making a difference, and so can you!

Finally, don’t forget to follow the Climate Confident podcast for weekly inspiring stories and remember, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Photo Credit Bureau of Ocean Energy on Flickr