Weber’s Clean Tech Slides ( a la Mary Meeker’s slides for IT)

Mary Meeker puts out a set of trends on the  internet every year and I thought  why not do one for sustainability and climate change.  Here is the start to Weber’s Clean tech slides…These are in no particular order, as I update these slides as I come across new and interesting ones.

What di I define as the sustainability and climate change sector.  Here are some broad thematic areas

  • Transition to a low carbon sustainable economy
  • Growth of the clean technology sector (opportunities, stock exchanges, companies, jobs…)
  • Carbon pricing and businesses and sectors that are internalizing or developing business models where all costs are incorporated
  • Resource efficiency and the development of a circular economy

I will add more as I become aware of them.

Slide 5 (March 4, 2016)

This slide shown which I took from here and they aggregated from somewhere else. What is shows is the bidding by companies to provide solar electricity, the latest bid in the state of California is less than 4 cents per kwh for a 25 years of electricity.  There are some subsidies included in this – in the US, the renewable energy tax credit and there is lots of discussion in the comments about the amount of the subsidy based and when the power is supposed to be delivered.


Slide 4 (Feb 24, 2016)

A great slide showing how the efficiencies of various types of solar cells have improved over the years….(from cleantechnica)


Slide 1 – Extent of renewable energy generation in Europe

ENTSO-E’s annual overview of the European electricity market, Electricity in Europe 2014, which has recently been released, testifies to the steady expansion of renewables generation taking place in the EU electricity sector:

33% of electricity produced in the EU now comes from renewables, of which 18.5% is hydropower and 14.4% “other renewables” (mostly wind and solar power). In 2011 hydropower supplied 15.3% and other renewables just 9.3%. The share of fossil fuels has gone down from 48.6% in 2011 to 40.5% in 2014. Nuclear power has remained stable despite the German nuclear phase-out.

ENTSO-E net generation

Evolution of ENTSO-E net generation
(Source: ENTSO-E)

Another interesting chart on energy efficiency and economic growth is posted here discussing how electricity sector is going to change over the next few years.  

Slide 2: The comparison between economic growth and energy efficiency.

What I love is the following chart showing links between economic growth and energy efficiency:

EE economic growth for blog

Each color represents a country or region. As economies get richer, growth requires less power.It is difficult to really analyse underlying trends in this chart.  As can be seen, even Canada is becoming more energy efficient as its GDP per capita increases.

A better higher resolution graphic is at Bloomberg New Energy Finance somewhere at the BNEF new energy outlook.  I could not find it. It may be available only for subscribers.

Slide 3 (July 3, 2015):

One of the most common images that are being used to characterize the rise of carbon pricing, whether it be cap and trade and/or carbon tax is one which shows the number of countries with some form of carbon pricing.

Here is a map of the status of emission trading systems that I created for a client in 2011-12. Here, the light blue color indicates no emission trading systems and yellow and orange are planned systems.

Status of emission trading systems

The following map is from some analysis done by the World Bank in 2015 with carbon markets now valued at 50 billion, much of the yellow and orange now being implemented and with additional countries now planning carbon pricing.


Is climate change funny?

Did you hear the one about when the glacier and the rabbi went into the bar, well the rabbi was talking, the glacier melted away and did not make it!

Why did the chicken cross the road?  Well, with a carbon tax, there were no more cars, so he did not actually cross the road, he lived on it!

Is climate change funny, are you a comedian?

So far i have posted on the themes of imagination, the artist and imagining what the future could be and using the power of the human imagination to create a world where humanity addresses climate change.  This has included the visual as well as one play.  I have also been reading some clifi – climate fiction, although not yet posted about any of it.

The other day i got an email based on the list serve that i am part of about a contest hosted by the University of Colorado on climate change and comedy.

Here are the details – If you think you can do it- go for it and if you can think of good jokes, send them my way!


Inside the Greenhouse at The University of Colorado-Boulder are holding a comedy & climate change short video competition

1st place: $250 prize ~ 2nd place: $100 ~ 3rd place: $50

Humor is a tool underutilized in the area of climate change; yet comedy has power to effectively connect people, information, ideas, and new ways of thinking/acting.

In this call, we seek to harness the powers of climate comedy through compelling, resonant and meaningful VIDEOS – up to 4 minutes in length – to meet people where they are, and open them up to new and creative engagement.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize, and be shown during the upcoming ‘Stand Up for Climate: An Experiment with Creative Climate Comedy’ night on March 17 at 7:30pm on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado.

The event will feature a range of comedic approaches, including stand up comedy, sketch and situational comedy, and improv.

The primary audience will be University students along with members of the community in Boulder, Colorado (no age restrictions will be in place).

AWARD CRITERIA: Successful entries will have found the funny while relating to climate change issues. Each entry will be reviewed by a committee composed of students, faculty and graduate students at CU-Boulder.


(1)  1-2 page pdf description of entry, including

A. title of creative work,

B. names and affiliations of all authors/contributors,

C. contact information of person submitting the entry,

D. a statement of permissions for use of content, as necessary, and

E. a 100-word description of the work.

(2)  A link to the up-to-4-minute composition, posted on Youtube or
Vimeo or the like

ELIGIBILITY: must be a citizen of Planet Earth; work created since January 2015 is accepted; works must be less than 4 minutes in length, captured through video; CU-Boulder employees are not eligible


·        March 1: entries due to

·        March 14: applicants informed of decisions

·        March 17: winning entries shown at ‘Climate and Comedy’ night


Max Boykoff
Associate Professor
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies (CIRES) Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR) Environmental Studies Program Campus Box 488
tel: (303) 735-0451

Danielle K. Garrison
MFA Dance Candidate-Aerial Dance Track
University of Colorado-Boulder
Aerialist, Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher Artistic Director and Founder/DKG Dance Entertainment Coordinator and Performer/Frequent Flyers Productions, Inc.
Teaching Artist/Colorado Ballet
Tel: (708) 717-4891

This initiative is part of the Inside the Greenhouse project at CU-Boulder. More information is here:

This project acknowledges that, to varying degrees, we are all implicated in, part of, and responsible for greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. We treat this ‘greenhouse’ as a living laboratory, an intentional place for growing new ideas and evaluating possibilities to confront climate change through a range of mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Our project is also associated with the Spring 2016 ‘creative climate communications’ course (ENVS3173/THTR4173) at CU-Boulder.

Feeling Climate Change

Some more images of climate change and art – this time not from COP21 but from an event taking place in Miami called Art Basel.  I did see a tweet from Ed Burtynsky who i already did a blog about who is also down in Art Basel.

I became aware of this latest entry in the climate change art encyclopaedia (if I can call it that) from one of the many followers (ha!) of this blog (Thanks Martin).

Here is a great article from the NY Times about one of the exhibits and I love this quote “feel climate change in their guts, rather than just understand it.”

Fitting as well since Miami and Florida are one of the coast lines most at risk to rising sea levels from climate change.  I remember going to a conference on emissions trading in air pollution and staying at a new Trump hotel which had just been built in Florida about 100 m from the beach in the early 2000’s and thinking, has no-one here heard about climate change.  Maybe all the capitalists think that they will be bailed out by government money when the sea rises or maybe they only need the hotel and tourism sector to last for 20 years to make their money back.

Here is a set of images from Lars Jan and his website.

Holoscenes, a performance and installation piece by artist Lars Jan, at Miami Dade College, in Miami.

Enter a caption

A couple engaged in a duet as an aquarium fills and empties unpredictably, over and over, to symbolize the uncontrollable nature of climate change.


Street Artists in Paris – Stirring the Pot

With COP 21 going on right in Paris, all of the wires, social media feeds and email user groups are firing at all cylinders with all of the announcements and press releases around what everyone is doing on climate change. I thought I should contribute.

I am most certainly torn in many ways.  While policies and carbon pricing is needed to internalize all of the costs, a part of me still thinks that we actually need a cultural reset about our society and how we live.

Let me use just one example, if all of the cars are replaced with electric vehicles – will that solve the greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.  Well no, then we need to ensure that all of the power plants are not using fossil fuels and what about all of the new power plants and other electricity generating facilities that will have to be built, will they all be solar power and wind – I suppose they could be.

Then think of all of the energy and mining and disposal that has to go into the manufacture and recycling . repurposing of that technology. Maybe given enough time and human ingenuity and price increases, all of these issues can be solved with a technological fix, but in the next 30 years, I do not see that happening. I do try to describe one view of getting to a low carbon future in this previous blog post.

I have strayed from the intent of my blog today.  I mentioned that i was going to try and highlight the artistic perspectives on climate change.  As I mentioned many times already, I was not seeing much and as soon as I started looking, I was seeing more and more.

To return to COP 21, apparently there a bunch of fake ads going up in Paris be created by street artists with themes focussed on climate change all organized by Brandalism.  One of these is illustrating the extent of corporate involvement in COP 21, when corporations are often seen as one of the barriers to action and change.  Sure they will embrace incremental change, but we may need more than incremental change to actually address the climate change problem.  Then of course, as soon as they were up, the ad company who was also a sponsor of COP21 was taking them down.

Here is the article from Fastco. 

Here are some pictures of the posters ;



Burtynsky – the first artist to engage on human impact on the world?

As I start to research and think about the artistic impact on shaping our views on climate change and how these views are mobilizing action, one name which i had forgotten but who had been doing amazing photography work for a long time about the impacts of humans on the natural environment and capturing this in a grand scale is Edward Burtynsky,  He has been taking pictures of the oil sands, mining operations and many others for long time.  These have been presented in books and he does talks and shows tthroughout North America and Worldwide.

Go check him out here and I also have a view of his images below.

Oh and our new Minister of Environment and Climate Change has even called him out in a tweet! but of course I cannot find it!




A failure to imagine? Artistic expression and climate change

The mind works in mysterious ways.  As soon as I starting thinking about a topic and then I do a blog post about it, all of a sudden I see many examples of what i was pointing out in my blog post.  Of course in my blog post I was pointing out a lack of examples of artistic expression and climate change and now I am seeing them everywhere. Here is my first blog about a failure to imagine as part of the barrier to getting to a low carbon future.

As you can see at the bottom of the post and in some comments that I have added, I have found some people doing exactly what I was talking about re art and climate change.

Here is another one , a post from grist – an online magazine that discusses all things environmental with a focus on climate change.  In this case, it is an interview with Mary Iverson and her move from her traditional landscapes to starting to incorporate a dimension of climate change – re rising seas and a the expansion of the economy and trade via shipping containers.

Here is one image of one of her paintings from her website.


And speaking of grist, about a month after I first posted this, they published another article about stories about climate change being collected by medium.  Check them out here.  Based on all of this evidence, it looks like artistic expression is starting to address and think about climate change.

I will read some of these stories and maybe do some book / story reviews.  I am interested to see if there are any stories of a positive future or if they are all negative, fear based stories.

Happy reading

Risk categories and assessing the risks of climate change on investments

Climate Change Risk Assessment Matrix

The generation foundation  ( ) has published a paper on stranded assets and the risks of climate change to companies and investments.  It identifies three primary risk categories for investments, regulation, market forces and socio-political pressures.  They are summarized as follows in the allocating capital for long term returns paper.

Risk 1 – Regulation: Pending and future changes in laws and regulations that would affect carbon-intensive business models can take at least four forms: (a) Direct regulation that is globally coordinated or led by local, provincial, national, regional supra-national, or global authorities; (b) Indirect regulation affecting carbon-intensive assets through restrictions on pollution or water use, and measures aimed at addressing health impacts;(c) Mandates on renewable energy adoption as well as efficiency standards; (d) Impending regulations that create uncertainty for long-lived carbon-intensive assets.

  1. Direct Regulation: Regardless of whether carbon pricing manifests as a coordinated global response to the Carbon Budget or is enforced through national, regional, state or local carbon pricing or ‘cap and trade schemes’, the result would be a material shift in the valuation of carbon-intensive assets over a short period of time and hence the stranding of carbon assets.
  2. Indirect regulation: Increased pollution control, water-use restrictions, or policies targeting health related concerns, indirect regulation could negatively impact carbon-intensive business models.
  3. Renewable Energy and Efficiency Mandates: Mandates on renewable energy adoption as well as the implementation of efficiency standards can lead to the accelerated development and adoption of alternatives to carbon-intensive assets.
  4. Impending Regulation: A significant overhang of other impending regulatory actions creates uncertainty for long-lived carbon-intensive assets, and is likely to add to the pressures that will increasingly drive capital away from those assets.

Risk 2: Market Forces: Renewable technologies are becoming economically competitive with traditional energy sources in a number of countries, without the need for subsidies, because costs continue to decline. Cost competitiveness, combined with the ability to secure stable, long-term prices for power, and produce electricity through a distributed model, are driving increased allocation of capital away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.

Risk 3 : Socio-political pressures : In the absence of regulation, sociopolitical pressures could create an environment where carbon intensive businesses could lose their license to operate.

A guess the analysis is at least one place to start. However, generally I do not find these particularly useful,  First of all the focus is on the risk of regulation and effectively five of the subcategories are related to the risk of regulation.

While there are many definitions of risk ( ) oneof them is the probablility of an event happening times the impact of that event.  Assessing a particular investment simply based on the risk as outlined in the paper of the generation foundation does not tell us much.

Including a probability and impact assessment will address my other need for ensuring that some other risks including  the social values and license to operate receive more recognition.  This would be of course for companies and investments that are more exposed to these risks including companies which require infrastructure and/or rights of way to transmit / ship fossil fuel based energy.

In addition, in this risk analysis, there is no recognition of the costs of climate change to the business operations. How will the supply chain be affected, will there be increased shipping costs and other input costs, is the company exposed to any of the climate weather events that are starting to occur, will there be any costs associated with adapting to climate change etc.

The document also states a number of actions that investors should take,  One of these is that “at a minimum  investors should determine the extent to which carbon risk is embedded in their current and future investments. This can be achieved by considering the key drivers of a company’s asset base and revenue; reviewing the focus of its short- and long-term capital expenditure strategy; asking management how carbon risk might impact the company’s business model; and asking what steps have been taken – for example do they incorporate an unreported ‘shadow price’ on carbon when developing the business’ strategy?” (Generation Foundation. 2014. Stranded Carbon Assets – need to confirm the title). Using the risks identified in this paper, the risk analysis could look something like:

Stock Bond Project
Risk 1 – Regulation
Direct Regulation
Indirect Regulation
Mandates on Renewable energy adoption and efficiency
Impeding regulation that creates uncertainty
Risk 2: Market Forces
Renewable energy  price competitive
Risk 3 : Socio-political pressures
License to operate at risk

Including the probability and the impact:

In any one given scenario of the future when looking at the probability of that scenario as applied to one or more investments, the probability that regulation will take place should be the same. However the impact of that action will be different on the each option / investment / company.  Based on this analysis, the risk is effectively a proxy for the impact on a sector.

Only when assessing different political, economic and other scenarios would the probability vary.  For example, the probability of regulation would vary depending on which party was elected in that country or  the probability of a regulation would vary based on the which direction public opinion sits. In these cases, when looking at one investment in the two scenarios, while the probability would be different, the impacts of the regulation would be the same – again assuming only looking at the same investment across the two scenarios.

However, for sensitivity and resilience analysis comparing a set of investments across scenarios and applying a particular probability to a scenario may shed light on a better mix of set of investments based on analysis of a significant set of companies. Then investments could be made which are shown to be more resilient or have less risk than others in a world with potential for carbon regulation.  This would be similar to portfolio analysis done around other factors that can change and impact investments (e.g. interest rates, economic growth, sales targets etc.).

In addition much of the assessment will depend on the specific nature of the regulation.  For example will the carbon pricing regulation directly increase the price for producers or will it be applied at the consumption side.  Will it also be applied to fuel that is being exported or is that considered to be tariff-free? These details are not discussed and explored here.

In addition, in some cases these actions could have a negative or a positive impact.  This depends of course on the sector and the details of the regulation.

For example, if we used this risk assessment to assess a number of companies on a hypothetical level and very high level, here is what some of the results could be:

EV vehicle manufacturer/sales and distribution Fossil fuel Pipeline company
Risk 1 – Regulation
Direct Regulation Small negative impact:

Direct regulation would not directly affect the operations of the EV company but in locations where fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity, this could mean that the EV will cost more to fill up.

Medium negative Impact:

Since the pipeline company would be transporting fossil fuels, the demand for the fossil fuel could decrease based on the regulation.  This would not likely be a short term impact.

Indirect Regulation Zero impact Small negative impact:

Unlikely to have a greater impact that direct regulation

Mandates on Renewable energy adoption and efficiency Moderate positive impact: Depending on if the mandates including incentives for EV support.  Otherwise, small positive impact. Small negative impact:  Increased efficiency and renewable energy could affect demand and be a medium term impact.
Impeding regulation that creates uncertainty Small positive impact:

The threat of impending regulation could strengthen the business model of the EV company.

Small negative impact –

This would differ based on the fuel actually transported by the pipeline company

Risk 2: Market Forces
Renewable energy  price competitive Small positive impact:  Renewable energy could decrease the price of electricity making the case of EV vehicles stronger Small negative impact:  Where renewable energy directly competes with the fossil fuel energy in question. there could be a small decrease in demand.  However, different than electricity, there are no easy and scaled and readily available renewable alternatives to many fossil fuels in large amounts.  Biofuels and biomass are available but are also only available in small quantities.
Risk 3 : Socio-political pressures
License to operate at risk Zero impact: Small negative impact: While existing pipelines would continue to operate with little issue unless there was a spill, it would be difficult to get new pipelines and infrastructure

Costs of Climate Change in the North

Some areas which are reporting increased climate change costs include the  Department of Transportation of the Government of the Northwest Territories. In response to a question in the House, the government has identified 4 areas of increased costs associated with climate change including these potential areas;

  • Increased glycol use at airports for de-icing
  • development and purchase of ice spray technology for use on ferries
  • settlement of the Dempster Highway due to permafrost
  • increased road and gravel applications to highways
  • delayed opening of winter roads
  • extra frost and ice removal at the airport
  • purchase of ice penetrating radar to estimate ice thickness
  • increased highway maintenance costs
  • the need for climate change assessment and studies
  • Construction of test strips on highways
  • plus others

The government does state that it is difficult in some cases to attribute increased cost directly to climate change as some of these increased costs are about preparing and adapting and planning for climate change.  There are some interesting issues to pursue here in the future including the best practices for building in the north and the vulnerability assessment done of the airport.