Ep13: Morgan Bazilian 'Poet of the low carbon transition'


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How to estimate amount of oil produced in Syria by Daesh using satellite photos of night time lights? How, using the same technique, can we measure reliability of access to energy? How to provide reliable and affordable energy for all? And when will we be digging cobalt on Mars?

Our Episode 13 guest, Morgan Bazilian, covers it all!


Morgan Bazilian is the Director of the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, where he is also a Professor of public policy. Previously, he was lead energy specialist at the World Bank. He has over two decades of experience in the energy sector and is regarded as a leading expert in international affairs, policy and investment. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Morgan has written over 140 papers – in publications ranging from Nature to Foreign Affairs. Not to mention his book “Analytical Methods for Energy Diversity and Security” is a part of quite a few syllabi.

Morgan Bazilian with over two decades of experience in the energy sector under his belt is a leading voice on international affairs, policy and investment.

He comes from Connecticut and began his career as a mountain guide. In 1994 he started working as an energy analyst and moved to Australia to pursue a Ph.D. soon after that. This was not the end of his travels, but rather the beginning. He advised the Irish government and taught at University College Dublin. He then become the EU’s lead negotiator on low-carbon technology at the United Nations climate negotiations.

In 2009 he joined the UN to work with Kandeh Yumkella (who will be our guest on episode 16 of Cleaning Up) on the Sustainable Energy for All programme. In 2014 he became the Lead Energy Specialist at the World Bank and spent four years there.

Throughout all this Morgan was also active in academia. His past affiliations include (but are not limited to): Columbia University, Cambridge University, the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Morgan holds degrees from University of Michigan, University of Colorado Boulder and University of New South Wales.

Morgan is also a published author of short stories and poetry.

Key links:

Morgan’s bio at the Colorado School of Mines


Morgan Bazilian on Wikitia


Analytical Methods for Energy Diversity and Security (A tribute to the work of Dr. Shimon Awerbuch)


Eulogy for American exceptionalism (7 July 2020)


Re-Structuring American Foreign Policy Post-Trump (6 August 2020)


COVID-19 is a reminder that interconnectivity is unavoidable (12 March 2020)


How do we design an inclusive energy transition? (March 2019)


The way the world produces and consumes energy is changing. How can we meet the needs of the future? (March 2017)


New Policies Needed to Advance Space Mining


Papers on which Morgan and Michael are co-authors:

Re-considering the economics of photovoltaic power (Renewable Energy 2013)

Morgan Bazilian, Ijeoma Onyeji, Michael Liebreich, Ian MacGill, Jennifer Chase, Jigar Shah, Dolf Gielen, Doug Arent, Doug Landfear, Shi Zhengrong


Open source software and crowdsourcing for energy analysis (Energy Policy 2012)

Morgan Bazilian, Andrew Rice, Juliana Rotich, Mark Howell, Joseph DeCarolis, Stuart Macmillan, Cameron Brooks, Florian Bauer, Michael Liebreich


Accelerating the Global Transformation to 21st Century Power Systems (The Electricity Journal 2013)

Bazilian, M., Miller, M., Detchon, R., Liebreich, M., Blyth, W., Futch, M., Modi, V., Jones, L., Barkett, B., Howells, M., MacGill, I., Kammen, D.M., Mai, T., Wittenstein, M., Aggarwal, S., O'Malley, M., Carvallo, J.P., Welsch, M., Pugh, G., Weston, R., Arent, D.J.


Examples of Morgan’s creative writing

My Little Boy is Sitting on Flowers




About Cleaning Up

Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development.

Each episode covers the technical ground on some aspect of the low-carbon transition – but it also delves into the nature of leadership in the climate transition: whether to be optimistic or pessimistic; how to communicate in order to inspire change; personal credos; and so on.

And it should be fun – most of the guests are Michael’s friends.

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Links to other Podcast Platforms: https://www.cleaningup.live/

28 episodes