THP-E21: What is the energy transition? Today I talk about what it is and how it is looking to disrupt the global energy market in the next 20 to 30 years.

June 17, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 21

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 021, I talk about Energy Transition, what it is and how it is looking to disrupt the global energy market in the next 20 to 30 years. We are at a unique and fascinating crossroads with our global energy policy and the global community needs to work together in order to meet the future demands we will be faced with. On this podcast episode I offer my insights on what needs to happen and why this transition is unlike any we have faced in history.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. Also, if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to my podcast using your preferred platform… I would greatly appreciate it.

Paul Rodden




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What is the energy transition? Today I talk about what it is and how it is looking to disrupt the global energy market in the next 20 to 30 years. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions will unlock the potential of hydrogen. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden. And welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast.

Okay, so what is the energy transition? And how does hydrogen play into it? Well, on the question of what is energy transition, it really does depend on who you talk to. For instance, s&p Global says that the energy transition refers to the global energy sectors shift from fossil based systems of energy production and consumption, that includes oil, natural gas and coal, to renewable energy sources like wind, solar and lithium ion batteries. It also includes the regulation and commitment to decarbonize the energy market sphere. Now, this is a very broad definition of forecasts made by the International Energy Agency, the IEA. And if we look at IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, they say the energy transition is a pathway toward transformation of the global energy sector, from fossil based to zero carbon by the second half of this century 2050. At its heart as a need to reduce energy related co2 emissions to limit climate change, decarbonisation of the energy sector requires urgent action on a global scale. And while a global energy transition is underway, further action is needed to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.

They say renewable energy and energy efficiency measures can potentially achieve 90% of the required carbon reductions. Now, these definitions of energy transition are echoed broadly across the internet, however, and maybe even surprisingly, so Wikipedia mirrors my stance on what the energy transition really is, because boiling down the term, the energy transition designates a significant change for an energy system that could be related to one or a combination of resource use system structure, scale, economics, in use behavior and energy policy. Now, historically, these changes have been driven by demand for and availability of different fuels. Energy transitions can also result from depletion of energy sources.

For example, whale oil for illumination, wood for iron smelting, the current transition, which is looking to incorporate renewable energies, and a large decarbonisation effort is ultimately looking to target the COP21. Paris agreement of 2015 to keep global warming below one and a half degrees Celsius, and only recently has been looking towards renewable energy to deliver that goal. And also when thinking about the term energy transition, it can also encompass a reorientation of policy. And this is often the case in public debates about energy policy. For example, this could imply a rebalance of demand to supply and a shift from centralized to distributed generation, as an example, producing heat and power in a very small cogeneration unit, which should replace overproduction and avoidance of energy consumption, with energy saving measures, and increased efficiency. And in a broader sense, the energy transition could also entail a democratization of energy, or a moved toward increased sustainability. And if we look historically, at energy transition, we can see how this contemporary transition differs versus other transitions historically. Vaclav Smil, a Czech Canadian scientist and Policy Analyst at the University of Manitoba, has some very interesting insights over this topic. Until the 1950s.

The economic mechanism behind the energy systems was local rather than global. As development progressed, different national systems became more and more integrated, becoming the large international system seen today. Historical transition rates of energy systems have been extensively studied. While historical energy transitions were generally protracted affairs unfolding over many decades. This does not necessarily hold true for the present energy transition, which is unfolding under a very different policy and technological conditions. So while the energy transition that we’re looking at today is unique, the term energy transition has been seen several times throughout history. And that is where technology, social impacts, government policy, and economics really come into play.

And speaking of economics, an article from, highlights that BMO capital markets is announcing that it’s establishing a dedicated energy transition group to support clients in pursuit of opportunities driven by the increasing momentum of the global economy’s shift in production and consumption of energy. It will draw on industry sectors specialists initially from within BMO energy power and utilities and infrastructure, metals and mining, industrials foods consumption, and retail and sustainable finance groups to provide a broad spectrum of expertise regarding energy transition developments, and opportunities in hydrogen, as well as energy transition finance, carbon capture, renewable power, electrical mobility, nuclear, natural based solutions, energy demand side management, fuel cells, electricity storage, low carbon fuels, in transition minerals, renewable natural gas, and circular economy solutions including waste to value processes. Now this group will oversee the division is existing $250 million impact investing Fund, which targets companies working on developing and scaling sustainability solutions.

In March, BMO also committed to providing $300 billion in sustainable lending and underwriting by 2025. According to Aaron Engan, BMO’s investment and corporate banking Vice Chair, he states quote, we’re working with clients across all industries, whether it’s manufacturing, biotech energy or midstream, as those clients think about how they want to move forward in energy transition, whether in producing or consuming energy, we want to work with them and achieving that, it does not change our view on the financing or finance ability of oil and gas industry, energy, or midstream. Now, I hope you don’t mind if I take a step back right now and talk to each of you individually. Ultimately, the discussion of the energy transition is more than a 10 minute conversation.

And I plan to have many more podcasts on this topic as we move forward. As there are so many opinions on so many different aspects of this topic, And I’m not immune to that over several years of being in the energy space, and consulting on everything from oil and gas, to hydrogen to renewables, I have my own unique viewpoint of the energy transition space. And my viewpoint is this, this transition is not like switching from whale oil, to extracting oil from the ground, there are so many more factors at play now. And that’s a good thing, the global energy demand will only skyrocket going forward. So the best move right now is to embrace all good solutions that can provide for that energy need. That includes natural gas that includes renewables, that includes renewable natural gas. And yes, more importantly, especially for this podcast, hydrogen, I believe, right now we are at the precipice of great, great, amazing things.

And all of those amazing things come from all of these amazing technological advances we have coming at us today. But all of the amazing means that we have an are developing to create hydrogen from so many various sources. And like I said, this will be just the first time I touch on this topic. I’m going to talk about it many more times, covering many more aspects of the energy transition, including governmental policies, and economics. And that’s where I’m going to wrap it up for today.

But if you have any questions, any comments, if you would like for me to talk about something more specific? Come and visit my website at the and leave a comment or question. Again, I would really love to hear from you. And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later. Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.

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