This Week in Cleantech is a new, weekly podcast covering the most impactful stories in cleantech and climate in 15 minutes or less. Produced by Renewable Energy World and Tigercomm, This Week in Cleantech will air every Friday in the Factor This! podcast feed wherever you get your podcasts.
This week’s episode features Bloomberg senior reporter for climate Akshat Rathi, author of the forthcoming book Climate Capitalism.
1. The Great Cash-for-Carbon Hustle — The New Yorker
The world’s largest carbon offsetting firm, South Pole, issued millions of credits for carbon reductions that weren’t real. Forest carbon offsetting in particular receives loads of skepticism, for a bunch of different reasons – verification challenges, leakage, and accounting for the effect of wildfires.
This company confirmed suspicions by failing to keep track of how tens of millions of dollars were spent on the Kariba project in Zimbabwe – one of the world’s first “avoided deforestation” programs.
2. Why Arizona is threatening to pull the plug on solar — Semafor
Last week, Arizona regulators voted to consider reducing the prices that utilities pay for the energy that solar rooftops put into the grid. The debate centers around whether net metering constitutes an unfair cost-shift or subsidy, with some arguing that it raises utilities’ costs, which are eventually passed on to non-solar customers.
Rooftop solar is a tough sell when you can’t calculate the payback period or really understand the value of the energy you’re going to produce. This may cause a lack of confidence among investors, especially with changing legislation that happens during each election season.
The Department of Energy has picked seven sites for hydrogen hubs to jumpstart the industry and will be awarding around $1 billion to each, representing another product of Biden’s infrastructure law. Green hydrogen has been tough to produce – it requires more energy than other fuels. But these hubs, or rather a collection of linked assets spread across the U.S., will aim to tackle that problem.
The IRA tax credit will also be a part of these hubs. More information on that is expected to come out by the end of this year.
Watch the full video on YouTube
4. Plus Power Raises $1.8 Billion for US Battery Projects — Bloomberg
Plus Power, a utility-scale battery storage company, has raised $1.8 billion to build 5 lithium-ion battery projects in Texas and Arizona. With extreme weather events happening more frequently and more renewables coming onto the grid, battery storage projects like these will play an important role in grid stability.
Plus Power already has lithium-ion projects stretched across most of the U.S., including Hawaii. These are five additional projects to add to the mix.
Because of IRA support, projects like these are signs of increasing maturity in the market.
5. Climate Change Can’t Overcome Capitalism, and That’s OK — Bloomberg
This story discusses guest Akshat Rathi’s new book titled “Climate Capitalism,” which touches on how climate and capitalism are compatible. Akshat makes the argument that capitalism is a competitive system that’s great at spurring innovation. Right now, it’s driving a race to develop clean technologies because there’s trillions to be made decarbonizing the economy.
Akshat also makes the point that there is a desire to create value among entrepreneurs, and usually, that is to make a profit or address a market need. However, the initial goal doesn’t matter. What matters is the positive impact they create.
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This Week in Cleantech is hosted by Renewable Energy World senior content director John Engel and Tigercomm president Mike Casey. The show is produced by Brian Mendes with research support from Alex Petersen and Clare Quirin.
This post appeared first on Power Engineering.