When investors started asking what utility companies were doing about carbon emissions, the energy sector got inspired to bring renewables online and find alternatives to pollutants like coal. And despite the Trump administration’s elimination of the Clean Power Plan, it is unlikely that coal is on its way back. The affordability and abundance of natural gas—which emits half the CO2 of coal—is bridging the gap and removing the need for coal-fired power plants. This evolving energy marketplace, fueled by business, social, and environmental concerns, could change even more radically with the introduction of blockchain technology.
Today Ross and Christophe are speaking with corporate environmental attorney and blockchain enthusiast Mike Denby of Arizona Public Service, the largest power company in Arizona. APS is a vertically-integrated utility, both generating and selling power to its customers. Mike explains how energy trading works and the unique position of the utility company as a shareholder-driven public service. They discuss how blockchain technology might be utilized in the energy sector and how the conservative business culture of the utility industry is likely to impact its interest in cryptocurrency. Mike offers his take on the future of fossil fuels in the energy marketplace, the so-called utility death spiral, and the impact of consumer opportunities in promoting renewables. Listen in for insight into how APS generates power and how renewables and natural gas are changing the landscape of utilities.
[3:16] Mike’s interest in the blockchain
[6:42] How energy trading works
[10:02] The regulation of utility companies
[13:38] What deregulation looks like in utility markets
[15:24] How APS generates power
[20:29] The APS solar innovation project
[22:23] Mike’s insight around fossil fuels in the energy marketplace
[25:54] How renewables and natural gas are changing the utilities space
[30:45] The likelihood of utility companies embracing crypto carbon offsets
[36:09] How APS could leverage blockchain technology
[40:18] Mike’s take on how blockchain will change the world
[42:21] The carbon capture projects at Kemper, Petra Nova and Decatur
[46:27] The potential impact of consumer opportunities in renewables
[49:04] Mike’s insight around the ‘utility death spiral’
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