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Welcome to Cutting Carbon, a conversation about our energy future.

Climate change is an issue that scientists, engineers, politicians, and many others have been grappling with for decades now, but it’s much more than that. It's ever present in our lives.

The future of gas—decarbonized

Fundamentally, climate change is part of the dialogue of our future. With this podcast, Cutting Carbon, we’re sharing our thoughts on the factors at play today as well as the journey ahead.

We’ll be talking to scholars, technology experts, and industry luminaries to get their views on decarbonization. We’ll be providing you with the basics of what decarbonization is, the technologies behind it, why it matters, and how we can think about implementing these technologies and strategies into how we generate power.

Join our co-hosts Dr. Jeffrey Goldmeer (GE’s fuels guy), Brian Gutknecht, and a roster of very special guests for a robust and lively discussion on Cutting Carbon.

 

  • Season 6
  • Season 5
  • Season 4
  • Season 3
  • Season 2
  • Season 1

Season 6

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Stand and Deliver:

Going inside COP27 with GE and EPRI

UN Secretary-General António Guterres set the tone for the recent Conference of the Parties (COP27) with this deeply resonant statement: “The world is watching and has a simple message to all of us: stand and deliver.” Listen as Jeff and Brian take you inside COP27, held from November 6-18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Joining them in this timely conversation are conference attendees Roger Martella, GE’s Chief Sustainability Officer, and Arshad Mansoor, President and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Together they reflect on their experience, share key takeaways, highlight some of the top commitments coming out of the conference, and provide details around GE’s recent H2 demonstration in the region.

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Episode 1:

All the critical pieces of the energy transition puzzle

Over the last five seasons of Cutting Carbon, hosts Dr. Jeffrey Goldmeer and Brian Gutknecht have helped listeners build foundational knowledge on today’s energy transition landscape, defining key terms and illuminating the myriad technologies, projects, and processes at play. This season, we dive deeper, examining the critical role infrastructure plays in supporting and sustaining these innovative technologies. Listen as Jeff and Brian set the stage for another exciting season to come. These are conversations that you don't want to miss!

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Episode 2:

The ISO: Air Traffic Controllers of the Energy Industry

Independent System Operators (ISOs) are the air traffic controllers of the power generation world. Learn more as Jennifer Curran, Senior Vice President, Planning and Operations & Chief Compliance Officer at MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator), stops by to help Jeff and Brian connect the dots on how we transport electricity from point A to point B via the grid to support reliable, sustainable access to power across geographies, leveraging innovative technologies and diverse resources to meet evolving energy needs.

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Episode 3:

A Look Back to Move Forward: Lessons Learned from the Digital Grid

Leveraging three decade’s worth of leadership experience across the energy industry, Audrey Zibelman, now an advisor to the Biden Administration as a member of the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council, sits down with Jeff and Brian to discuss the technological, regulatory and financial innovation necessary to ensure a successful energy transition and how the grid needs to evolve to support the next wave of electrification. They review best practices from around the world, including those gleaned from Audrey's time as CEO of the Australian grid operator AEMO and as Chair of the New York Public Service Commission. They also discuss the potential for the Inflation Reduction Act to accelerate the transition to more clean and renewable power.

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Episode 4:

You can't ignore the world's largest source of energy storage

Jeff and Brian continue their examination of energy infrastructure in conversation with Robert Gleitz, a delegate of the board of the Nant de Drance Pumped Hydro Power Plant in Switzerland. Over the course of their conversation, the trio examine the pivotal role energy storage will play in the energy transition, providing an avenue for sustainable, reliable power generation. Robert also breaks down the process of pumped hydro and shares how the team at Nant de Drance brought this innovative project to life.

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Episode 5:

You captured the carbon, now what?

Join hosts Dr. Jeff Goldmeer and Brian Gutknecht as they connect the dots of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage with Dan Cole, Vice President of CCUS, Commercial Development and Government Relations for Denbury. Over the course of their conversation, Dan sheds light on how captured carbon makes its way to a storage location and shares details on the robust safety measures in place to monitor and maintain these pipelines, and offers insights into how recent political developments in the United States have impacted CCUS projects across the nation.

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Episode 6:

Water is for more than just drinking

In this episode, Jeff and Brian are joined by Tomás Bredariol, an Energy and Environmental Policy Analyst at the International Energy Agency, who helps break down the critical role water plays in nearly every aspect of energy systems. Over the course of their conversation, Tomas elaborates on the complex network of operations across the energy industry that both impact and are impacted by these water-driven processes, the demand for which is only expected to grow as the realities of climate change continue to make themselves known across the globe.

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Episode 7:

Not Just a Bill: How Policy Shapes Energy Infrastructure

So far on this season of Cutting Carbon, we’ve focused on the physical infrastructure supporting power generation and energy transition projects. Alongside Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Jeff and Brian examine the relationship between governmental policy and energy and discuss the ways in which the public and private sectors can work together to support the research and development of the new projects and technologies—including CCUS and hydrogen-related projects—that will be critical to supporting the United States’ goal of net zero by 2050.

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Season 5

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Episode 1:

Introduction--Decarbonization Closer to Home

Creating real change in a decade of action to decarbonize our power industry will take all of us, and opportunities to make an impact are everywhere. In Season 5 of Cutting Carbon, we bring the decarbonization discussion closer to home.

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Episode 2:

The Future of Flight - Part 1

In the first of our two-part series on the future of flight, Jeff and Brian speak with Arjan Hegeman, General Manger for Advanced Technologies at GE Aviation, about the innovative projects and technologies in development within the industry that are driving reduced carbon emissions while maintaining safety as the top priority. Join us as we examine the ways in which sustainable aviation fuels fit within the current state of industry infrastructure, and dive deeper into the topics of hydrogen and electric power generation’s role in the industry’s quest to advance sustainability efforts.

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Episode 2:

The Future of Flight - Part 2

Building on their dynamic discussion in Part 1, Arjan, Jeff, and Brian explore the challenges and opportunities at play in the aviation industry as it works to drive forward critical progress in global sustainability and decarbonization efforts. The discussion focuses on some of GE Aviation’s exciting partnerships within the aviation and aerospace industries, such as NASA’s hybrid electric flight project, that are bringing to innovation and new possibilities to the future of flight. This is part two of a two-part series.

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Episode 3:

National Grid & Electric Vehicles

The transportation sector has recently overtaken power generation as one of the top drivers in overall greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Join Jeff and Brian as they chat with Ryan Wheeler, Fleet Electrification Product Owner at National Grid, a regional electric and gas utility in the northeastern United States, about the critical role that fleet vehicle electrification is expected to play in reducing the industry's carbon footprint, while contributing to significant cost savings and public health improvements. Over the course of their discussion, Jeff, Brian, and Ryan also take into consideration the challenges, needs, and opportunities associated with creating and maintaining the infrastructure needed to support the continued electrification of personal and fleet vehicles.

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Episode 4:

Personal Transportation and Buses

How can a fleet of electric school buses assist with power generation during a summer surge? In what ways can battery electric technologies support the expansion of cleaner transportation at scale? Join Dr. Jeff Goldmeer and Brian Gutknecht as they speak with Gareth Joyce, CEO of Proterra, an innovative company in the American commercial vehicle and EV technology space, as they dive into these questions and more, emphasizing the actions we can all take in our local communities to advance clean transportation technologies.

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Episode 5:

Long Haul Shipping & Trucks

In this episode, Dr. Jeff Goldmeer and Brian Gutknecht are joined by Craig Harper, Chief Sustainability Officer & EVP for J.B. Hunt Transportation Services, to discuss the technologies and practices the company is using to help pave a path of sustainability for long-haul shipping operations in North America. They'll give an overview of the infrastructure-related challenges associated with increasing efficiency at such a large scale, while considering the wide-ranging possibilities for the future of shipping and its decarbonization efforts.

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Episode 6:

Buildings & Real Estate

Though traditionally seen as static objects, buildings are a new area of decarbonization innovation, as exciting advancements in building controls and digitization have the potential to help us create more intelligent, energy-responsive structures, adjusting output as demand increases or decreases, resulting in structures that are more efficient and produce fewer carbon emissions. Leading Jeff and Brian in the exploration of this dynamic space is David Dorney, VP of Industrial Refrigeration, Heating, and Cooling at Johnson Controls. Listen as they dive into some of these innovative technologies, such as Johnson Controls OpenBlue solution, while highlighting those currently accessible to business owners, homeowners, and apartment-dwellers alike.

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Episode 7:

Agriculture

Agriculture is both a cause and effect within the broader climate change discussion. Jeff and Brian speak with Dr. Marci Baranski, Program Management Officer in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) about the role that agriculture plays in climate change. Over the course of their conversation, they discuss agriculture as a "hyper-local" industry shaped by a wide variety of social, technological, and environmental factors, while detailing some of the UNEP's exciting global projects and other developments within the industry at large.

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Episode 8:

Education

High-quality, equitable science education will play a critical role in empowering the next generation of leaders poised to confront the energy trilemma and climate change. In the final episode of the season, Jeff and Brian speak with Dr. Erika Shugart, Executive Director of The National Science Teaching Association, about how the need for the skills gleaned from student’s scientific exploration manifests itself in all professional spaces, making students' development of these skills and experiences all the more imperative as we grow closer to the year 2030.

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Season 4

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Bonus episode:

COP26

In our first episode of Season 4 we take a look back to the Conference of Parties (COP26) in 2021. Jeff and Brian takes you inside the conference hosted in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31-November 12, to help you understand the magnitude of these meetings towards sustainability. 

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Episode 1:

The Economics of Carbon

With our guest Tom Kerr, Lead Climate Scientist for the South Asia region for the World Bank, we kick off a discussion around global climate policy. We'll take a look at the World Bank and its fundamental role in combating climate change and pushing for expanding prosperity globally.

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Episode 2:

Around the world: Australia

We switch gears this season by looking at policy from various international perspectives. In this episode, we are joined by Mark Collette, Managing Director of EnergyAustralia and we discuss local energy and climate topics and talk about Australia's journey to net zero.

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Episode 3:

Around the world: Europe

Dr. James Watson, Security General of Eurogas, gives us insight into the European gas industry at large and their significance on European economy, and the importance of innovation. We look at all the moving parts of this industry and it's impact on the region and the rest of the world. 

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Episode 4:

Around the world: Middle East

Our hosts take you further around the world, now to the Middle East. Together with our guest, Salman Abdulla, Executive Vice President of health, safety, sustainability, environment and quality at the Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), we'll exchange views about topics concerning policy and aluminum production in the region. 

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Episode 5:

Around the world: Canada

For this episode we shift our focus to Canada. Jeff and Brian are joined by Heather Chalmers, the President and CEO of GE Canada and they lead the conversation on current technologies and policies taking place in Canada's sphere. 

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Episode 6:

Around the world: US

On our final episode of Season 4, we are focusing on US policy with Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer at GE. We'll discuss current policies with a US lens as the country is moving towards their aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse emissions. 

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Season 3

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Episode 1:

Renewable energy and offshore wind

Offshore wind energy is set to grow exponentially, harnessing the power of plentiful space on the world's seas and oceans which provide higher wind speeds than those found on land. However, this technology is not without complexity to consider. Our guest John Lavelle, the CEO of GE's Offshore Wind business, helps us unpack the subject of offshore wind energy and the technology's impact on the world. 

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Episode 2:

Digital and the grid

Explore and learn about the 'most complex machine ever built on the planet' with guests Colin Parris, Chief Technology Officer, GE Digital, and Linda Rae, General Manager for Power, GE Digital. During this conversation, we discuss the role that the electrical grid will play today and tomorrow to ensure the growing energy needs of the world are met.

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Episode 3:

Nuclear energy and small modular reactors

Renewable energy has always been seen as the innovative path that would save us from climate change and bring us into a new era of decarbonization. We are here to discuss how renewables can not complete this mission alone, and need support from other energy sources. Nuclear energy, the world's largest source of carbon-free power, can play a crucial role. Jay Wileman, CEO of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, discusses the technology and the future of small modular reactors (SMRs). 

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Episode 4:

Energy storage

You might recognize energy storage from the batteries in your remote control. However, as we look into the future, long-duration energy storage is the game changer that you might not know about. We will discuss the array and possibilities of these technologies with Jason Burwen, the current CEO of the Energy Storage Association. 

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Episode 5:

Direct air capture

Jeff and Brian examine a technology that may have the ability to reverse climate change: direct air capture. Our guest is Carlos Haertel, Chief Technology Officer of Climeworks AG.

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Episode 6:

Answering your questions

While listening to the past seasons of Cutting Carbon, you might have some unanswered questions that popped into your head regarding the future of energy. Our hosts Jeff and Brian will address questions that listeners have had regarding topics we covered this past season. 

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Season 2

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Episode 1:

The Hydrogen rainbow

Decarbonizing many sectors of the economy, including transportation and power, may require low or zero carbon fuels. Hydrogen is a popular favorite, and there are multiple technologies available that produce hydrogen for power generation applications. They are typically described by a color (grey, blue, green, red, pink, turquoise, white) instead of the actual production method. Jeff and Brian discuss these production pathways along with their challenges and requirements.

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Episode 2:

Gas to power with Hydrogen

Hydrogen may be a fuel of the future, but there are multiple steps to developing a hydrogen economy. Once hydrogen is produced it needs to be stored and transported. Then there are the potential issues in the end use of hydrogen as a fuel that must be considered.

In this episode, Brian and Jeff welcome John Intile, VP of Engineering for GE Gas Power, for a discussion on the use of hydrogen as fuel for gas turbines. Since hydrogen has very different physical and chemical properties relative to methane (the main component in natural gas and LNG), John provides insights into GE's experience with hydrogen and potential impact to a power plant configuration. Additionally, the team discusses the implications to the transportation and storage of hydrogen for power generation.

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Episode 3:

Carbon Capture: Finding the red marble

Imagine operating a power plant on traditional fuels, like natural gas or LNG, but with reduced carbon emissions. This is the potential impact of post-combustion carbon capture technologies. These systems, when applied to power plants, can remove (or capture) large portions of the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere.

Our guest, John Catillaz, Decarbonization Marketing Director for GE Gas Power, joins us for a discussion on this technology. John explains how this technology works, and provides the information on the broader context of carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS).

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Episode 4:

Carbon in = Carbon out

The use of capture technologies to abate carbon emissions depends on our ability to use or store CO2. The good news is that the storage of CO2 has been ongoing for decades.

Our guest, Chris Consoli, a senior consultant at the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) explains the geological science behind carbon capture. In this episode, Chris provides technical details, key statistics, and real world examples.

Explore: Global CCI website  |  Global status of CSS (report)

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Episode 5:

Talking Carbon with CPV

Have you ever wanted to hear about the decarbonization of power from the perspective of a company that develops both renewable and natural gas power projects? Here's the opportunity.

Jeff and Brian are joined by Tom Rumsey, SVP of External and Regulatory Affair, at Competitive Power Ventures (CPV). Tom provides his views on many facets of decarbonizing the power sector including policy, regional electric power systems, and technology.

Explore: Competitive Power Ventures

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Episode 6:

Lessons from Texas: Plan for Many Eggs in Many Baskets

The February 2021 winter storm in Texas that left millions of people without power was a tragedy. Brian and Jeff discuss what happened to both electricity supply and demand in Texas leading up to, and during the crisis. Examining what happened provides an opportunity to reflect on how we might prevent similar situations from happening in the future, especially as we may be become more reliant on a few sources of electricity.

Explore: GE Energy transition web page

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Season 1

Please listen to the episodes in order.

Episode 1:

Climate change: The everything, everywhere problem

Global climate change is real. We have a limited time to take action to limit the impact and to prevent massive long-term global changes. Conversation with Brian Gutknecht, GE’s Chief Marketing Officer.

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Episode 2:

Carbon emissions: All needles, no haystacks

Carbon emissions are prevalent in multiple sectors, not just power. Industry, transportation and agriculture all contribute to global CO2 emissions. Guest: Neva Espinoza, Vice President, Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Explore: EPRI low carbon resource initiative  |  EPRI's US National electrification assessment

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Episode 3:

Renewables need friends

Decarbonizing power is a team sport. Today, there are still a billion people in the world without electricity. By 2050 the world is expected to need ~42,000 Terawatt Hours of electricity, adding about 400 TWh of additional power every year; that’s twice as much electricity as California generates today. Can this all be done by renewables? We hope that the continued growth of renewable power generation will lead to wind and solar being 50% of total electricity generation by 2050. But where will the other 50% come from? In this episode Brian and Jeff explore this paradox with Vic Abate, GE Chief Technology Officer and the CEO of GE Research.

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Episode 4:

Key terminology to measure the journey

What do terms like carbon neutral, carbon negative, zero carbon mean? What are the implications of various scope levels of emissions? What is carbon intensity? Want to know more? Jeff Goldmeer and Brian Gutknecht explain what these key terms mean and why it matters.

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Episode 5:

Electricity, hold the carbon

We don't have to invent new technology to begin to combat climate change today. Gas-fired generation is flexible, affordable, reliable, and produces less than half CO2 of coal, while coal-to-gas switching represents a fast and effective win for emissions reduction. But what technology options exist for gas turbines to reduce carbon emissions. Jeff and Brian talk about the use of hydrogen as a power generation fuel and the potential for carbon capture technology to be applied to power plants.

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Episode 6:

Gas turbines are awesome

Did you know that a gas turbine sucks in enough air to fill a Goodyear blimp in ~10 seconds? Our guest Dr. Jacqueline O’Connor, Director of the Penn State Center for Gas Turbine Research, Education, and Outreach at The Pennsylvania State University, explains the main components of a gas turbine and how these amazing machines manage one of the most extreme environments that human engineers have developed.

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