Artwork for podcast The Keep Cool Podcast
E69: Understanding the full scope of the Loan Programs Office with Arpita Bhattacharyya
Episode 692nd July 2024 • The Keep Cool Podcast • Nick Van Osdol
00:00:00 00:48:00

Share Episode


Nick is joined by Arpita Bhattacharyya, Chief Climate Officer at the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office, where she helps understand common barriers that slow down deployment in the Loan Programs Office's $200+ billion portfolio of deals. Her work also entails understanding the community engagement, equity, and communication considerations necessary to develop and fund new programs and projects, like the LPO's Tribal Energy Financing Program. Specifically, Nick and Arpita discussed:

  1. Tribal Energy Finance Program: Arpita shares insights into the Tribal Energy Finance Program, highlighting how the LPO provides specific technical assistance for tribes across the country to develop new clean energy projects like solar and storage microgrids to enhance energy resilience and sovereignty. Nick and Arpita also discuss the success of the Viejas microgrid project as a template for future tribal energy initiatives.
  2. Industrial Decarbonization: Nick and Arpita delve into the challenges and opportunities inherent to industrial decarbonization, focusing on sectors like low-carbon cement and steel. Arpita emphasizes the need for patient capital and innovative solutions. We also discuss how the federal government's investments in industrial decarbonization projects signal a shift towards a more holistic energy transition and a broader lens of sustainability.
  3. Community Engagement and Communication: Arpita highlights the foundational importance of effective community engagement for the entirety of the energy transition.


00:03:23 - Arpita's Background in Climate Work

00:05:12 - Role at the Loan Programs Office

00:06:31 - Disambiguation of Government Offices and the Department of Energy's Mandate

00:10:03 - Work at the Loan Programs Office in 2024

00:12:08 - Tribal Energy Finance Program Stewardship

00:17:39 - Viejas Microgrid Project Overview

00:22:10 - Templatizing Solar and Storage Projects

00:25:07 - Addressing Program Challenges

00:30:03 - Speeding Up the Loan Programs Office Process

00:36:02 - Communicating Energy Transition Benefits

00:40:05 - Challenges in Industrial Decarbonization

Don't miss out on this podcast if you're interested in learning more about the state of climate tech, the energy transition, and the DOE's Loan Programs Office in said transition. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, Google, or your favorite podcast platform.

Learn more about the Loan Programs Office and projects like the Viejas Tribe microgrid on their website: +

If you love listening to The Keep Cool Show, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast:

Thank you so much.

Plus, stay up-to-date on all things Keep Cool here: and follow Nick on Twitter: and LinkedIn:


Nick: All right, Arpita, welcome to the Keep Cool podcast. It's wonderful to have you.

Arpita: Awesome. Great to be here. Excited to chat.

Nick: Yeah, likewise. Why don't we just go ahead and get started with a little bit on your background, and then I'm excited to talk about a lot of the ins and outs of the work that you're leading at the Loan Programs Office.

Arpita: Absolutely. So great to be on this podcast. So I've been working in climate for the last 15 years. Even going back to high school, I remember having folks in our Environmental Club dress up as Captain Planet for Earth Day and all that. So to be at this point is very exciting. So my career has you know, taken me from energy and climate policy here in DC back in Waxman-Markey days to then going into renewable energy finance at Credit Suisse for a quick stint to just learn investment banking and then into project finance at SunPower doing commercial project solar development, which is very fun. But as I know probably a lot of your listeners and you know, Solar Coaster is ever present and we're seeing some more of that happening now. So it's fun to be part of that ride. And then I actually went and did a stint in the startup world. I wanted to understand how startups create a market. for new products. And so I went to Impossible Foods, which is a very unique climate product when you're thinking about low emission food. And that was a really interesting moment to think about, okay, can you make it easier for people to live a lower carbon life and had a lot of lessons there. And then I had the opportunity to come into the climate, into the Biden administration. So I started as chief of staff to the deputy secretary working within the Office of the Secretary on things across the board. I had no idea before coming to the Department of Energy how large we are, how big our mandate is. And it was great to get that vantage point and really work with our colleagues in Congress and the White House to think through the Inflation Reduction Act. as well as then going straight into implementation mode. And with that pivot, I was really excited to get back into the program office, which is the Loan Programs Office, and actually start executing. And it's been a really fun couple of years at the Loan Programs Office.

Nick: Awesome. Yeah, there's so much in there that could probably do a podcast on each step of the journey. You know, in a separate one, I'd probably be really curious to pick your brain about what working at Impossible Foods was like and sort of whether reducing demand for meat is a lever that we can expect to kind of pick up more in coming years or not. Hopefully it is. I know there's lots of folks also working on the like reduce methanogenesis in cows, but I always come back to the fact it's like, well, you could also reduce the number of cows on the planet just in general, but side point.

Arpita: I definitely have opinions about it, so happy to chat casually too, not podcast about it, because I think it's fascinating.

Nick: Nice. Yeah, I may well take you up on that. I think before we start to dig into some of the work at the LPO, which I'm really excited to, maybe even just for listeners who aren't as familiar with all of the different sort of sides of government that you've touched and that are instrumental in accelerating deployment of the IRA and stuff like that, maybe just even a little bit of disambiguation of what some of these different offices are. and what they focus on would probably be something that even I'd find helpful, but I'm sure that listeners would find helpful.

Arpita: So I think quick step back on civics lesson of like why government exists, because sometimes you have to have that zoom out to say the reason you want government to invest is that private capital markets alone would not be making investments that are going to be critical to our national security, to big existential threats like climate change, to American competitiveness. Department of Energy really tackles all of those pieces, all the way from basic R&D to commercially ready technologies here at the Loan Programs Office. So that's what I have come to love about this department. It's like every single valley of death, every single technology readiness level, there's an office to support you. So some of the whether it be COVID vaccines, or some of the early stage battery technologies, early stage solar came from some of our national labs, which is funded by the Office of Science. So really, you know, some of that basic research getting into actually technology that's made all the way there. Then you have the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office that used to be sort of the pillar of both applied technologies as well as a bit more of that deployment arm. What we did when I was in the Office of the Deputy Secretary is we realized that for the amount of money that was going to be coming to the Department of Energy, we really need to build out this deployment arm. So we created the full undersecretary of infrastructure, and we now have offices that are a little bit more further down the technology readiness level. Think of first-of-a-kind demonstrations and Office of Clean Energy demonstrations, manufacturing energy supply chains, that's also a little bit further along, as well as Office of Indian Energy, which is a deployment arm of the funding that we have going to tribes. We have Deployment Office. Obviously, the grid is such a huge backbone, and we're not going to get anywhere without doing those fundamental investments into the grid. So, a lot of those might be right before you are able to get to commercial scale, before you've demonstrated. Once you've demonstrated, we get to come in, Loan Programs Office. I did miss one key office in there that threads this together, which is ARPA-E. So, think of ARPA-E co-funding with Series A, you know, pre-seed investments as well to really launch, take the technology from the lab into these other technology readiness levels. And it's so cool to see all that happening. And one of my big goals in this role has been like, we have to stitch this all together so it all works. And some will have the investments in RPE and won't need us later, which is great. That's the whole point. All of these offices should be working towards leveraging private capital and actually creating the market for a lot of these clean energy technologies.

ok at, for instance, solar in:

Arpita: Exactly. And it's so fun to see that, you know, solar technology that was spawned there, you know, is now being funded through some of our projects, which is like really cool to see that full life cycle.

e work that you're leading in:

Arpita: So my role here as Chief Climate Officer is to figure out that this huge portfolio and pipeline that we have, over $200 billion in deals across technology spaces, what are some of the common barriers that slow us down in terms of deployment? And so a couple of these things I think folks have heard about, whether it be NEPA, that is a very important act to help protect communities, environmental spaces, to think about the impact that any development does have on lands that we are building this huge infrastructure on. So it's super important. But there are also, we've come such a long way in thinking about how do we think about commercial solar development or some of these established technologies to do it in a safe way that ensures that the community is bought in, that we're working together on it. So we work closely with Permanent Interior as well as our BLM colleagues. to really think through how do we ensure that the process that we have for NEPA makes sense for the companies and the scale that we're trying to reach for climate. The other one will be tied together with all of the administration priorities around good paying jobs. So we work really closely with the Department of Labor as we're thinking about all of the battery manufacturing money that we've put out, the huge loans there, and making sure these projects are coming with really good jobs. But all of this needs a lot of coordination because the Department of Energy received a lot of money through the bipartisan infrastructure law and Inflation Reduction Act, but a lot of these agencies didn't. And then I took on temporary stewardship of our tribal energy finance program over the last six months. And the key there, and I know we're going to talk about it more, was to really prove out this program. And it's been an exciting ride to be able to take this great team that we built and really push towards the outcomes that we wanted, including getting our first conditional commitment out for the Viejas tribe.

Nick: On the first point too, I think it's quite interesting. I think from the outside looking in, sometimes folks who are, you know, deeply conscious and concerned about climate issues and also conscious of all the different challenges that we face right now in terms of scaling infrastructure and accelerating decarbonization in the United States, they see some of the headline numbers around how much money there is to deploy. And then sometimes they look at what has been allocated and they say, gee, I wish like the LPO could move more quickly or what have you, you know, whatever the potential kind of frame of the curiosity or the question is. But, you know, two things that you mentioned stood out to me. For one, as we've sort of hit on, the coordination across agencies is its own major effort, but also not purely just thinking about how can we build new infrastructure as quickly as possible and decarbonize as quickly as possible, but also all these other variables that are important to consider, like what is the community level impact beyond, you know, purely, is this gonna reduce greenhouse gas emissions somewhere? Things like, is it actually good for the community that whatever infrastructure, say a transmission line might run through, is it gonna create jobs? Or is this gonna be another case where the community feels like it's sort of getting railroaded and not getting as much benefit out of it as they might like or should, frankly?

Arpita: Yes, agreed. And we have this really big mandate. I think the Biden administration, and all our policymakers came in with this very large ambition to not only yes, reduce emissions, but renew our nation's infrastructure, rebuild domestic manufacturing, create millions of jobs, address climate change, and then increase our competitiveness, and then at the same time, ensure that all communities that have been disadvantaged by the energy transition in the past are able to actually participate in this clean energy transition. And that is a huge mandate. And it's really difficult, but I think we are chipping away at it. And like the thing that keeps me up at night is that last piece, because for me, it's both we should, in the communities that we're actually putting projects, we need to work with those communities. So that's absolutely a part of it. But then also coming from the private sector and thinking of all the complexity and expertise for these really complicated financial structures, you know, whether it be like tax equity or taking advantage of these seven credits or these, you know, let's match this grant with this other USDA program, all of that financing and the stacking and how to do that efficiently. There's a sort of small group of people who know how to do this well. And how are we actually going to get all the communities who should be like co-investors in this transition to both like understand a lot of those mechanisms or partner with folks who are able to help them wade through this amazing opportunity, but really complicated. And I would love, love if we as a federal government and we owe this to the public, we're able to lay out how this all works together much better, but we are so heads down getting the money out. So I think it'll be, I know it'll shake out, But I think we're going to need more partners who are able to bring in, whether it be tribes, whether it be other communities or a diverse set of investors to come in and be part of this. Otherwise, it's going to be sort of the same players figuring out the financial instruments to continue to be the ones who are able to take advantage of that. And I think we're going to have to keep thinking about how to help communities understand the opportunity.

Nick: Yeah, it's interesting how often in my, it's kind of an interesting dichotomy, but how often in my exploration and research and storytelling, I come across that similar conclusion of like at the end of the day, sometimes it is really small teams of people who understand all of the intricacies of any given project or any given process sufficiently well to be able to do it in a diligent way. That's also not to say that to your point, there aren't ways to then kind of combine forces between those groups of small teams that might be developing a technology or know how to finance something with lots of other folks and kind of broaden the conversation. I think, you know, it's a great opportunity now to shift into talking to, you know, you've mentioned how to thoughtfully do all this work and still be responsive to the needs and what, you know, some previously disadvantaged communities deserve. And I think talking more about the work that you've done with tribes and with projects on that front recently is a great way to kind of provide people with concrete examples of what that work looks like. So yeah, why don't we transition a little bit into talking about the Viejas project and how some of that work came together and what you're excited about on the heels of it, because I'm imagining it can also stand as sort of an example that can ideally be copied to success in other areas.

Arpita: I think it can and very excited to talk about this project. So to do a quick zoom up and back about the Department of Energy and our history with tribes, I started to learn about this as I traveled with the deputy secretary meetings tribes across the country, particularly at our nuclear waste sites. The Department of Energy came into being with the Manhattan Project and everything that came after that. Many of our labs have a very proud history of the research that they were able to do and continue to do on this new energy transition. However, we have to grapple with the history of the way that tribes were treated in that process and the ongoing conversations we have with tribes across our department. And so take that lens and then think about coming to tribes with like, hey, do y'all want a loan from us? It's a hard thing to think about and really make the case for, especially when there's a lot of grant money out there for tribes in the clean energy space as well. So it's a super interesting program in that way that has so much potential and we're really trying to tap into that potential, but also just making sure that we're not doing, what is that square peg round hole? Like, hey, you want to do this project? This is definitely the solution. It might not be, but let's figure out together what the solution is. It's just a little bit of context.

Nick: Yeah, great.

gy Loan Guarantee Program. In:

Nick: Yeah, love it. I am, especially in thinking about a few pieces I'll try to weave together here, but especially in thinking about how to, well, first of all, congrats on the first loan out of this program. Super exciting and super impactful, I'm sure. And in terms of thinking about how to templatize it and do it again, I'm sure that you know, getting the first loan out and developing the first project goes a long way in sort of building trust, which is probably one of the more important things I imagine to then going and doing it again. I'm curious in sort of the community engagement and coalition building that went into getting this first project off the ground, what were some of the questions that folks at the community level pushed you all on? Because I'm sure that there were lots of thoughtful, ones that came up in the process. But yeah, I would just be curious for a little bit of color of like, what were some folks on the tribal side, most curious, or perhaps even most cautious about?

Arpita: Absolutely. And I think I will take it a bit on the critiques folks have had on our, this program overall and how we're thinking about addressing those challenges. So first of all, I think one of them I spoke to a bit where you're trying to take this instrument that is excited about a hundred million dollar plus deals that are for, you know, ready to scale up and building that bridge to bankability. And you're trying to take that system and shift it to what we're trying to do here, which might be a bit smaller and repeatable. So that is one thing that we've really tried to push on. Where can we make this easier? So we don't have application fees for the Tribal Energy Finance Program. We have built out and are thinking through how we provide very specific technical assistance for our program. It's very different than if you are doing a feasibility type study for like, okay, let's think about our energy vision. and how we want the next 20 years to look like, we do have an office, Office of Indian Energy, that will provide that. What we need to provide is a very specific, okay, you have a site in mind, and you have a, you know, you know your load, let's work with you to figure out, like, what's next? And how do you actually get from that to being to a place where you're ready for debt financing, which is just so different than being able to use grants and being able to or just, you know, get equity in the market or figure out other ways to fund it. So that's a big piece of feedback that we've gotten where it's like it's too complicated. Only people who've ever done this type of debt financing before are going to be able to participate. And you all need to make this plug and play. So that's a big piece of feedback. And I think the other big piece of feedback we get is We're not doing $100 million loans. Can you do smaller? So we've thought a little bit about that. An interesting note on that, which I have a lot of hope for, is the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So I'm really excited about the money that's coming. out of that, a lot of money has actually gone to tribes and to the native CDFI network, which is really exciting. And it'll be cool to see if there is a way for filling those gaps of the smaller projects that we're just not able to finance because we're not made for it. So those will be really exciting to see if we can expand out and have all these like instruments work together. So yes, you do a feasibility study off out of Opposite Union Energy. Then let's come talk to us and see if there's a real project here that we can start moving forward.

Nick: And as we look ahead to the rest of the year, even beyond the rest of the decade, I'm curious what you're most keenly focused on in terms of project deployment. As we've talked about, I'm sure it's leveraging this model that's now been proven out once and trying to do it umpteen more times. But maybe there are also some other focal areas and types of projects that you're also keenly interested in supporting.

Arpita: So the other piece that we really want to make sure we address is the residential side. So you can imagine the bigger microgrid, bigger solar storage, more commercial. There is a lot of home, unelectrified homes on tribal lands still. And I do think it is a goal of our administration to just figure out the different mechanisms that could address that. One of them could be a virtual power plant. So I think you know that we offered a $3 billion conditional commitment to Sonoba, which is a virtual power plant, the first that we've done. So again, just distributed energy resources, figuring out how we can actually put solar on roofs and impact daily lives of the folks living on reservation land. So that's one sector we're really trying to think through. And if there's a way to help package together to make it work for our program, because truly that's when you talk about Justice40 and thinking about how we meet these equity goals, actually getting people electricity is going to be big. And so that's sort of the next frontier. And we just need to think about what makes the most sense there and figure out the structures that work and very excited. We've already had a lot of developers come to us with different ideas. And we just need to keep that coming and think through how you bring in that direct pay. And then how do we potentially fund like a portfolio of projects for residential solar for tribal communities.

Nick: This is a question that I think we've sort of circled around and that I've, I've introduced a little bit so far, but you know, just to dig into it a little bit more. Specifically, I think, as I've said, there are folks, especially on sort of the climate side or people who sit more on the private sector and maybe operate companies, what have you, develop projects that look at how much money the government has or look at how much money even the LPO has to deploy. And they say, that's fantastic. And we love the conditional commitments that you've made. But given the urgency of the climate crisis, this all needs to move 10 times faster. And I've gotten some good color on this in speaking with folks who have actually received funding from the LPO and who've spoken really highly about the process and who kind of reflected to me how much work there is on sort of the tech and innovation and project development side in terms of like retiring key risks before you're actually ready to work with the LPO. But I'm curious how you would add to that kind of conversation and how you think about it and what you all are doing in order to move a bit faster, because I'm sure it's something that you all think about as well.

investment money that we call:

Nick: Love it. Yeah, something that Jigar said to me in a recent conversation, but he kind of frames it as like trying to create flywheels of irreversible momentum for different technologies. And I thought that was a very artistic and cool phrase for that catalysis. Well, I'm excited to watch the progress unfold over the next year and to keep people apprised of it. Zooming out a little bit, and this might feed into what we were just talking about, but I'm curious what else, whether on the policy landscape or other, you are watching really closely right now, excited about, or perhaps some of the answer to this question is also just other things that you think your office and the folks that you work with could be doing a better job of just to bring people along with the journey and help them understand how everything works.

Arpita: High level, I don't think you can be on an energy podcast right now without talking about load growth. And obviously, all of that, you know, concerns that we are thinking about with the first time that we're going to really accelerate in terms of the load that we're adding to the grid. and the resilience of that grid and being able to actually handle all of that. So that is obviously something that we think about a lot, especially as we look at our pipeline and think through, you know, the projects and think through the speed at which we need to actually move. So that's definitely something. we think about a lot. And I think what I would say as a corollary to that or something we need to do better is like people, especially with electricity, they'll only notice something when things go wrong or if their prices go up or cost goes up. And so we need to do a better job and we've really started. And I think our secretary, Secretary Graham, was such a good communicator about this. We need to though keep showing people how they can save money and whether it be with the heat pump or solar incentives or all the various incentives they have. And we need to just ensure that people understand that this is like a unique moment and that like, we've been able to make a lot of progress. At the same time, I don't know how much those wins land. Like maybe people don't care that we made the grid more resilient because it has an impact on their life, you know, so that's the thing I struggle with where I'm like, we need to figure out how to communicate this, or at the very least, make sure that people are able to save money and understand what's out there to help them because it's, you just don't think about energy, you don't think about electricity on a day to day and that's good. we sort of wanted to be that way, right? Because the harder we make this transition, the harder like the more people are going to resist it. So there's this weird balance of like, let's tell you about all the things we've done, but not tell you and you so you won't notice that we're actually making this change without you having to make a change in your lifestyle, which sort of goes back to the my time at impossible foods where it's like, can we make an experience for you that is similar to your day to day experience of eating a burger? and without you really having to change yourself or your lifestyle.

Nick: Right. Yeah, it is an interesting push and pull, because to your point, yeah, you don't want folks to necessarily have a different day-to-day experience of electricity, for instance. But at the same time, you do sort of want to shout from the rooftops, like, we put a lot of time and effort into this, and it's really important for X, Y, Z reasons, and it's really good for X, Y, Z reasons. And so, yeah, I can appreciate how that's some complicated ground to tread at times.

Arpita: Yeah, I mean, we wouldn't have succeeded if somehow we do the full clean energy transition and the day-to-day consumer has all the benefits or has not noticed at all. And yeah, to your point, you work so hard and it's funny to be like, and if you guys don't notice anything, great.

particularly excited about in:

Arpita: I'm really excited about industrial decarbonization. So for some reason, I get very excited about low carbon cements or steel or these really, really difficult places to decarbonize. So it was cool to see the historic investment that our Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations made, $6.3 billion. into various different industrial decarb projects, including a factory that makes mac and cheese, like thinking about industrial decarb as both food, but also low carbon cement and steel. And so this is going to be a really interesting challenge. And I was on a panel at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance with some of the VCs who are looking at the space. It's super hard, like building things not proven that take a very long time and require patient capital and that like, are you're going to have to be incumbents is so difficult. And obviously, that's on the clean energy side, more broadly, but it's interesting to see the broader industrial decarb space at this early phase where you're just I'm just excited for all of them. I hope they all succeed. It's just a very fun space to watch and excited to see what lands and what we're actually able to do. I think on the low carbon cement side, you know, the federal government is going to be probably the main off taker because our government's going to be building the most buildings in the next, you know, however many years. And so that's also fascinating. So I've been thinking about that a little bit. And it's been fun to see.

Nick: Yeah, I have to be careful with getting my stats correct too, but I think the federal government is something like 50% of demand for concrete or cement, one of the two, in the US already. So that makes perfect sense that they'd be the right customer for a variety of reasons, not just because of the scale of their demand. I'm also always curious to try and make some of this appreciable to folks listening in. When you think about how any given individual, regardless of their role or exposure to all this content in their work can also help make an impact? How do you think about that?

Arpita: So on the individual level, I always struggle with this question, because we go back to this idea, like, don't change anything, and we'll, we'll make your life lower carbon. But I think the one thing as a broader theme and piece of advice I got from a mentor back in college was like, either go work at a place that makes something, or at least understand how things are made. Because I think it like physical things like physical, like, whether it be solar panels, or whatever that might be, because you just realize how difficult it is to build here in the United States, or more generally, and that a lot of the work that needs to happen is going to have to be us trudging through some of these complex manufacturing difficulties and challenges. And so I think for the individual consumer, like maybe understanding that, again, doesn't necessarily help the climate cause. But then when you sort of see whether it be, you know, EV manufacturing or battery manufacture, all these things that are taking federal resources, taxpayer money, and your thinking about the bigger ecosystem, hopefully makes us all a little bit more both patient and willing to work together through this really difficult transition, and just allows us to get really excited again about this idea of building things in the US again, and really building that factoring base. It's a little bit not just on every consumer mind, but I think it's always just fun. I remember going to a waste treatment plant when I was in second grade, and I was just like, oh, all of our waste and all these things go somewhere. Our lives are like, very physical things that everything has to go somewhere. It's like without law of physics, like matter can never be created or destroyed or something. But just like some of these concepts of like, this is always going to be there, we just have to figure out how to make it more efficient, I think is helpful.

Nick: Yeah, I agree. I think, you know, there's so much stuff that's intent somewhat intentionally to solve what we've talked about out of sight out of mind, whether it's electricity generation or what happens to water that sort of mysteriously enters your home and then leaves it again, or your trash. In New York, for instance, a lot of our trash gets burned, but some of it also gets put on a train and then taken to a landfill in South Carolina. Once you start to learn a little bit more about these things, A, it's a great way to re-engage and get more curious about the world, but then sometimes you also see things where you're like, If enough people looked at this, maybe we'd all conclude that there might be a better way to do some of it. And so, I agree with you. I think that's something that can sort of be catalyzed by more folks having access to that information and good entry points to get educated about it, and then also taking an interest in it.

Arpita: I think also having family in India where a lot of these things are not guaranteed, whether it be their, you know, electricity going out every so often because they're doing load shedding or water or any of these things. It's just taking a moment to be like, this is sort of miraculous. I always can take it. warm shower or any of these things is, I think, usually keeps me pretty grounded. And then also thinking about I mean, and this is the thing that truly keeps me in the climate game is, you know, even right now, I think the temperatures in Calcutta, where my family's from is like 120 degrees, no AC. And then like, we're talking about like, Oh, but please, like, don't, you know, increase your emissions, India, right? No, they need AC is like, let's figure it out, let's make them, you know, low greenhouse gas, but we cannot, like, it's just a very complicated landscape. And we have to figure out how to make people's lives better, both on I think, the domestic side. And then on the international side, it's a very different scale. But I'm just excited to see all the technologies that we're deploying here. And innovating here also, hopefully making an impact on the international landscape as well.

Nick: Yeah, it's a great perspective. And, you know, to bring it back to cows one more time, I think about that with respect to a place like India a lot, too. It's like India has more cows than any other country in the world. But it'd be a very different conversation to say, like, oh, we should try to reduce the size of herds that are industrially farmed in the US. And I think a lot of us can get on board with that. But then if you look at India, where most of those cows aren't even bred for beef, and they're very much like a core, probably one of the better kind of like economic mobility tools for a lot of the people out there. It's like, you know, would you rather, you might not have access to a stock market or a bank account, but like a cow that can literally withstand a storm and provide you with usable products. Like it's a very different conversation to go to those farmers and be like, oh, you know, we need to reduce methane emissions globally. We can't have these cows anymore. It's not quite that simple. Exactly. Yeah. Beautiful. All right. Well, thanks so much, Arpita, for a very wide ranging conversation. And thank you for the work that you do. I think it's easy for, again, whether it's electricity or water or folks like yourself working behind the scenes to make a lot of really cool projects happen. It's easy for it to sort of go without fanfare. So much appreciated. And I look forward to continuing to watch what you all fund and support in the coming year.

Arpita: Yeah, it was so good to chat with you.

Nick: Thanks for tuning in. So you don't miss the next episode on another cutting edge climate tech, make sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple, Google, or wherever it is that you get your podcasts. We'll see you soon.





More from YouTube