Decarb Connect

40 Episodes

By: Alex Cameron

Examining the strategies and deployments around decarbonisation in hard to abate sectors, we speak with CEOs, heads of corporate strategy, CTOs, Innovation/R&D, project directors & heads of carbon management from around the world. Hosted by Alex Cameron of the Decarbonization Leaders Network and Decarb Connect & produced by Janno Media.

How could carbon market changes revolutionise cement production in the next 3 years?

David Boyd from Carbon Re joins Alex to talk about how cement manufacturers will need to step up to the changes in ETS rules that lie ahead. Cement producers have so far avoided significant negative impact of carbon taxes on their co2 output as their free allowances have largely balanced their typical average emissions - they only have to buy credits if they emit more than average, and they can sell credits if they emit less than usual.


But changes on the horizon will mean that cement companies big and small will need to invest i...

Disrupting old school feedstocks with new, plant-based materials

Wendy Owens, Founder & CEO of Hexas, joins Alex to talk about how regenerative, plant-based raw materials can ultimately replace wood and fossil fuel-based materials in a variety of sectors. With applications in energy, chemicals, packaging, textiles, composites, structural/non-structural products, bioremediation, and more, Wendy talks about Hexas’ farm-to-fiber platform for the reliable delivery of their XanoFiber product.

With multiple applications and the ability to grow crops fast and in a variety of climates and soil types, this early stage venture is catching the eye of major energy producers as well as industrials looking for alternative feedstocks for th...

How to engage industrials as a key partner in scaling negative emissions tech

Investment in climate tech is rising – but do we yet have the best possible (and scalable) solutions to complex decarbonisation challenges? Benjamin Tincq, Co Founder of Marble Studios, talks with Alex about the need for disruptive tech that targets the most critical problems, tech that is created for the issue rather than a tech in search of an issue. 


The conversation takes in examples of key negative emissions technologies, the need to match the critical problems we face to the right talent and the what it will it take to get the right solutions to a co...

Focusing on the U of CCUS – how CarbonCure reuses co2 in the concrete sector

CarbonCure has been a favourite of investors and a winner of the XPrize – for ten years they have worked hard to help the concrete sector reduce co2 footprints by working specifically on reuse of co2 within the product mix.


Sean Monkman joins Alex Cameron to talk about permanent co2 removals, how to scale as a disruptor in the decarbonisation space and talks about why customers will accept green premiums when positioned effectively. We talk about the next for stackable solutions to tackle decarbonisation and also explore CarbonCure’s own 500 megaton roadmap which is their “motivating north s...

John O’Donnell, Rondo: Making renewables a reliable option for industrial heat

Think that renewables can’t sustain high industrial heat? Listen in to learn how storing energy as heat is allowing companies that rely on high industrial heat to reconsider renewables as a cheap and emission-free fuel source. 


Summary: John O’Donnell joins Alex to look at how renewables could become a competitive option for fuelling energy-intensive and high heat processes. With industrial emissions being the biggest contributors to co2, being able to reliably use renewables to fuel high heat would be a major win. John talks about the challenge of industrial heat and why it’s often...

Investing in renewables and advanced climate tech to decarbonise cement

Cemex Ventures is one of a number of high-profile CVCs who are investing to bring innovation into their companies – but also with an view to decarbonising energy-intensive processes. Gonzalo Galindo, President of Cemex Ventures, talks about their investment strategy with a particular focus on renewables and how even the most energy-intensive chemical and combustion processes can make use of emerging tech in this space. 


With the average decarb pilot in harder-to-abate sectors costing $8-10m, we explore how they identify key technologies, the investment and JV process that they employ and we look specifically at thei...

Brett Perlman, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future

Houston is not just the ideological center of the energy sector in the US but also in the region around it houses a large proportion of the US’s petchem and industrial complex. In this conversation, Alex talks with Brett Perlman, CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future about how stakeholders from across the city and greater Houston area are coming together to create the projects that could transform Houston’s economy, and move it from fossil fuels to hubs focused on hydrogen, ccus, electrification and circular economy. Lots to talk about here, from collaborations to lessons learned from o...

Waste pressure is everywhere in the energy system – how can we convert it to clean energy?

With up to 51% of energy generated for industrial use being wasted, disruptors across the ecosystem are tackling that stat in different ways. Mihir talks about the opportunity for tackling one part of this – the waste pressure that is created throughout pipeline infrastructure, power generation and industrial processes and the potential for converted it into clean energy. As well as looking at the market opportunity, the conversation also looks to the benefits in decarbonization and ESG terms that projects of this type can have. 


Find out more about Mihir Desu and the team at Pressure Corp...

Trevor Best, CEO and Co-Founder, Syzygy: Scaling photocatalysis to decarbonize high value products from hydrogen to ammonia (and more)

Houston, known for being the oil and gas capital of the US, is fast becoming a key centre of gravity for clean tech and energy transition IP. Syzygy is one of a number of early-stage disruptors calling the city their home, and we were fortunate to have Trevor Best, CEO, in conversation with Alex to talk about their photocatalysis technology and route to industrial scale. 


Listen in to hear about the applications for their novel catalyst and reactor platform, including production of clean hydrogen at ambient temperatures plus co2 reuse and ammonia production. This is te...

Creating large scale renewable projects that are profitable and drive a triple bottom line

InterContinental Energy focuses on both renewable projects of scale and the triple bottom line of their projects. Join Alex and Alicia Eastman to explore the origin of their mega-scale project structures and the opportunity to convert renewables to hydrogen and ammonia for use in industrial and maritime environments. They talk about how large projects act as market makers, why in-country value brings long term value to the project owners and investors – and we look at the opportunity to create green products that give industry and transport real options for decarbonization within the next 5-8 years. 

Show Links: 

Completing the first BECCS project in the UK – with Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group

Will Gardiner has been a key architect of Drax Group's strategy to create a flexible, low-carbon, customer-focused power company. Alex and Will talk about the results from COP26, but also what’s needed next to keep the goal of 1.5 alive. They explore a little of what’s needed from international policy, how Drax’s global operations are expanding to meet the decarbonization opportunity and Will’s thoughts on renewables, voluntary carbon markets and the need for more support of permanent removal technologies.

To see Will’s p...

What would drive North American industry to invest in net zero?

With governments and markets taking different approaches to industrial decarbonization around the world, Nick Fulford joins Alex Cameron to talk about the different challenges those approaches are yielding and how the US/Canadian approach is unfolding. 


They explore the North American focus on market forces, the impact of 45Q and other incentives and also look at how business models could emerge in CCUS and other tech despite the challenges that lie ahead. 


Now based in Houston, Nick brings a perspective of the EU market too and plenty of knowledge of Gas/LNG...

Could CCS own the radical middle ground in the energy transition?

Craig Golinowski of Carbon Infrastructure Partners discussions the need for other tech to balance out renewables so that we avoid further energy crises and allow for a full transition. Is CCUS the radical middle ground? 



Summary: Craig Golinowski joins Alex to talk about the concept of the carbon paradox, and what role CCUS needs to play in the energy transition. Find out about the concept of the paradox being seen in the transition to renewables where, without solving intermittency and other short-medium term challenges, energy stability can be put at risk and may lea...

Lord Adair Turner talks about what has to happen in the 2020s for Net Zero to be achievable

 Listen in and explore the momentum being seen right now, with more than 70% of global GDP covered by a net zero target, and the routes critical industries are taking to decarbonize. You’ll hear thoughts on the innovative mechanisms that global capital markets and policy are developing, and you’ll get his insights on the urgent need for huge amounts of zero carbon electricity and infrastructure to support essential solutions. 


Lord Turner has a background spanning the corporate world, played a key part in tackling the financial crisis and was the original chairman of the Climate...

Disrupter Series: Driving zero carbon lime production in the UK (Part 2 of conversation with Origen)

Join Alex and Ben for part two of their conversation exploring how Origen’s Zero Carbon Lime technology is being applied at a plant in the UK. You’ll explore the tech itself, the project timeline and hear about the short and long term co2 offtake plans. You’ll also explore the way in which zero carbon lime could be used as a carbon capture tool in future. 


Thanks to Janno Media for the technical partnership.


Disrupter series: Driving zero carbon lime production in the US (Part 1 of conversation with Origen)

Sitting right at the heart of hard to abate sectors is Lime production – a process that yields materials used in construction and food industries (as well as others). The 400 million tonnes of lime produced annually produces 400m tonnes of co2 from the high heat and energy-intensive chemical process. But there is a positive side to this story – if producers can develop zero carbon lime, there are major opportunities not only in their current end use markets – but also in carbon capture markets. 


Join Alex for the first of a two part conversation with Ben Turner of Orige...

Innovation Series - From premium products to volume products – commercialising CO2 post-conversion to solid carbon

CCUS is a broad term and yet often is applied narrowly to projects focused on underground storage. Aeroborn is one of a number of exciting disruptors with CCUS-tech that allows for the transformation of CO2 into other products… products that are usable whilst also storing the CO2 permanently. In the case of Aeroborn, it is converted to sustainable carbon black materials.


Join Alex as she talks with Anna Douglas, the co-Founder and Chief Science Officer for Aeroborn as they talk about the need for reuse of CO2 in products that have high demand, the specific app...

Can wave energy contribute to energy stability… and when?

Kicking off our month of focus on innovation, join Alex and Jan Skjoldhammer of NoviOcean to talk about their wave energy tech and the role of wave power in the renewables mix. In this conversation they look at the current instability in the energy market and how new forms of energy could play into it.You’ll also explore the business model and infra around wave energy plus the current costs vs its fossil fuel and renewables competitors… find out what needs to happen to bring this to parity so that it is a cost effective as well as sust...

Offsite at COP26 - BASF’s carbon literacy program and COP takeaways

Join one of the Decarbonisation Leaders Network’s council members, Geoff Mackey, for a discussion about his experiences at COP26, the value of carbon literacy, and the core activities underpinning BASF’s sustainability activities.   

Throughout the conversation, one of the recurring themes is the power of knowing your CO2 baseline and rooting your strategy in this. We also talked about the need for corporates to both take action but also communicate clearly the challenges that need unpicking on the way to net zero. Always high energy and always engaging - hope you enjoy the conver...

How NW Natural is forging a hydrogen business model and strategy to help keep industrials in state and decarbonizing economically

How does a gas utility transition to a clean energy network? Chris Kroeker, Emerging Technology Program Manager of NW Natural, joins Alex to discuss how his company (a gas utility based in Oregon) is transitioning from natural gas to hydrogen.  


The conversation explores the need for any transition to deliver economical decarbonization in order to keep industrial clients and jobs in state – and we look at the roadmap to NW offering hydrogen at scale. Find out how NW looks at the opportunities and the challenges around blue and green hydrogen, and the range of plans and...

Neil Chatterjee on FERC, Carbon Pricing and the route to a high performing clean energy system in the US

Neil Chatterjee was, until August 2021, the member of the commission at FERC and now is a senior advisor at Hogan Lovells. With a background in policy, legislation and regulation he joined Alex to look at his work with the commission at FERC and what he thinks is needed in the US energy market to make progress to lower carbon energy smooth – specifically his thoughts on the need for congruent state-by-state carbon pricing. We also talk about his expectations of COP26 and future energy transition needs.



COP26 Series: Kickstarting the market for green concrete and green steel – how can green public procurement create momentum?

Global construction projections point to a massive growth over the next couple of decades which equates to building something the size of New York City every month. Think about that… the steel… the cement… the co2 that is produced as a result. So all we need are green materials, right? In the short term the challenge lies in the “green premium” and how quickly the price for carbon negative or low carbon materials can be brought down by market forces. 


Governments around the world buy as much as 25% of steel and 40% of cement for infrastructure and building...

Science based targets and carbon business models: How is Holcim Germany tackling net zero?

This podcast is taken from one of Decarb Connect Europe’s fireside chats. Join Cate Hight, Chief Operating Officer of the Mission Possible Partnership, and Thorsten Hahn, CEO of Holcim in Germany, to explore how Holcim's global science based target is being applied at the national level. Thorsten shares his thoughts on the low hanging fruit of co2 reduction as well as how they intend to create value from emissions. Cate and Thorsten also look at tracking the value in avoided CO2 as well as captured/abated emissions.

Thanks to Janno Media for their podcasting expertise.


New developments in environmental reporting – what should corporates prepare for?

As with all climate-related activities, attention on voluntary disclosures is gaining momentum. With the prospect of mandatory disclosures on the horizon - how are different stakeholders expectations going to change and what will this mean for industry and corporates? David Lammers, Deputy Director of Corporate Engagement at CDP Europe joins Alex to explore the changes and trends they are observing. 


David is one of 50+ speakers at Decarb Connect Europe, October 5-7 2021 – join us there or at one our events or network meet ups. 


Data-driven decarbonisation – The Midden project

In this episode we explore how the MIDDEN project in the Netherlands collects data that ensures industrial groups can accelerate decarbonisation. Using data from across Dutch industry (energy usage, material flows, greenhouse gas emissions) the MIDDEN project offers publicly available insights and data that help hard to abate sectors make the right decarbonisation decisions. 


Join Dick Van Dam from PBL (the Dutch environmental assessment agency) and Silvana Gamboa from TNO (an independent, applied research organisation) to learn about the Dutch industrial landscape and how MIDDEN is helping better decision making. The data and reports are pu...

Predictors of future co2 success - the essential shifts needed to deliver net zero

Join Ben Moens, Managing Director of Sustainability Solutions at Engie Impact, as he talks with Alex about the real predictors of decarbonisation success. How can companies graduate from pilot/single-project thinking to systems transformation? What could a shift from ROI thinking to Total Cost of Ownership reveal? What kinds of partnerships and collaborations are the most effective decarbonizers already forging?

Listen in to find out about the much-needed short term steps as well as how companies can shift their behaviours to deliver decarbonisation.

For info on Engie Impact’s work with industrial clients: https://www.en...

Series Highlight: How to connect the vast amounts of motivated capital to the decarbonization technologies with true commercial potential

Andrew Smith of Greenbackers joins Alex to explore their success in matching investors to the right decarbonisation tech with true commercial potential. They talk about how to reverse engineer net zero by 2050 and how much of it requires new business models vs new tech. They also explore the role that CVCs, VCs & PE play best. Listen in to find out about the characteristics of strong start up leadership teams, what industrials need to ensure they bring to early stage projects and the role for policymakers in supporting market adoption of new tech.

Links: <...

How to deliver Carbon Capture as a Service

With CCUS projects emerging across Europe and around the world, the role of carbon capture in industrial decarbonisation is gaining pace. Join Alex and Aniruddha for a discussion that covers both his hopes and expectations for COP26 and the emerging CCaaS business model, as well as exploring the company’s established and more nascent projects.

Links:  (click for more insights on the projects and technologies being deployed to decarbonise energy-intensive industries)


Many thanks to our podcast partners, Janno Media, for all the support in the production of the D...

Liquid Wind: Scaling to meet the demand of green fuels

Claes Fredriksson, CEO of Liquid Wind, joins Alex to talk about the work they are doing to develop at-scale production of green methanol from biogenic co2. They explore the development of green fuels projects at scale and how they piece together the key partners & technologies. A great opportunity to hear about the project development of at-scale projects and the reuse of co2. 


Links:  (click for more insights on the projects and technologies being deployed to de...

Rethinking decarbonization - how to radically change mining’s energy equation

Carl Weatherell, CEO of Canada Mining Innovation Center, joins Alex to talk about the enormous value of setting much more aspirational goals (Zero waste, Zero emissions) and applying a radical innovation approach that leverages coopetition, collaboration and co-development across the mining sector. 


Plenty of big ideas here for other energy-intensive sectors to learn from, as well as specifics on mining innovation opportunities from microwave technology to core mining platforms. 


We talk about prototypes of mining technologies that can cut typical process energy consumption by as much as 42%, how to achieve zero tail...

Taking the CO2 out of home heating – how to do it equitably and quickly..

Ravi Gurumurthy, CEO of Nesta, joins Alex Cameron to talk about decarbonising domestic heat

and the urgent changes needed to achieve net zero in the UK. Nesta is the UK’s innovation agency for

social good and in March, Nesta published it’s ambitious 10 year strategy which aims to improve the 

lives of millions through mission-led innovation. Ravi Gurumurthy talks with Alex about how Nesta 

drives innovation and his view on achieving net zero equitably and on time. 


Ravi has extensive experience in this area having been one of t...

Converting the carbon from problem waste product to high value asset

Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs and Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at the NYU Urban Future Lab, join Alex to talk about their joint C2V initiative, an accelerator taking the first carbon to value cohort through a program to drive scale and commercial opportunity in this cutting edge category of climate tech. 


We define carbontech as any technology or business model innovation that enables the capture, utilization or sequestration of carbon dioxide and which can then convert it (sustainably) into valuable products or services. The conversation takes this as the starting po...

Assessing the explosive growth of voluntary offsets

Nico Girod of Clear Blue Markets talks with Alex about the hot and growing market for voluntary offsets. We explore their roots and factors that are driving their growth, we also talk about the difference between high quality offsets and those that carry more reputational risk.  We look at the questions corporates bring to discussions of offsets, the change participants in the market and look ahead to predictions around volume and type of offsets entering the market. 


If you’re interested to understand the opportunity, or have questions around the risks of offsets, listen in. Find...

Industrial clusters and the UK’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge

Dr Bryony Livesey leads the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC), which forms part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).  IDC is a £170m programme with £261m match funding from industry, designed to deploy low carbon technologies and enabling infrastructure in heavily industrialised regions of the UK. 


Bryony and Alex talk about the significant program of work that is ongoing to help develop world class industrial clusters in the UK and how these commercial projects can both decarbonise at scale – but also feed valuable lessons and knowledge back to other parts of the industrial landscape...

How are commodities traders showing up to the decarbonization debate?

Join Alex and Joe Raia for a discussion about how Abaxx’s exchange launch presents an opportunity to create carbon neutral and offset trading products for commodities traders managing portfolios of hard to abate products. 


We talk about the rapid movement of global markets towards practices and policies that support ESG initiatives and investments and look at the physical commodities and futures-based trading perspective on this. 


We also discuss the view point that LNG and Green LNG  might be “bridge hydrocarbons” on route to carbon neutrality - what does this mean and is it a...

How to connect the vast amounts of motivated capital to the decarbonization technologies with true commercial potential

Andrew Smith of Greenbackers joins Alex to explore their success in matching investors to the right decarbonisation tech with true commercial potential. They talk about how to reverse engineer net zero by 2050 and how much of it requires new business models vs new tech. They also explore the role that CVCs, VCs & PE play best. Listen in to find out about the characteristics of strong start up leadership teams, what industrials need to ensure they bring to early stage projects and the role for policymakers in supporting market adoption of new tech.

Links: <...

PyroGenesys: Enabling off-grid communities to turn waste to value

Simon Ighofose talks with Alex about building technology and a new business out of a passion for supporting off-grid communities. We look at the pyrolisis tech that is the heart of PyroGenesys' business, and we talk about the scale of the market opportunity for both developed industrial markets as so-called "bottom of the pyramid" off-grid communities. The technology is about to go into a pilot phase at a facility in the north west of england and will be proving its capabilities in thermal separation - ultimately enabling crops like cassava (or any waste material) to convert to high value...

ClearPath: Creating policy & investment conditions that drive a global energy transition and a strong US export market for cost-effective cleantech

Rich Powell talks with Alex about the work ClearPath does to drive policies in support of the energy transition in the US. While much is made of the democrat agenda in this space, we talk about conservative support for the energy transition and the types of programs of work and policies that they are driving to support it. We also touch on the bi-partisan support for certain aspects of clean energy policy and Rich's own views on what needs to be done. From the Clean Energy Act of 2020 to the relaunch of US export credit, from the need for...

What does clean tech look like post covid and a Biden Administration?

With lots of change in the market for investments in clean tech, Caroline Abramo (Chief Investment Officer of Pana LCE Investments) joins Alex to talk about how private equity can invest in cleantech and decarbonization solutions in a way that really drives the right outcome. Listen in to a discussion about the fiduciary duties investors have to their clients and how to balance these with achieving real impact - and also responses to some of the criticisms being levelled at ESG focused funds and investors. With the Biden administration ramping up support for climate investments as the backdrop, the...

Series Highlight: Are ESG funds having the right impact? Funding the hard to abate net zero transition.

If the goal of ESG is to support & drive the corporate transition to net zero/better climate stewardship, is it working? Massive growth is being seen in these funds and there are plenty of bold statements about what they can achieve - but with few simple answers for hard to abate sectors, are ESG strategies simply going to lead to more cost and more barriers to decarbonization? Find out about Will's recent report, get some insight on the questions that industrials and investors need to layer on top of ESG screening and find out how we can make better...