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Elon Musk hit the stage at SXSW this week to talk Mars, Tesla and Artificial Intelligence. I don't know about you, but the informative interview left me with way more questions than answers, particularity when it comes to the subject of AI. The Government commissioned an independent review into the development of AI in the UK last year. The findings were that AI shouldn't be subject to direct regulation, but an AI council should oversea the industry. Are the suggestions of Wendy Hall and BenevolentTech CEO Jérôme Pesenti enough to keep us safe? Should we not demand regulation and controls over the development of AI? As Elon says, you wouldn't let just anyone build a nuke! (Cheery stuff ay?!!!). According to Elon, it is inevitable the world will slip into a dark age... he should try being a Spurs fan, like me! Here are the recommendations following the Government review, which to me feels insufficient. What do you think? Read the original article here.
S1 Ep1: Exploring the true scope of the clean fuels economy Welcome to the first episode of the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In our inaugural episode, we sit down with our guest Naomi Boness, PhD to discuss a holistic overview of the Clean Fuels & Hydrogen markets. We break down the reasons for the current push for clean fuels, the industry applications, as well as the challenges to deploy clean fuels en mass. Naomi Boness, PhD currently serves as Co-Managing Director for the Stanford Hydrogen Initiative at Stanford University and is an advisor, and board member for various Hydrogen, and Clean Fuels businesses. She has a PhD in Geophysics from Stanford University, a Masters of Science in Geological Sciences from Indiana University, and a Bachelors of Science in Geophysics and Seismology from the University of Leeds. She is passionate about clean energy, and her work at Stanford is aimed to foster new tech innovations in the clean fuels and hydrogen spaces. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
S1 Ep 3: Decarbonizing heavy industry & manufacturing using clean fuels Welcome to the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In Episode 3 of the Clean Fuels Podcast we sit down with our guest Chris Shugart to discuss the topic of decarbonizing heavy industry & manufacturing by using green hydrogen and clean fuels. We break down the reasons hydrogen can be a major solution to decarbonizing heavy industry, collaboration and competition in the hydrogen and clean fuels market, and a holistic overview of the clean fuels & hydrogen market. Chris Shugart serves as Senior Vice President of Operations, and Interim Head of Development at Ambient Fuels. Over the years he has also worked for big industry names such as Rev Renewables and Pattern Energy where he served most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations & Construction. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
S1 Ep4: Decarbonizing Aviation Welcome to the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies, and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits, and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In Episode 4 of the Clean Fuels Podcast, we’re thrilled to sit down with Tim Cesarek, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at Gevo to discuss low-carbon fuels and decarbonizing aviation. We break down the current state of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels market, and a wide variety of topics including demand drivers, government incentives, and market challenges. Tim Cesarek is the Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at Gevo – a next-generation low-carbon fuels company focused on the development and commercialization of renewable fuels. Prior to his current 5-year tenure at Gevo, he worked for notable businesses such as Enerkem as Vice President of Business Development, Waste Management, and Koch Industries as Managing Director. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
S2 E1: The Green Shift; Fueling the future Welcome to the first episode of the second season of the ‘Clean Fuels Podcast’ hosted by Alex Horne of Piper Maddox. In this series, we will explore the dynamic CleanTech sector, where we are joined by industry leaders to delve deep into the evolving landscape across North America. Specifically, we focus on Clean Fuels, Hydrogen, and Sustainability markets. Our discussions center on the latest technologies, trends, and the visionary individuals driving change, with a particular emphasis on hiring trends and the influential figures shaping the future of our planet. In this episode, we are thrilled to have Eric Planey, the CEO at SolaBlock, joining us. Together, we delve into the anticipated trends across the CleanTech industry in 2024, particularly from an investment and growth perspective, focusing on hiring and talent trends. Eric provides an incredible perspective on ways to transition into the CleanTech space from other sectors – and what soft skills are most in need when growing your career in the space. We talk through expectations and hopes for the year, and provide some resources for people looking to kickstart their career in the space. Eric is a career finance and commercial leader – who made the transition to CleanTech to head up SolaBlock; a startup creating solar capturing building blocks and materials. A cross section between CleanTech and the ConstructionTech space, he’s had a unique journey in building relationships in the space. From the Rust Belt of Ohio, he’s been passionate about creating a more sustainable future for our planet, and has hosted a podcast in the past about topics in the space. Check it out! “Pirates of CleanTech” You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPV Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222 Youtube > https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6AFhp_PmPf_FBMqW0F3GGJ-5HjJk4tfO&si=TLnsS7MNXFdQRKk9
A microgrid is a group of distributed energy resources and interconnected loads that act as a self-sufficient energy system. Microgrids operate autonomously and can connect and disconnect from the main grid; they provide resilience to grid disturbances and promote energy efficiency. Microgrids have been proven to promote infrastructure reliably in real-world situations. What is a microgrid? A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and DERs (distributed energy resources) that behaves as an autonomous system. Individually, microgrids can power houses, hospitals, facilities, universities, etc. However, individual microgrids can be linked together to power larger regions. (1) The U.S. Office of Electricity defines a microgrid as “… localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously. Because they are able to operate while the main grid is down, microgrids can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances as well as function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery. Microgrids support a flexible and efficient electric grid by enabling the integration of growing deployments of distributed energy resources such as renewables like solar. In addition, the use of local sources of energy to serve local loads helps reduce energy losses in transmission and distribution, further increasing the efficiency of the electric delivery system.”(2) Some examples of DERs that comprise these grids are generators, wind, storage, and solar. Since microgrids are not a new concept, they have historically been run using 'dirty energy'. However, in the movement towards a clean future, microgrids that run primarily on renewable energy can provide a beneficial alternative. Currently, microgrids are important to critical services such as hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, and communication towers. However, climate change will pose a major threat to the main grid. Extreme temperature anomalies (cold or heat) and natural disasters can cause the grid to malfunction – both predicted facets of a warmer world. In the present time, blackouts are growing more and more frequent.(3) Microgrids will play a big role in allowing the world to stay on during major extreme weather events. How do they promote energy efficiency and clean energy? In order to understand how microgrids promote energy efficiency, we need to understand the qualms of the main power grid. Currently, electricity production in the main power system is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.(4) Along with fossil fuel production, there are some other major environmental risks that the traditional grid produces: Vegetation and natural habitat loss from power lines Downstream water and land pollution by-products Over-consumption of water from cooling/steam methods Solid waste production Microgrids could be the clean answer to distributing energy more efficiently. For starters, it is important to note that 5-6% of energy is lost through transmission lines in the U.S. Since microgrids produce energy near where it is consumed, there would be little to no energy lost in the system and there would be less energy produced for the same energy needed. The use of transmission lines also can destroy vegetation and natural habitats. Thus, the use of fewer transmission lines in this system could encourage the regeneration of biodiversity. Furthermore, when electricity is generated, it produces heat. In a microgrid scenario, this heat would be unused. However, microgrids can utilize this heat energy in a variety of ways. For example, the heat can be used to power homes or warm up water. (5) When microgrids disconnect from the main grid (islanding), they can provide resilience to end users during natural disasters or extreme weather events. Microgrids can also help “reboot” the main grid in the event of outages or malfunctions. (6) One of the main ways a microgrid can promote clean energy to users is by utilizing methods of renewable energy production. A microgrid can deploy a large range of clean energy production technologies such as wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel. Coupled with traditional energy production, a microgrid can switch between various energy production methods to be the most efficient. Smart microgrids can be programmed to hit different carbon emission and energy efficiency goals. When have the capabilities of microgrids been tested in real-world scenarios? There have been numerous examples of microgrids saving communities from blackouts to natural disasters. The most recent example was during the Rio Dell, California earthquake that occurred on December 24th, 2022. This 6.4 magnitude earthquake created massive havoc with 72,000 businesses and homes estimated to have lost power. During the incident, the Blue Lake Rancheria – a Native American reservation – remained an emergency resource service due to its microgrid. During the outage, the microgrid served 8% of the region’s population and provided aid to 10,000 people. (7) The microgrid was powered by solar panels and batteries. This is not the first time that the Blue Lake Rancheria has been credited with aiding the community during a grid outage. In 2019, California was taken over by wildfires and many residents were faced with extended outages and a lack of medical equipment. The microgrid at the rancheria remained fully functioning and around 10,000 people were served with medical and electrical needs. It is estimated that four lives were saved by the microgrid and the assistance from the native people.(8) The Blue Lake Rancheria is not the only microgrid that has withstood natural disasters. Some other notable examples include the numerous microgrids in Puerto Rico that helped the community stay on the grid during Hurricane Fiona, a solar microgrid in Malawi that helps children receive life-changing education, and the solar and natural gas microgrid at Pittsburgh International Airport that saved $1 million dollars in energy costs.