Episode 66

full
Published on:

13th May 2024

E66: Building flywheels of irreversible momentum for methane monitoring & measurement

Description: Nick is joined by Jigar Shah, the Director of the DOE’s Loan Programs Office, and Ian Dickinson, the CEO of LongPath Technologies, to discuss the commercialization of novel methane monitoring technologies to accelerate lower-hanging fruit in methane mitigation. Specifically, Jigar, Ian, and Nick discuss the ongoing methane measurement technologies LongPath is building for oil and gas infrastructure in the Permian Basin and what climate, economic, safety, and regulatory impacts are being driven by a step-change in methane measurement and monitoring technologies. Further, Jigar, Ian, and Nick also discuss:

  • Bridging financing gaps: The Loan Programs Office’s role in financing climate and energy technologies to create “flywheels of irreversible momentum,” in Jigar’s words. 
  • Momentum for methane: The range of tailwinds coalescing right now for methane measurement and mitigation that are accelerating the work of companies like LongPath
  • The oil and gas industry’s role: What does the oil and gas industry think of trends in methane measurement and monitoring, whether from a technology perspective or with respect to new regulations coming to the fore in the U.S. to price methane emissions?

Timestamps:

00:03:31 - Loan Programs Office's Support for Climate Tech Companies

00:04:40 - Methane's Impact on Global Warming vs. Lack of Financing

00:05:16 - Economic Incentives to Address Methane Leaks

00:08:33 - Technologies for Methane Detection and Monitoring

00:10:26 - LongPath's Development and Commercialization

00:15:15 - Safety Benefits of Novel Methane Monitoring

00:18:45 - Operational and Compliance Challenges in Methane Management

00:22:40 - EPA's Methane Regulations and Industry Impact

00:27:29 - Potential Global Impact of Methane Management Technologies

00:30:12 - Broader Economic and Environmental Benefits of Methane Reduction

00:31:38 - LPO's Goals and Impact on Hard Tech Innovation

00:33:40 - Working with the Loan Programs Office

00:35:09 - Other Exciting Developments in Climate Tech and Energy

Don't miss out on this podcast if you're interested in learning more about the state of climate tech, the energy transition, and the role of novel geoengineering efforts in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, Google, or your favorite podcast platform.


Learn more about LongPath Technologies on their website and LinkedIn: https://www.longpathtech.com/ / https://www.linkedin.com/company/longpathtech/


Learn more about the DOE’s Loan Programs Office on their website and LinkedIn: https://www.energy.gov/lpo/loan-programs-office / https://www.linkedin.com/company/doe-loan-programs-office/


If you love listening to The Keep Cool Show, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast: https://ratethispodcast.com/keepcool

Thank you so much.

Plus, stay up-to-date on all things Keep Cool here: https://keepcool.co/ and follow Nick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickvanosdol and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasvanosdol/

Transcript

Nick: Welcome to The Keep Cool Show, the podcast in which we cover how cutting-edge climate technologies connect to the world in which we live. I'm your host, Nick Van Osdol.

Nick: All right, Jigar, Ian, welcome to the Keep Cool podcast. Great to be here.

Ian: Thanks for having us.

Nick: Yeah, so to dive right in, I would love to just start with a tiny bit of background on you both. Ian, maybe we can start with you getting listeners up to speed with the work that LongPath technology does, and then I'll cue you up after that.

Ian: So the core purpose for LongPath is to flatten the methane curve, and we can talk about what that means. At a high level, you know, LongPath is a ground-based, continuous, and quantitative emissions monitoring technology, real focus on methane for good reason. But we're basically allowing our industry partners with right now focus on oil and gas to find, quantify, and fix methane leaks. The technology has the ability to see other molecules in the air, CO2, et cetera. and has applications far beyond oil and gas. So landfills and agriculture and mining are all sources of greenhouse gas. But our focus right now is really in the energy sector.

Nick: Excellent. Yeah, there's lots that I could already dive in on stuff that's very germane to my beat. But Jigar, I'll let you introduce yourself and the work that you lead at the Loans Programs Office, and then we'll go from there on all the methane stuff.

mandate that started back in:

Nick: And so diving back to kind of the methane story at the highest level, kind of question that we can all speak to. For me, I think, and for folks listening in who maybe aren't quite as in the weeds, I always come back to some headline statistics. Methane has driven something like 30% of observable global warming to date. Global warming is not just a carbon dioxide problem, lots of different greenhouse gases as well. and yet methane attracts something like sub-2% of all climate finance. Before we dive into some of the nitty-gritty of the work that is being done now on the ground, I'm curious for you all's perspective on how that incongruence has developed over time and maybe what some of the drivers in the past of that gap in financing to warming potential have been.

Ian: Yeah, I don't know, Nick, if I can jigger on this too, but if I've got a great answer for why it's underinvested, it clearly is. Methane, one of the interesting things is that it's actually the product, at least in the oil and gas industry, it's not a byproduct, right? And so there's a real economic incentive. the energy companies to keep this product in the pipe. That creates real opportunity for growth and scale and creates a good economic model for us as a business, but also for our end customers. And that's a really great fit. And as we'll probably get into, I mean, methane is the single biggest lever we have to pull. So why it's underinvested, I don't have a great answer, but it's a very compelling business case, not only for technologies like LongPath, but for the customers we serve.

Nick: Right on, yeah. Jigar, anything you'd add to the overarching question?

Jigar: Look, I think that when you think about where the president has been on this issue at the COPS, there is a real recognition by governments around the world that methane is something that we can tackle sooner than overall climate change through CO2, and it would make a huge difference. And I think that part of what we see with LongPath and some other technologies is that it's right within our grasp. I mean, for every dollar that you spend on monitoring, it's another dollar for fixing the leaks that you find. And you save $5 to $10 of new product that you could sell that would have leaked. So the economics are clear. Now we've got to figure out whether the dynamics are all lined up and folks are really ready to tackle this problem. But we certainly got a lot of commitments out of the last COP.

Nick: That's something I'm excited to dive into. It does feel like now there is a confluence of factors that might make this more of an inflection point in terms of even if we just look specifically at oil and gas at fixing leaks and stuff like that.

Ian: Yeah, and I would just maybe add, Nick, while I think this space is generally under-invested in, we've got phenomenal investors. I mean, the work that the LPO is doing, and then if you look at our investor base, and we've got fantastic financial lead investors, and we've got folks like ConocoPhillips, Williams, a big midstream company that are invested in LongPath. And so there is investment. I think it's under-invested, but LongPath has found great partnerships to go pursue our goals.

Nick: Excellent. Yeah, it's a good optimistic lilt. And something that I think about when I think about this question that I raised around funding gap for methane, I'd like to sort of decompose the technologies that are now out there for methane measurement, because it feels like in this decade, there are a lot now coming to the fore. And a product that we're seeing as a result of that, whether it's technologies like long paths or new satellites, what have you. A lot of emissions quantification in the past seems like it was driven by estimates. We constantly see reports, whether it's from landfills or oil and gas, that it's like, okay, we had to update these figures because previously this was an estimate of methane emissions, but now we found that based on some more actual emissions from landfills, for instance, are 40% higher in the US than we once thought. So all of that's really a lead-in to, Ian, maybe you can walk us through both the technologies that long path is bringing to the fore and the broader landscape of the different sort of methane measurement technologies that are now out there.

Ian: Yeah, so at a very high level, there are basically two primary categories of methane detection technologies. So there are survey technologies, right, that are getting a snapshot in time on any given facility, right? And so those would be things like satellites or sensors affixed to airplanes and flying over, or even a technician holding an optical gas imaging camera. And they're taking a view or getting a snapshot image of what's happening on that facility at that moment. And then there's the second category, which are continuous monitors, right? And there's a series of technologies that are effectively watching these facilities 24-7. Long path is a continuous monitor and has some distinct advantages in the terms of the way our system works to provide both spatial and temporal coverage. And this is important because most of the emissions, at least in oil and gas, are intermittent by nature, right? So they're on and off. And even those that are persistent, like a stuck valve, are only on 20% of the time. There's a lot of research that's been done on that. I think generally speaking, we are getting a better handle on the overall emission profiles. coming off of these different industries, oil and gas, landfills, etc. But this ability to understand intermittency is really important in understanding the overall profile. It's also really important in understanding how best to address the leaks that are happening. And that's kind of how long past technology is focused, is to provide that continuous kind of temporal coverage, with also large spatial coverage so that we understand that profile and can prioritize emissions for repair, mitigation.

Nick: Got it. Understood. And for my edification, you know, how long have you all been working on this? Was this something that was already starting to be possible 10 years ago or was that still a little bit more of the R&D phase and now you're ready to ramp up significantly?

nitor program that started in:

Nick: Nice. Yeah. I think I always like a multifaceted company name. And I think it's an underappreciated point of whether it's a decade of development or decades of development if you look back to when folks really started investing and even just like solar as an example in the 1950s. So often this starts with a significant amount of government foresight and government support. And then decades or years down the road, we get to a point where it's like, oh, great, there's lots of private investment in this too, and now it's really exciting and venture capital is getting involved. But there is so often a stepwise process that has to precede that.

Jigar: Yeah, it's hard for the underlying science to really be something that's funded by the private sector, right? So, you know, a lot of the underlying science and really demonstration of the technology is something that we've supported for, you know, the entire life of DOE. And, you know, now I think, you know, with the bill and IRA having passed, we now have the ability for folks to commercialize that technology here.

e work that you're leading in:

Ian: Let me just maybe start by just grounding a little bit in the technology, right? So LongPath puts out a 50-foot tower that can cover a 10-square-mile area. So think of it almost like a methane radar. It's not radar, it's laser technology, but each system we put out can cover, you know, 10 or more square miles. And so the goal is to build out a network of these monitoring systems that's incredibly scalable. And so we'll be working with the Department of Energy's LPO facility, along with our private investment funds, to build this network of monitors. And to give you a sense, we could cover all of the Permian Basin, which is the largest operating basin in the US, for less than the cost of the last Avatar movie, right? I mean, this is a totally tractable issue. And so the funds that are available from the LPO match with private funds or allow us to build this monitoring network. to serve all of the energy operators within the basins we serve. What's really interesting about it is that as we put systems out, we typically see more than one operator within the purview of that tower. So we're building out almost like a telecom cellular network, right? And the operators can sign up for monitoring bandwidth. And so it's a really great opportunity to have a win-win-win scenario where industry wins, the long path when society wins through this partnership that's in part been enabled by the OPO. So that's our goal. Our goal is to use these funds and private funds to build out this monitoring network as long term sustainable infrastructure.

Jigar: Yeah, I think from our side, you know, the way these kinds of things work is, you know, the commercial banking industry really needs to see long-term off-ticket agreements from these oil and gas companies to be comfortable investing up front into these towers, right? And so And I think as Ian suggested, they've sort of got these anchor customers, right, that they use to help build the initial infrastructure. But the real profitability for them comes when additional folks within that same radius start to use the towers as well, right. And so you can imagine that dynamic causes commercial debt not to want to go first. They're like, we're going to wait and see how well you do. And if they funded their entire rollout only on equity, well, then they would have to make much higher returns, charge a much higher price for the monitoring. And so we can come in and really take an assessment of where we are today. All these pledges that have been made, but also the methane fee, that's coming out of EPA, some of the other policies, and say, are they likely to really be able to reach their goal? And what's the downside risk if they don't, right, for us? And when you looked at that risk reward, it was pretty favorable, right? And so we were able to move first, recognizing that we are taking more risk than the commercial marketplace would do, but we're taking smart risk. And Ian is obviously a very disciplined operator, and he's getting these anchor tenants to determine how fast and how quickly he rolls out his network. And so we're excited that he's got a solid business plan, but also that the technology is at the right place at the right time.

Nick: Yeah. And double-clicking on the business plan and the economic opportunity here, because I know that we've spoken to that a little bit, but I'd be curious to understand maybe from your perspective, Ian, to start sort of what the conversations with some of the actual oil and gas producers or the midstream companies, how those have evolved. For one, as we've hit on, there is certainly an inherent economic opportunity to keeping more of your product in a pipeline as opposed to wasting it and letting it turn into an environmental externality. But to me, it also stands to reason that perhaps part of the reason that folks haven't made these investments in the past is if I'm an oil and gas company and I have X amount of capital, maybe I deemed it more profitable in the past to invest in a new greenfield project versus patching leaks, just as an example. So is the combination of better technology something that will flip that calculus? Or is it also layering in what Jigar introduced with things like the EPA methane fees that are now coming to the fore that's shifted that calculus for them too?

Ian: Yeah, I mean, I think there are a number of factors that are driving and will drive the expansion of long pass network across these oil and gas basins. There's certainly a regulatory compliance component, right? That's certainly there. There's a real business case for monitoring and finding and fixing leaks. But you have to keep in mind that there's also an operational transformation that needs to happen, right? So if you can imagine you know, under the old EPA rules, you're required to go out and look at a facility twice a year with an optical gas imaging camera. Okay, now imagine flipping on the lights and you see everything 24-7. You know, you have to have the organizational work practices, workflows to be able to respond. And so I think the operators are being quite thoughtful and about how they're tackling this, you know, challenge if you are this opportunity. So we work very closely with the operators. I think they understand, generally speaking, the issue. I think they're motivated. I'm very bullish on the direction everything's headed. But there are a lot of factors that are at play, and there are a lot of stakeholders within the organization. So very bullish on that, but it's multivariate in terms of what's driving the transformation here from what might be considered a task to, hey, this is really operationally efficient for us and generates great return and also allows us to be compliant.

Jigar: You know, the other piece to this, though, it's really is safety, right? I mean, like driving to one of these sites to do these readings manually is the, you know, number one time that someone can get hurt on the job site, right? And so, you know, why would you encourage people to drive to these sites once a month when they're largely automated? just to do the collection of readings when you could do it in a remote fashion and keep people safe.

Nick: Interesting. Yeah, that's not something I knew so much about. What is the main safety risk under the historical model where someone has to go out and drive and get close to the infrastructure?

Ian: Yeah, it's the most dangerous place to be is behind the windshield. And so we can reduce the amount of drive time and even time on pad. And so it's really, you know, regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, which includes the safety piece, and then also return, right? So there's kind of this, these three components that are important considerations for any operator.

Nick: And you can tell me if I'm right on this, Ian, but I have to imagine that also many of these companies pride themselves on their engineering capabilities and the fidelity of their infrastructure. And so as they have a better understanding of where there might be problems, it's probably not necessarily the largest driver, but I have to imagine that that's also an incentive for them.

Ian: It absolutely is. Yeah. I mean, they pride themselves in operating efficiently and responsibly. And so Like I said, it's understanding the issue, understanding how best to tackle it, and then organizing to do that long-term at scale, right? And so I'm very bullish on the direction things are going. Has it been a bit slower in terms of just generally speaking in tackling this problem? Maybe, yeah, you make that argument, but the traction's there. And it's companies like LongPath with the support from the LPO and other financial investors that are putting these technologies in a position to be able to scale. across these vast areas of operations, not just domestically, but globally and through other verticals as well. So we're at a great spot right now. We're at a bit of an inflection point. And I think everybody should feel quite encouraged about the path this is heading. And it's a very important issue. And all of that in concert, I think is exciting and should give everybody a lot of energy and should attract more investment. It really should, right? Back to your earlier point.

Nick: And that's something that I also often think about and certainly hope is true in this case. It's not necessarily just the emissions reduction or economic opportunity of one project. Ideally, this becomes a proof of concept that then, whether it's in the US or other countries globally, folks look at and say, okay, that worked. what can we understand from it, and whether it's investing in LongPath and getting your technology in more basins or sort of even copying the model to a certain extent. Ideally, there's a decent amount of matriculation to other geographies that happens because of the model being proofed once.

Jigar: Well, the other big thing here is, is that, you know, there's a huge amount of interest on the part of the LPO, but also others around the world around making sure that folks are using low leak method, right? I mean, whether it's exporting, you know, from LNG, but also, you know, some of the industrial processes that we're funding through other parts of LPO. you know, they're committing to low leak method, right? And so it's not just the monitoring piece that we want to see in terms of, you know, finding out how much the leak really is, right, as you suggested at the top of the podcast, but also just making sure that there is a set of ecosystem partners that can actually fix the leaks and figure out how we get to real low-leak methane. And I think that LongPath is a part of that ecosystem, and their success comes from partnerships with folks who actually repair the leaks and do all of those things that achieve the ultimate goal, which is to really reduce scope one and two emissions.

this is actually happening in:

Jigar: Well, look, I mean, I think that when you think about the methane fee, it's explicitly in inflation reduction act, right? I mean, it's not like one shall come up with a system by which this shall get implemented. It is actually, one will implement this and here's the exact price that we want you to be able to charge for those leaks. And so, I think Congress's intent was actually quite clear when the legislation which i think is helpful is it cuts down on some of the disagreements and i think part of the reason that they were able to get it through congress is because the industry recognizes that the social license to continue to do their job means that they have to be good on this particular variable. write that like the noise between you know what academic saying we're at six percent methane leaks and academic saying we're two percent methane leaks is really problematic for them right and getting to the truth of what the actual methane leaks are and figuring out a system by which to build trust. across the entire system, I think, was really important, right? And so I think that's why the industry ultimately, you know, they may have held their nose, but they actually, you know, sort of allowed it to go through. Because I think they recognize that having this independent validation around the great work that they're doing, and or, right, the, you know, academics who believe that methane leaks are much higher, getting validated that they were much higher, and that now we need to fix them. causes folks to be able to actually operate in a way that everybody wants to see, right? People don't want to see folks claiming low-leak methane, and then it turns out not to be low-leak, right?

Nick: And Ian, I'd be curious, from your conversations with the stakeholders who these new rules ostensibly impact the most, Are they still kind of a little bit wide eyed and scared of what implementation and having to report on this stuff is going to look like? Or do you see them sort of to Jigar's point as actually being quite proactive on it?

Ian: Yeah, I mean, I think there's been clarity that been provided here and recently, you know, late last year with the final EPA rule. I think the operators are still, and I don't want to speak for the industry, but generally speaking, are still getting their arms around exactly what's going to be required of them, how these various rules interact. right, and how to ensure compliance in these different jurisdictions. At the same time, making sure that they're implementing these technologies and these work practices in the ways that are scalable and sustainable. And so I think that's coming together. I mean, generally speaking, again, I would come back to the point that these operators want to operate responsibly. They want to deliver a responsibly sourced product. And they want to retain as much of their product and deliver it to market. And so I think what we'll find is a good interface between what's required to be compliant, what's required to kind of mitigate any exposure to potential fines and fees, and how to maximize their investment in these enhanced operating tactics. So I think that's all coming together, but it's been a really cloudy picture over the last number of years that I think has come into focus here, and that's helpful. Still a lot of questions out there.

e KPIs, if we zoomed ahead to:

Ian: Yeah, we have some targets, you know, internally around our core targets, 2030 to, you know, mitigate, you know, 50 million tons of CO2e. What I think is probably helpful, if you zoom out a little bit, and as you mentioned right at the get go, you know, there are studies that say methane has contributed about 30% of the warming impact. And that's because of a gap between the sources and sinks of methane, right? So we're putting more methane into the air than it's being kind of absorbed. And so that gap is actually what needs to be closed, right? And so back to our core purpose of flattening the methane curve, you go, okay, well, that's this big, hairy, audacious goal. But Greg Rieker, our lead co-founder, we were looking across all the systems and facilities we're monitoring today. And we've had profound impact on the overall emissions profile of those facilities. But in that analysis, Greg kind of zoomed out and looked at production across global oil and gas production and the estimated kind of emissions intensity, methane emissions intensity. Work the math back, a 16, one six, 16% reduction in the emissions profile across global oil and gas would close the methane gap by itself. 16% reduction in that profile. So as a challenge we're all facing, how do we address this climate challenge? This methane piece is completely tractable. We've seen much more than a 16% reduction across the facilities we're monitoring. But isn't that kind of an exciting way to look at it?

Jigar: I mean, the other way to look at it is, as you suggest, is that, you know, when you look at the amount of product that's being wasted, I mean, it's over $10 billion worth of product that's being wasted every year, right? I mean, in some estimates, it's closer to 15 or 20 billion, right? And so, and the cost of monitoring is Ian suggested was about the cost of an avatar movie up front in CapEx, right? And then the operating expenses are lower over time. And so when you think about just the return here on investment for the oil and gas industry is very high. So then it goes back to what you were saying before is, where is this on the priority list? And I think what you see with a lot of the low-leak methane standards and the commitments at COP and, you know, the EPA methane fee and other things is, you know, helping to figure out how to raise it. on people's priority list.

Ian: Yeah, and this is just not a zero-sum dynamic, right? So I mentioned earlier this notion of win-win-win, right? So industry wins by keeping more product in the pipe, right? The climate wins by mitigating methane and closing this gap and flattening the curve. Communities win by having cleaner air, right? Landowners win by, you know, so everybody wins in this scenario. And it's just our job, we're a small piece in this bigger puzzle, right? It's our job to bring the best technology to bear, you know, and work closely and on behalf of these operators to get after this challenge. But that's what's exciting. It's a win-win-win, good ROI, and boy, we can have a measurable impact on this climate challenge working together.

about warming between now and:

Jigar: Well, we have a couple of goals, right? I mean, I think the first goal is that in these areas that we're providing loans, we really want to start a flywheel of irreversible momentum, right? And, you know, because our loan is never going to be enough, right, to get to gigaton scale right alone is catalyzing a broader crowding in of capital from the rest of the marketplace because we go first right so that is always something that's on our mind and certainly represented in this really important loan that we're making here but the broader goal of the loan programs office is to help you know america really get its mojo back. I mean, I think that for a long time, venture capital investors and other investors really thought that once you got to this scale, that there was really no credible way to get to the finish line. And because commercial banks were hard to work with, and other folks were hard to work with. And now that LPO, I think, is active and successful, you're starting to see a lot of earlier stage hard tech companies get money. And so they can begin their 10-year journey that that long path was on. And that also is very important, because I think, as we all know, the current technologies we have today can make a huge dent in the climate crisis that we're in. But they're not going to be the entirety of the solution set, right? We still need some more breakthroughs. We still need some more great ideas to get to market, right? And so the fact that we're active and the fact that our process is becoming clearer, more transparent, people are realizing we're not easy to get through, as Ian, I'm sure, can elucidate. But we are, I think, a place where folks can get the resources necessary to get to the scale that they want to get to. that makes it easier for hard tech companies to start and deep tech companies to start.

Nick: Makes a lot of sense. That was a question I was going to pose to you, Ian, at one point, as like what was working with Jigar and team actually like, but I won't put you on the spot given time constraints. So you lucked out on that one. Really quickly, off the record, is there anything that we didn't hit that you all think is critically important? I know that we've got five minutes left and I can do some closing questions, but wanted to see if there was something front of mind that we hadn't spoken to yet for either of you.

Ian: Yeah, I've got some flexibility on time, too. But I will just touch on that briefly, if you'll just take a minute. Working with the LPO was a very engaged process, right? Jigger has brought a really phenomenal team together of experts in their various disciplines. It put us through the paces. I mean, we went through significant diligence across every framework you can think of, but in some ways not dissimilar to the diligence you would go through with a normal capital investor or a normal commercial bank. And so while it took some time and effort, we arrived at a very successful result that was well vetted by the LPO. I mean, this is an investment they're making with real clarity on the risk and the opportunity. And we got better in the process, quite frankly, as a company. It clarified our thinking. Folks that are looking to reach out and pursue an opportunity with the LPO, I highly encourage them to do it. It is an investment in time, it is an effort, but it's well worth it. And NetNet was a very good experience for us. Now it took longer than I would hope, and I'm sure there's ways to shorten that time frame. And I know Jigger and team are looking at ways that we can be more and more efficient. But the net result was very successful and we got better as a company through the process.

Nick: Yeah, that's an interesting takeaway is, you know, it's a forcing function for you to get more clear and specific and sharp as a team. Good soundbite. Rapidfire, I'm curious here at the tail end, we've had a great discussion around methane, which I always appreciate because sometimes when I look out at the landscape of communications around climate, climate tech, global warming, it seems a tiny bit overly focused on carbon dioxide, to say the least. We've had a good discussion about capital pools not named venture capital, which in the same way, I think that one often gets a lot of attention and other really important components of the capital stack don't. But yeah, last fun question for you all. I'm curious just what else in the broad world of climate tech or energy is captivating you all right now? It could be completely unrelated to the discussion that we've had so far. I can offer for my part that I had a podcast guest on recently who's working on cloud seeding, as an example, and doing actual field trials on farms across the US. So that was pretty far afield, but it's always something new under the sun to get excited about.

Jigar: Yeah, I mean, we're obviously constantly bombarded with the coolest possible stuff in the loan program's office. And so I don't know that I can pick a favorite, but I think when you just look at the sheer diversity of virtual power plant concepts coming in, it really is an exciting time, I think, in the electricity space. But in the green chemical space, we've seen a number of applications that have come in for figuring out how to provide waxes and paraffins and other essential things that come out of a refinery stack now using biological sources. That's been really fun and frankly, I think just the sheer speed at which the costs are coming down for enhanced geothermal is also just really amazing. Then we have that geothermal liftoff report that we just came out with. We're excited about American innovators and entrepreneurs. They keep doing cool stuff. Absolutely.

Ian: Yeah, you know, I've been pretty focused on what we're doing. As a general statement, I'm really excited about just the diversity of solutions that are developing. And it really seems to be a great example of American ingenuity and partnership between public and private. that's bringing all these really creative entrepreneurial ideas to the table. And some will be great and some won't work, but there's a really diverse set of innovative ideas and technologies that are coming to the fore. And that's exciting.

Nick: Well, I'm thankful for the work that you all are both leading respectively. It's not stuff that I would be able to do, but we all play our individual roles. At least that's the goal, right? So thanks so much for being here. Appreciate it. Thanks for your interest.

Ian: Thanks for having us. Enjoyed it.

Nick: Thanks for tuning in. So you don't miss the next episode on another cutting edge climate tech, make sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple, Google, or wherever it is that you get your podcasts. We'll see you soon.

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About the Podcast

The Keep Cool Podcast
Where climate tech investors get deep dives into the latest cutting edge technology and discover how it fits into the broader landscape.
Climate tech is constantly evolving. Why? To help solve the most important challenges facing our planet. With so much innovation it’s hard to pick out the companies to watch, and it’s even harder to connect them to the wider climate tech picture. That’s why The Keep Cool Show is here. Join host Nick Van Osdol as he dives deep into the latest technologies shaping climate solution technology, but also zooms out to help investors and anyone working in the industry join the dots and get a broader view of what’s really going on. Every week Nick is joined by a climate tech founder, investor or operator, discussing how they’re working to solve climate change. He’ll join the dots in real time, bringing out the nuances, trends and patterns in the industry. If you’re a climate tech professional already working in the industry, looking for the next big opportunity or simply curious about the space, this is the show for you. Episodes every other Thursday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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Profile picture for Nicholas Van Osdol

Nicholas Van Osdol