Episodes > Season 1
Episode 1
12.13.2021

S1E1 – Energy Predictions Are Hard

Hosted by Lisa Ann Pinkerton & Christian Roselund

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S1E1 – Energy Predictions Are Hard

Hosted by Lisa Ann Pinkerton & Christian Roselund

What we can know, what we can’t, and what is possible in the future of energy.

Welcome to the first episode of the Earthlings podcast, where we’ll talk about all of the decisions that we’ll have to make to ensure that the future we have is one we want to live in. Hosts Lisa Ann Pinkerton (former award-winning NPR and PBS environmental science reporter) and Christian Roseland (founding editor of PV Magazine USA) take a close look at our relationships with technology, science, the planet, and each other. Today’s focus is an in depth look at our relationships with energy. What do we know? What can’t we know? What can we do to have a stable, livable climate so we can all have a prosperous future?

The inaugural guests on today’s episode are Jenny Chase, Rick O’Connell, and Anna Ebers Broughel. Jenny is head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. She is also the author of the book, Solar Finance Without the Jargon. Rick is the executive director of GridLab. Rick and GridLab did a report with the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Anna works for the US Department of Energy as a statistician and as an energy economist at Terra Tech. All three of our guests bring their unique perspectives on the different aspects of energy predictions.

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Talking Points

  • IPCC Report and what it means for us
  • How short-term forecasting influences the growth of renewable energy
  • The difference between forecasting a prediction and a model
  • Jenny’s outlook for climate change versus the IPCC models and forecasts
  • Why analysts are so conservative and what they have to deal with
  • Why GridLab chose 90% by 2035 instead of 100% by 2050
  • Rick’s thoughts on how high penetrations like the 70% modeled are going to work on nation-sized grids
  • Can the market push for 90% by 2035 or will it need to be aided by policy as well?
  • Scenario planning for Anna’s report for the Government of Estonia
  • Different regions of the world will have different scenarios
  • Change isn’t linear
  • What we can do as individuals

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