The Power Hungry Podcast

The Power Hungry Podcast

The Power Hungry podcast spotlights energy, power, innovation, and politics. Author and journalist Robert Bryce talks with top thinkers, writers, and influencers.... Show More

Episodes

February 25, 2021 65 min

The fallout from the Texas Blackouts continues to reverberate. In this episode, Robert talks to Steve Brick, a consulting engineer who has 40 years of experience in the power sector, about why renewables are the “pandas” of the electricity sector, the myriad difficulties involved in expanding America’s high-voltage transmission capacity, and why the academics and policymakers who are pushing all-renewable scenarios have “reality de...

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The Texas Blackouts prove that our electric grid is getting more fragile and blackouts are becoming more common. In this episode, Robert talks, for the second time, with Lee Cordner, an electrical engineer who has 50 years of experience in the power sector, about the causes of the blackouts in Texas and California, how close the Texas grid came to collapse, the importance of baseload power plants like nuclear reactors, and why sche...

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Meredith Angwin is a chemist and author, most recently, of Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid. In her second appearance on the podcast, Angwin explains why the blackouts in Texas and elsewhere are happening, the “fatal trifecta” (over-reliance on renewables, natural gas, and imported electricity), why economic incentives are needed to assure reliability, and why the grid needs power plants that have on-sit...

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Todd Moss is the executive director of the Energy for Growth Hub, a non-profit group that aims to help “All countries achieve the high-energy future they need to become prosperous, competitive, and climate resilient.” In this episode, Robert talks to Moss about the challenges of electrification in Africa, the fuels that will likely play the biggest roles in that effort, the “modern energy minimum,” and his parallel career as a writ...

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Thomas Gryta is a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and the co-author, with Ted Mann, of Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric. In this episode, Robert talks with Gryta about the book, how GE soared in value under its charismatic leader, Jack Welch, and how hubris, excessive financial leverage, and the company’s dependence on profits from GE Capital, nearly forced America’s most famous industrial company i...

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Bernadette Johnson is an energy economist at Austin-based Enverus, an energy-data analytics firm. In this episode, Robert talks to Johnson about the recent spike in Asian LNG prices,  the future of oil, the resource curse, and what she calls “the fundamental disconnect” between what many people like to believe about renewables and the reality of our hydrocarbon-dependent world.

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Diane Fitch is a county supervisor in Madison County, Iowa, who was elected in 2019 on an anti-wind-energy platform. In this episode, Robert talks to Fitch about the ordinance that was approved by county supervisors in December 2020 that effectively bans new wind projects, why wind energy is facing increasing friction in Iowa, the famous bridges in Madison County, and the growing divide between urban Americans and their rural count...

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Jennifer Hernandez is a San Francisco-based partner at Holland & Knight, and a lead attorney for The 200, a coalition of California’s Latino leaders who are suing the state over its energy and housing policies. Robert talked with Hernandez about the litigation, California’s housing crisis, the importance of homeownership, and what she calls the “fundamentally racist” policies that are exacerbating poverty and inequality in her ...

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 Coilín ÓhAiseadha and Ronan Connolly are Dublin-based researchers and co-authors of a recent academic paper that found global spending on climate change projects totaled nearly $3.7 trillion between 2011 and 2018. Robert talks with them about why more than half of climate-related spending is being garnered by solar and wind, the merits – and problems -- of various energy sources, why more spending should be directed toward climate...

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Brad Rockwell is the executive manager of operations at the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in Hawaii. In this episode, Robert talks to Rockwell about how his co-op has achieved high penetration of renewable electricity – it now gets about 60% of its electricity from biomass, hydropower and solar – his grid’s use of battery storage, why it will still need oil-fired generators, and the future of renewable electricity on the other H...

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December 21, 2020 78 min

John Mackey is the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market and the co-author of Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business. Robert talks to Mackey about the dearth of leadership in America, why leaders must have integrity, Whole Foods’ merger with Amazon, socialism, capitalism, veganism, animal rights, and why he sees Texas-based grocer H-E-B as his company’s fiercest competitor.




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December 15, 2020 24 min

California Assemblyman Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove, has become a harsh critic of his state’s energy and climate policies. In this episode, Robert talks to Cooper (who was a guest on the podcast in September) about the regressive nature of California’s decarbonization efforts, the Sierra Club’s campaign to ban the use of  natural gas, and what he calls the “deliberate indifference” of climate activists to the needs of low-...

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Anas Alhajji is among the world’s top oil market analysts as well as the editorial advisor of Attaqa, the first Arabic-language energy media and research platform. In this episode, Robert talks with Alhajji about the future of oil, why the U.S. is not energy independent, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and why the shale revolution, as he put it, “flipped everything upside down.”

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Rod Adams is a retired commander in the US Navy, as well as the publisher of  atomicinsights.com and host of the Atomic Show Podcast. In this episode, Robert talks to Adams about the “magical power source,” which companies and reactor designs he believes have the quickest path to commercial deployment, his experience aboard nuclear submarines, and the seemingly intractable problem of what to do with used nuclear fuel.

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November 24, 2020 74 min

Carey King is a research scientist and assistant director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas. In this episode, Robert talks with King about his new book, The Economic Superorganism: Beyond the Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and Policy, what he sees as the “hollow narratives” about energy and power systems, Thomas Malthus, why King  calls himself a “finite earther,” the relationship among GDP, energy, and hu...

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Geraldine Thomas is the director of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank and one of the world’s foremost experts on radiation and its health effects. In this episode, Robert talks with Thomas about why people are excessively fearful of radiation, how fear of radiation can be more dangerous than radiation itself, her many visits to Fukushima, and why we must have more nuclear energy if we are to have any hope of reducing carbon dioxide emissio...

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November 10, 2020 80 min

Bjorn Lomborg is the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank that “researches the smartest ways to do good.” In this episode, Robert talks to Lomborg about his new book-- False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet including his views on why climate policies are “often worse than ineffective,” why we need to spend more money on adapting to a changing cli...

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November 3, 2020 65 min

Meredith Angwin is an author, chemist, and former project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute. In this episode, Robert talks with Angwin about her new book, Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid, why the grid is becoming less reliable at the same time that electric vehicles and bans on natural gas are likely to increase electricity demand, how our increasing reliance on renewables and natural gas...

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October 26, 2020 62 min

Eric Meyer is the founder and executive director of Generation Atomic, a non-profit based in Minneapolis that aims to “energize and empower today’s generations to advocate for a nuclear future.” In this episode, Robert talks to Meyer about how he went from aspiring professional opera singer to pro-nuclear activist, the “stigma” and “dogma” used by nuclear opponents, the environmental sacrifices required to scale up renewables, and ...

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Judith A. Curry is a climatologist, entrepreneur, and former academic who has broken with much of the political orthodoxy about climate change. In this episode, Robert talks with Curry, the president of Climate Forecast Applications Network, about why she left academia, why she believes climate science “has become a political party with totalitarian tendencies,” the limits of models, the role of heretics in society, and why nuclear...

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