My Climate Journey Startup Series: Banyan Infrastructure – Banyan Infrastructure is unleashing capital to accelerate the development of next-generation infrastructure projects to provide essential services across the globe and transform the world’s energy systems into sustainable forms of energy. The startup combines financial and technological innovation to accelerate the deployment of solar, wind, and other critical infrastructure around the globe. They use blockchain-based, innovative contract technology to oversee and automate complex and time-consuming contractual management of these small distributed assets. Their solution de-risks these assets for lenders, decreases overhead costs, and increases the ability to refinance these projects at a lower cost of capital. Before co-founding Banyan Infrastructure, Amanda was an Infrastructure Investor at Generate Capital and Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company. She has also served many product roles at technology and renewables startups across Canada, China, and the US. In this episode, Amanda takes me through the company’s mission, the product, and what led her to co-found the company. Then, we dive into how these projects are traditionally financed, the problem Banyan is tackling, and other areas of project finance ripe for innovation. Amanda and I have a great discussion, and it was exciting to learn more about what Banyan is doing.
CleanLaw Podcast: Business Models for Distributed Energy Resources with Brandon Smithwood and Ari Peskoe – Our Electricity Law Initiative Director Ari Peskoe speaks with Brandon Smithwood, Senior Director of Policy at Dimension Renewable Energy. They talk about business models for development of small-scale renewable energy and storage systems.
Interchange Podcast: The Crypto vs Climate Showdown – In the great debate over crypto mining vs. climate, there are two camps. First, the crypto enthusiasts, like Square, say things like, “Bitcoin is key to an abundant, clean energy future”. And then there are the energy wonks, who point out that, if bitcoin mining were a country, it would already be in the top 30 for total energy consumption, rivaling Ukraine. The energy camp tends to dismiss the crypto enthusiasts’ thinking. They’re skeptical of how crypto mines could be assets to a decarbonizing grid, rather than a strain on it. So to cut through the noise, Shayle spoke to Nick Grossman, a partner at the respected venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. USV was the largest early investor in Coinbase, which currently has a $49B market capitalization. But USV has gone big on climate tech and raised a specific climate fund. Nick straddles both the crypto and climate worlds, so he’s the perfect person to help me make some sense out of this madness.
NRF Currents Podcast: Supply Chain Ethics and Transparency in the US Solar Industry – Abby Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), joins us to discuss current supply chain ethics issues in the US solar industry. We discuss the current forced labor issues that the industry is seeing, the response SEIA has seen from the Chinese government, what is happening at the border with US Customs, the association’s traceability protocol, the new tariffs some US solar panel manufacturers are seeking and more.