The Texas Energy and Power Newsletter
Energy Capital Podcast
Solar, Storage, and the Texas Grid with Andy Bowman

Solar, Storage, and the Texas Grid with Andy Bowman

Andy Bowman joined me to break down why Texas is the best place to develop storage and solar, plus conversations on capitalism, a carbon tax, and more

For this week's episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Bowman. Andy has been developing renewable energy projects around the US for 25 years, which puts him back to the 1990s and some of the earliest wind projects in Texas. And while he's developed all over the US, he says ERCOT and Texas are his favorite place to develop. And we got into why.


Andy was the founder of Pioneer Green Energy and Renewable Generation Inc. and worked for E.ON, now RWE, and Entricity in executive roles. He's currently the CEO of Jupiter Power, an energy storage company backed by BlackRock, which currently operates 1,300 megawatt hours of grid scale battery projects and is developing another 11,000 megawatts worth of new projects from California to Maine and including in Texas. Andy also teaches a class at the University of Texas Law School called Climate Change and Entrepreneurialism. 

In his book, Andy notes that the potential for clean energy today is equal to that of coal and oil in the 1700s. We're at the start of a new age of energy, and Andy and I talked about what that will mean for Texas. We covered the economics of solar, and concerns on whether or not Texas solar will cannibalize itself and mitigate future growth in the industry. We also talked about rising demand in the form of data centers, carbon capture machines, electric vehicles, and lots of other large loads coming onto the system, which is currently having a transformative effect on the grid. And finally, we discussed whether or not capitalism is up to the task of dealing with climate change, an important conversation that is subject to endless debate.

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3:10 - About Andy and Jupiter Power

5:38 - Why Andy prefers the ERCOT market structure compared to other grids in the US

7:51 - Solar as a market dominant technology

12:16 - Financing and economics of solar; Power Purchase Agreements

25:01 - Scale of the energy transition and load growth

28:04 -  Large flexible loads and AI

32:28 - Capitalism’s role in addressing climate change

37:18 - Central planning vs market solutions 

42:16 - Lessons from history that can help us tackle the climate crisis; carbon budgets and pricing

47:43 - The Inflation Reduction Act

51:45 - Next generation solar and storage

54:31 - Current direction of the ERCOT grid; where it will be in 5-7 years

Show Notes

The West Texas Power Plant That Saved the World by Andy Bowman

Jupiter Power

I’m in Texas to see the future by Bill Gates

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector from the International Energy Agency

Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II by Arthur Herman

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The Texas Energy and Power Newsletter
Energy Capital Podcast
The Energy Capital podcast focuses on Texas energy and power grid issues, featuring interviews with energy professionals, academics, policymakers, and advocates.