jeudi Février 22, 2024

Rewiring America AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Revisit our exclusive Ask Me Anything with Rewiring America co-founder and Chief Scientist Saul Griffith.

Résumé du webinaire

In a wide-ranging “Ask me Anything” conversation with Rewiring America Co-Founder and electrification expert Saul Griffith, we explored the “anti-inflationary” benefits of electrifying your home, why countries shouldn’t fret when heat pumps and EV sales falter, and what the highest-impact jobs for young people are who want to accelerate the energy transition. 

All new technologies — including those critical to the clean energy transition — follow a non-linear s-shaped adoption curve. 

“There’s a lot of reasons why clean technology adoption slow down and then picks back up,” explained Moe Kabbara, referencing concerns around recent EV dips in Canada and the US. In a typical s-shaped adoption curve, transformative new technologies, from washing machines to telephones, experience slower initial adoption rates, periods of exponential growth, and another slow tail as the last late adopters come on board.  

Griffith agrees that the EV sales slump isn’t indicative of a broader global decline, citing climbing sales in Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. “Bad stories about climate, there are plenty, but if you want to look for the good news story, no matter where you are, [clean technology] adoption is increasing, the penetrations are increasing, the rate of increase is increasing. So we’re accelerating.” 

The Pace of Progress, a new report from the Building Decarbonization Alliance, shows how adoption of electric heat pumps—the leading technology for building decarbonization—will follow that same non-linear s-curve. These early years are critical to determining the pace for uptake for the next two decades, yet Canadian households are not on track to electrify their space heating by 2100, let alone by 2050, says the report. 

Other conversation highlights: 

Powerful energy incumbents are trying to protect $300 trillion in future profits 

“There’s an industry defending $300 trillion in future profits… that’s a lot of motivation to play naughty in the media sphere with misinformation and to try to slow this down with regulations,” says Griffith. “We’ve been hoodwinked by the fossil fuel industry to really rely on negative emissions,” but when you look at how to power our domestic economy, from driving kids to school to cooking dinner, “the answer for zero emissions in nearly every area is electrification.” 

Electrification is “anti-inflationary”. 

“In multiple really big ways, electrification can truly be anti-inflationary,” because of the increasing costs of fossil fuels, compared to the steady energy prices of installed renewables, says Griffith. “In some countries like Australia and New Zealand, we’ve already crossed the investment threshold where you literally can’t spend money fast enough because it just saves the country macroeconomically.” 

Raise your daughters to be electricians: contractors are “the heroes” of the clean energy transition 

Giving credit to the heroes behind the transition, and not just Elon Musk, is a powerful way to increase the cultural value of a workforce that’s going to electrify our economy, says Griffith, citing the importance of “changing that narrative and giving [contractors and tradespeople] a central role in this societal transition.” “Even more important,” he adds, “raise your daughters to be electricians and HVAC installers.” 

Personnes invitées

Moe Kabbara

Vice-président

Moe Kabbara est un professionnel expérimenté de l’énergie et du climat avec près de dix ans d’expérience professionnelle à l’intersection de la technologie, de la stratégie et des marchés. Moe apporte son expertise dans les domaines tels que l’électrification des transports, les énergies renouvelables, le stockage de l’énergie et l’efficacité énergétique. Il est également un interlocuteur recherché sur les questions de chaînes d’approvisionnement des véhicules zéro émission et il a dirigé la création d’Accelerate, l’alliance canadienne de chaîne d’approvisionnement des véhicules zéro émission. Cette alliance réunit des acteurs des secteurs privé et public pour tirer parti des opportunités que le Canada présente pour la fabrication mondiale de VZE.

Avant de rejoindre l’accélérateur, Moe était consultant en gestion chez Dunsky Energy + Climate. Il a également été agent principal de placements au ministère de l’Innovation, des Sciences et du Développement économique Canada. Moe a également été co-fondateur et PDG d’une start-up de stockage d’énergie thermique au Canada atlantique.

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Personnes invitées

Saul Griffith

Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Rewiring America

Saul Griffith is an engineer and inventor. As Founder and Chief Scientist at Otherlab, an independent R&D lab, he helps government agencies and Fortune 500 companies understand energy infrastructure and deep decarbonization. He’s been a principal investigator and project lead on federally-funded research projects for agencies including NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-e), National Science Foundation and United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). He is the author of Electrify and The Big Switch. He was awarded the MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2007.

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