Seeing the Energy Transition in Different Horizons and Innovative Ways

The majority of my recent work has been in investigating and building a comprehensive understanding of the #energytransition.

It is, to say at the very least, complex and challenging, but for me, satisfying and rewarding. Let me briefly explain how I am going about this and why. Why am I seeing the energy transition in different horizons and innovative ways?

My research ‘intensity’ (If I can call it that) had to become well structured, and I turned to some of my favorite, perhaps old fashion tools to capture my learning and give me my points of reference.

Included in this structured approach is different tools to capture and translate my progress. I have been building out extensive energy mind maps, constructing a dedicated posting site set up under “innovating4energy- a transition in all our lives” to ‘reflect’ some of my learnings and then to test that translation of my thinking, hopefully for others to relate too. Then building up the content within Microsoft’s One Note. Finally, lots and lots of saved files in an extensive folder on “the energy transition”.

The Energy Transition and building the new Smarter Infrastructure and Systems is a fascinating area within my present focus and future work. Here is why and how I am going about it:

The majority of my referencing has been building through dynamically expanding my Microsoft One Note structures.

I find One Note as flexible and offers the easy chance to change and shift around files as subjects and references built out, new links formed.

The One Notes are broken into Smart Infrastructure, and the whole Energy Transition system with the specific building of my research and knowledge understanding of Power Generation and their Sources, Transmission, and Consumption /User-end related.

AOD referenced here related to building up a growing atlas of Digitalization and what this means for stories and narratives. Each research area continues to be broken out into specific areas of interest or ‘housed’ in general reference files that cover off principal points of reference. Innovation within the Energy Transition continues to be “carved out” for faster referencing and relating.

My stated positioning and points of value in focusing on the Energy Transition

For me, the Energy Transition is one of the most exciting and challenging needs of the day. There is the urgent need for us all to identify and make the changes needed to deliver a better, cleaner world built increasingly on sustaining pathways.

My intent for going about this energy journey is stated as the following:

  • I will focus on the value/impact of innovation within the Energy Transition (core)
  • Build out my consistent focus on being a Business Builder and offer perspectives, opinions, and outlooks
  • My belief that there are different aspects of activism to bring focus to this transformation, these needs articulating.
  • The scope, pace, and directions of the energy change do need a real sense of action and urgency. I want to add some momentum that contributes to that.
  • The broader perspective, putting content into context, giving knowledge and insight needs consistently framing and often revising as new insights, innovations, and breakthroughs occur. I want to understand and translate these.
  • I see myself as the Outsider looking into the Energy World and still struggle in the world of Engineers, Scientists, and Policy Makers. My voice adds, perhaps, a common understanding that more of us can relate to, on the expertise offered.
  • The position of a storyteller, building different narratives in my view, does advance the energy transition in distinct and tangible ways.
  • The (absolute) needs within the Energy Systems will require multiple solutions and significant change, my aim is to relate these so we can make the transition from the existing to the new as it offers a better cleaner world or should.
  • The significant potential for new market design, different business models, and system operation solutions offers a real business opportunity that needs triggering. Pointing to insights and shifts promotes this as opportunities to explore and exploit.
  • The Energy Transition is one of today’s significant challenges in energy, climate, and for our planet.
  • The fascination with new enabling technologies, exploring and exploiting these is full of creative spaces, rich in distinctive and radical breakthroughs, innovation is core to the Energy Transition to succeed and be transformed,

To sum up my three imperatives here.

  • There is so much societal need for this transition, it needs framing and building differently.
  • The Energy Transition is one of today’s significant challenges in merging energy, climate, and for the wellbeing of our planet.
  • My desire is to add more impact, understanding, and awareness and to find ways to make a growing contribution.

My Energy Journey is being navigated across three-time and opportunity related horizons.

For many years I have been a powerful advocate for applying the three horizon framework and the thinking that should go int it, to offer a very effective way to “translate change” and gain a shared identification.

You can pick up on how I have evolved my thinking and built my approaches out on the three horizons by doing a “search” in the search box of this site.

Equally within my “insights and thinking,” there is a collection of thinking on The Three Horizon Framework for Managing Innovation. I always come at solutions or problems seeking understanding by applying my innovation expertise as it is “making informed change” that allows us to advance.

The Energy transition works well in the three horizon thinking. Let me provide the reason why.

  • The current horizon (H1) identifies the existing prevailing or dominant system and the challenges to its sustainability into the future, i.e. the case for change in the energy system to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels (horizon 1). Innovation can lose the ‘fit’ aspects over time or has lacked that “galvanizing effect” as the external environment changes but needs recognition. It is unless you understand the current constraints, issues, and context you want to change, you struggle to change towards the new future.
  • The third horizon (H3) is how to think through and move towards the desired future state, the ideal system you seek, and the emerging options that need exploring and exploiting. Central to this future state is shaping the solutions that can displace what you have. Often you can identify elements in the present (h1) that give you encouragement ( h3). Yet, it is keeping yourself open to all options that could lead to transformational change early on allows you to explore in multiple thinking ways, and it is exploring these openly, in highly collaborative environments give you the pathway to make the changes, based on a progression of business case deliverables.
  • The second horizon (H2) is the one you need to move through. It is the place to let go of much of the past. Yet, it also allows you to build, experiment, and validate these solutions that seem viable for the future. It is in this horizon 2 that you identify how to draw out the nature of the tensions and dilemmas between vision and reality. You can separate the distinction between innovations that serve to prolong the status quo needed and necessary (keep the lights on, allow for a bridge from one fuel system (oil, gas, coal) to another that is more sustaining and based on technology breakthroughs and the renewables available (wind, solar, water).
  • You work towards solutions that serve to bring the third horizon vision closer to reality. The H2 is the space of transition, often unstable and uncertain, called the intermediate space where views can collide and diverge but are the horizon mechanisms that traverse current needs and future positions. It captures the aspects that require the most significant attention and provides the dialogue to enable the transition from the existing to the (possible) future to be seen and appreciated by all the multiple players that have a vested interest.

So as I investigate, build and explore the Energy transition the three horizons as it becomes a highly valuable framing mechanism to take knowledge, insights and translate those into the different horizons and their needs, and this begins to determine the resources, investment, and challenging complexities this faces. You do work them in that order H1- H3- H2.

For me, it is a wonderful “dialoguing” framework we should universally adopt to relate to the bigger picture of the parts of the Energy transition. One that has the necessary granularity to get into the specifics of change and where they (logically) fit. I work through it in this way, which becomes logical as a dialoguing mechanism.

The idea for this came from the team over at H3Uni and from this, I developed my Three Horizon Seven Action Mapping Frame (not shown here) as the Energy Transition requires a pathway style approach.

My near-term building out of work relates to Decarbonization and, initially Hydrogen.

My intension over the next couple of weeks is to frame Decarbonization and as the “kick-off” to this is to build out the Hydrogen part into these three horizons in my thinking. By focusing on one specific energy vector (hydrogen) then will begin to inform the larger challenge of decarbonization and what needs to be in place for any successful transition to happen.

The other part of my thinking and work in these coming weeks is to build my ecosystem understanding of energy dependence with Hydrogen and visualize some outcomes by taking this approach. What will emerge is planned to be outlined on my dedicated “Ecosystems4innovators” posting site. There are so many multilateral initiatives being undertaken, and an ecosystem approach is absolutely necessary but often needs reaffirming as collaboration becomes vital within this complex Energy Transition.

In Summary

So building my Innovation intent has been central to me for twenty years, but this has constantly been ‘funneled down’ into recognizing the value of ecosystems as the business design for innovation is the way to go in the future. This collaborative ecosystem approach allows us greater potential to explore and deliver more significant value creation in unique relationships and networks. Now with my increased focus in the past two-plus years, the whole Energy Transition is becoming my future platform to apply my innovation learning and ecosystem thinking.

We are at an exciting time for translating the Energy transition. I am getting so much out of this that can be applied, built out, and does inform my advisory business and my knowledge sharing posting sites, activities that drive me each day.

5 thoughts on “Seeing the Energy Transition in Different Horizons and Innovative Ways

  1. Pingback: Exploring the Energy Transition Fitness Landscapes – opening thoughts on Hydrogen | Paul4innovating's Innovation Views

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  4. Pingback: How can we mobilize innovation capability for the energy transition? – innovating4energy

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