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💬 "Our Predictions for 2022"

Redefining Energy

Photo by Moritz Knöringer / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Gerard Reid & Laurent Segalen
Category: 💬 Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[15:32] LS: “The first prediction […] is that the energy transition is not going to be a smooth ride, because of climate change, market pressure, ESG push. The fossil fuel industry has underinvested the past decades, while demand has probably plateaued, but not really decreased. That means that the price of fossil fuel might stay much higher in the coming years than what we have experienced during the past decade. And somebody is going to have to pay for those fossil fuels, and that's going to create political problems. The energy transition is not going to be a smooth ride also, because as we've seen the transition to EVs is going to go much faster than the legacy automakers can cope from a social perspective, a lot of jobs [are] at risk.”

[16:40] GR: “My first prediction is the slow death of hydropower. And it's all about climate change. What I mean by that is, what you're seeing is a drought, and rainfall changes. […] And I can see that getting worse and worse and worse. And that has huge implications not just for electricity production, but also just in terms of irrigation and stuff like that. So that will be my prediction that we're going to see really increasing concerns in and around hydro. And by the way, there is a solution. The solution is you're going to have to couple those hydro dams with solar […]. And the other thing is, you're gonna have to put batteries in there to make sure that those systems become much more flexible for a power system that's going to be increasingly built around variable renewables such as wind and solar.”

[18:27] LS: “My second prediction is geothermal. We are entering the decade of geothermal. I'm saying that because it is the true carbon free heat and power baseload technology. We see new advancement coming all the time, [like] closed loop geothermal. […] In China, 2 million homes are now heated by geothermal.”

[20:18] GR: “My second prediction is that energy prices in Europe stay at high levels over the next 12 months. And I think this is going to have huge ramifications. […] At the end of 2021, we saw wholesale power prices in places far afield from as, for example Finland, […] France, Spain, at like 300 euros a megawatt hour, which meant that the wholesale power price was above the retail power price. And a large part of the reason for that is gas. And I don't see gas prices. I can see them coming down a little bit. But they're still going to be much higher than they were 12 months ago, 15 months ago. So that's going to impact the electricity market. And more importantly, it's going to impact the heating market. So I can see heating bills doubling across Europe, and I can see government's beginning to put in […] measures to alleviate some of the pain in particular for the energy poor across Europe.”

[22:55] LS: “My third prediction [is] Elon Musk [will be] out of Tesla by the end of 22. […] He’s been CEO for 18 years, he has created a $1 trillion company, he has revolutionized the industry. […] They don't need an innovator anymore, they need a guy like Tim Cook, who is just gonna continue and execute. He has been awarded as the richest man on the planet. And I think he can now direct his wealth and incredible creativity to space, which is probably his passion more than cars.”

[25:14] GR: “My third one is a little bit crazy, which is, we need a significant power market reform. And I think we're gonna see the beginnings of that this year. And the reason for that is what we have as a situation today, which is that gas price, which is the most expensive unit at any moment in time, determines the power price. Let's assume the power price is at 300€ [and] I'm a hydro producer, I'm producing at 30€, I'm making 270€ in profit. […] And this is just not acceptable going forward. So the question is, how do you incentivize the building, and the management of new assets, and the managing of all assets in a sensible way? And I think the power markets are broken, and that you're going to have to really think about how you do that.”

[28:27] LS: “I would love to see Apple entering the EV market with the Apple car. […] It's probably one of the only companies in the world who can enter the EV market because they see it more as a technological and software issue than a technical issue because of batteries and electric motors and also a design issue. If really Apple wrapped their head around going strong on EVs […] that could be really fascinating.”

[29:10] GR: “The negative [potential surprise in 2022] from my side is blackouts. […] We'll just take what happened in Texas, it was weather related. And we're going to see more extreme weather events. Water's going to become more and more important. And by the way, […] French nuclear plants […] use a huge amount of water to cool them at certain periods during the summer. [What if] they don't have the water to cool them? So I'm going to say that my surprise really is that water becomes a really rich issue going forward.

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 30 min | 🗓️ 01/02/2022
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