New Energy Chinwag

Why's everyone talking about Hydrogen?

An episode of New Energy Chinwag

By John Massey & Charley Rattan
chinwag: noun. "a long and pleasant conversation between friends"
[example: "We had a good chinwag over a bottle of wine..."]
Informal but Informative - your guide to issues around the UK and global clean energy transition
More places to listen

More places to listen

Renewable Heat in the UK
In the week that the UK put into legislation its target to be "net zero" by 2050, we had a chat about the options for renewable heat. After all, without decarbonising heat, there is no chance of coming close to that target - heat in northern climates such as the UK is usually a much bigger energy user than is electricity. So can we decarbonise electricity and use that for heat, or should we be decarbonising the natural gas (methane) that currently provides most of the UK's heat supply? We discuss the options and some of the practicalities around their deployments.
June 29, 2019
The UK Energy Scene (Our wrap-up from "All-Energy" May 2019)
In May, we visited the All-Energy show in Glasgow, UK. It's just about the biggest clean energy show here in the UK, so a good event to catch the mood  of the industry and hear what they are talking about.  Regular listeners will have already listened to our preview of the show. So how close were we when anticipating what would be the key themes there? Now you can find out: here's our post-event wrap-up! (spoiler: we were pretty much on the money, but as always there were some interesting specifics and extras to highlight).
June 21, 2019
Offshore Wind: what does the future hold?
In this, the week that a parliamentary committee recommended that the UK set a target for the country to be zero-carbon by 2050, we focus on offshore wind. Without a vast increase in our usage of the latter, such a target stands no chance of being reached. So offshore wind will be crucial to the UK's future energy mix and its economy, and represents a tremendous opportunity to become a world leader in this sector. So what's happening in offshore wind? As well as chatting through some of the current technological and deployment trends, we also indulge in some crystal-ball gazing to imagine where it might be heading in future - and who might drive it, including great opportunities for diversifying oil and gas companies. Enjoy! Feedback and comments always welcome, so get in touch with us via or
May 6, 2019
All-Energy 2019 (Glasgow): here's what we'd like to hear about
Both John Massey and Charley Rattan (together, Astute New Energy) will be at the All-Energy conference and exhibition again in Glasgow, in the middle of May. In this New Energy Chinwag, we chat about the kind of topics we're going there hoping to find out more about - and the ones we think the industry will (or should) be focusing on. Let's see if we're proven right! If you want to meet up there, then either get in touch via LinkedIn (via the links in our names above), or at Astute New Energy.
April 18, 2019
Energy and the "Internet of Things"
In this episode, Charley Rattan & John Massey chat about the growth of connected energy, smart grid, energy Internet of Things (IoT) - call it what you will... What does this actually mean, what impacts might it have on the industry and on energy users, and where are we with it currently.  As always, we'd welcome your views, news or feedback - so please contact either of us via LinkedIn or at
April 18, 2019
Why's everyone talking about Hydrogen?
There's recently been lots of talk recently about the role of hydrogen in decarbonising energy systems. So, is the "hydrogen economy" back on the agenda? If so, how will hydrogen be produced and for which applications? Is it really low-carbon?  In this latest chinwag, we briefly run through some of these questions and outline the key issues involved in taking hydrogen forwards; including how hydrogen might fit into the energy mix alongside other growing sectors such as offshore wind, and how it provides a way to decarbonise while linking the different sectors of power, transport and heat.
March 7, 2019
Offshore wind... onshore
Most discussions around offshore wind focus on giant turbines, fixing foundations to the seabed and fancy cable-laying vessels. So it's easy to forget that all that offshore work is pointless without also delivering those crucial aspects of an offshore project which lie on land.  In particular that means connection into the onshore grid, but also sites for construction and O&M. As with any onshore project, key stakeholders (and their preferences or objections) will play a big role in determining how this onshore part of an offshore wind project plays out.
February 25, 2019
Welcome to Astute's "New Energy Chinwag" podcast!
The first podcast from Charley Rattan and John Massey, who together are "Astute New Energy".  In this episode we have a general chat about the differing fortunes of offshore wind and nuclear power here in the UK. Both provide important sources of low carbon power from huge power generation projects. Yet one is booming and seeing its costs plummet, while the other is beset by delays, high costs and investor disinterest. Why the difference? It's not a story simply of technology and money, but one where supply chain, policy and industrial strategy issues will all play major roles. Forgive some first-effort 'quirks' (barking dog anyone...) and feel free to get in touch with any comments or suggestions for our future discussions.
February 16, 2019
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