Path to Zero
Path to Zero
5.18 - Grid Reliability and the Future of Renewables with Ed Hirs, Energy Fellow at the University of Houston

In this episode, Path to Zero listeners get to hear from one of the nation’s leading experts on energy markets and the electric grid. Ed Hirs was appointed as an inaugural Energy Fellow at the University of Houston. He consults, lectures, and writes on energy markets, environment, investment finance, corporate governance, and ESG.

Highlights of Tucker’s conversation with Ed Hirs includes:

  • How realistic it is to meet the Biden Administration’s climate goals by 2030.
  • The challenges facing some of the companies that are building new renewable fuels plants.
  • Will offshore wind be a significant contributor to a zero carbon grid and will the tight economics for such projects continue?
  • The prospects for a utility-scale solution for energy storage to reduce the impact of intermittency with renewables.
  • Some emerging technologies, such as the safe hydrogen venture, that offer potential to get to utility-scale storage.
  • Why he likes to point to natural gas as an analogy to what’s happening with renewables and emerging energy technology today. For years, the United States dismissed natural gas for power generation until fracking technology came along in the 1990s to drive down the cost.
  • The potential of recent nuclear project announcements using different technology for power generation.
  • What’s been done to improve the Texas grid after the failure during the 2021 winter storm.
  • How close the Texas grid came to a complete blackout that could have lasted for several weeks.