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How can we mobilize innovation capability for the energy transition?

image credit: Image credit: Miguel Bruna @mbrunacr
Paul Hobcraft's picture
Innovation & Energy Knowledge Provider, Agility Innovation

I work as a transition advocate for innovation, ecosystems, within IIoT, and the energy system as my points of focus. I relate content to context to give greater knowledge and build the...

  • Member since 2020
  • 139 items added with 66,443 views
  • Sep 8, 2020

To mobilize our innovation capabilities and capacities for the energy system, they do have a compelling need to be purposefully marshaled for the future energy demands and the carbon-free world that is being demanded, and supportive of the commitments within the Paris climate accord.

We need to pursue, nurture, and see beyond as our three points of delivering change within the Energy transition. The combination of all three gives us the potential to navigate the energy transition we need. This energy system needs to move from today’s reliance of fossil fuels and antiquated infrastructure into one based on clean, sustainable, and renewable energy sources, delivered through a highly distributed infrastructure, designed for the final consumer of the energy.

Firstly, it is in the pursuit of advancing the Energy System beyond only what we have today.

It is in the imaginative design of a new energy system in its operations and technology applications. Ones that are innovative in their design, built on new business models that capture the consumers’ engagement to make a change and become more motivated to be involved.

The view is that the pace of innovation in the coming decades will depend mainly on the policies governments put in place today and the commitments made by the organizations involved.

Governments need to overhaul existing regulations and replace these with imaginative ones that take renewable energy as the central focus. It requires an energy system that purposefully integrates renewables into the infrastructure to deliver clean energy as the primary source of electricity, power, or heat.

Secondly, it is how we undertake how we nurture the essential parts.

Any change of this magnitude, moving from fossil fuel dependence to reliance on a sustaining source of renewable energy based on solar, wind, water, fusion, and biomass, will take decades. We need to nurture different technologies that will enable this in development steps. As we continue to recognize the long life-span of existing capital stocks, we need to find imaginative ways to balance and progressively shift sources of capital investment.

The shift is from further extending towards aligning and embracing renewable solutions. As we make any energy transition, we need to find ways to balance the current and phase in the new. It is the blending of the two that will give us a progressive and emerging clear pathway over time to decarbonize the energy sector. We need to encourage a more significant portfolio of low-carbon technologies, all moving along this transition pathway to eventual net-zero emission solutions.

Thirdly it is expanding beyond the known of today

We do need to look beyond the near-term horizon. The energy transition is a journey that will be over twenty to thirty years to complete.

I am a strong advocate of the three horizon methodology that recognizes we always need to plan for today’s energy needs (horizon 1) but we need to have clear goals of moving towards a net-zero final goal (horizon 3) and manage the interim (horizon 2) as a balance between maintaining the existing to position and explore the changes, in technologies, in breakthroughs, in experimentation that a different future requires.

Managing simultaneously in the three horizons requires a holistic approach to the management of comprehensive technology and energy system designs, to ‘account’ for all activities and understanding of the impacts and effects.

This three horizon framework can build a clear innovation enablement pathway.

This need to build out a comprehensive three horizon framework that has new market designs as central to any change is vital. A completed 3H structure determines resources, capital allocation capacities, and capabilities that will be required to put into place.

Knowing the sense of direction and the skills enable the understanding and validation of the different solutions in any changing infrastructure, technology application, and new ways of operating new and different energy systems. You can clarify ones that add value, provide a better solution set for energy transition stages that deliver on the ultimate goals of being fully decarbonized, built on clean, sustainable energy.

It is in this combination of pursuit, nurturing, and expanding our thinking through the thoughtful constructing of a vision built on knowledge, exploration, and understanding, that we can mobilize the changes needed.

There are so many places where innovation is essential within the Energy Transition, due to the magnitude, size, and complexity of the change needed. One of the most important catalysts for changing the energy system into a sustainable green one is by governments integrate clean energy innovation into the heart of their energy policymaking.

The powerful need is accelerating and consistently lobbying for the required changes, and offering a consistent clear demonstration that the innovative solutions can make the changes necessary. An energy system to provide affordable, sustainable, reliable, and modern energy systems in design that met consumption needs and choice

I see innovation as my critical part of transforming the energy system.

Much of my focus is on building out the value positioning through what innovates and changes the energy structure we have in place today.

The need for a rapid learning, knowledge sharing, and leveraging approach has become an increasing “sense of mission” for me, this is why I position myself as a transition advocate for innovation, ecosystems within the energy system.

It is how I leverage, approach, and explore, that is my current “struggle” to get right. I know clearly, we do need to mobilize innovation capability for the energy system, and I want to be part of that transformation.

Also, I know I can influence and shape by offering a “collective” perspective from research, knowledge, and practical understanding.

My Value Proposition is always focused on content, the context it needs to be applied, and the experience and knowledge to back it up.

I have within my constant “Northern Star” document the following:

“content is free and abundant, constantly available, yet the time we need to read it, to absorb it and then finally translate it into our personal need or requirement is not!”

The translation I seek to provide is to give appropriate meaning, it is a large part of my job, to translate information and knowledge into tangible value and provide impact and validation to make a compelling case for change.


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