Energy technology needs more rapid innovation cycles

I have been consuming the latest flagship report, released today, 10th September 2020, by the IEA called “Energy Technology Perspectives 2020

The report’s comprehensive analysis maps out the technologies needed to tackle emissions in all parts of the energy sector, including areas where technological progress is still lacking such as long-distance transport and heavy industries.

It shows the amount of emissions reductions that are required from electrification, hydrogen, bioenergy and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. It also provides an assessment of emissions from existing infrastructure and what can be done to address them.

Within the work going into this report, the IEA has identified over 800 technology options that need to be further examined, explored, validated, and accelerated for the World to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That is an awful lot of innovation to get us to a clean energy transition from where we are today.

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Do you recognize your innovators leaders position?

Recognizing your innovation leadership style

Often innovation succeeds or fails by the personal involvement and engagement of a ‘selected’ few. Recognizing the types of innovation leadership might help you manage the innovation work a little better.

So can you recognize the traits of your innovation leader?

Are they a front-end or back-end innovation leader? Here’s how you can begin to spot the difference.

Before we climb into this

I recall enjoying a book published a few years back, “Innovation Governance- how top management organizes and mobilizes for innovation”, written by Jean-Philippe Deschamps and Beebe Nelson. I can totally recommend it as it is so rich in thinking through much around innovation, placed within this governance framework. It lays out a clear improvement path for innovation to travel. I am drawing from this book on some thoughts about innovation leadership.

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We need to shift from scalable efficiency to scalable learning.

We need to shift from scalable efficiency to scalable learning but how can we liberate creative energy, how can we achieve higher engagement?

The best way is to encourage everyone to have the ongoing experience, to get really involved and caught up in projects and initiatives that have the potential for impact. Learning from failures needs to be part of this.

Yet the very best thing is to encourage connected minds for value-creating opportunities and knowledge sharing for innovation to flow across an organization. For this, we need to think about some modern engagement platforms that have ’engagement and knowledge’ at their heart.

Let me offer some thoughts on this engagement need. It is (really) valuable to relate too.
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Those that learn to frame the Strategic Innovation discussion are the big winners

discussion

Constructing an innovation conversation framework is never easy, we all come at it in different ways and when it comes to those strategic conversations, we feel a sense of panic and growing tension as our messages begin to fray at the edges and slip more into tactical, the more we talk.

If you just diving into innovations, this sort of strategic conversation can change the goalposts, alter the perspective, and can give the innovation a more focused framing to build propositions around. It enables you to stand out as you are able to articulate the “bigger picture”

The framing of an innovation conversation framework

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Forget Best Practice, Think Always Of Learning Next Practice

Often you hear the request made: “Can you give us a best practice snapshot; we would like to get a sense of where we are”.

The trouble with best practice is you are looking at someone else’s practices and these are highly individual, made up of different groups of methodologies, processes, rules, theories, values, and concepts. These together have provided that specific company a level of success that others – mostly competitors – begin to notice.

There is no such thing as what they have it, you need to copy and have the same.

We all get caught up in best practices, you can’t simply pick up and plug and play, as one organization’s initiative is never the same set of conditions or positioning that others can simply copy.

We desire the “one-size fits all” as a comfort blanket, it makes our innovation lives easier. Many consultants love this request, as they do not need to apply the real skills of discernment, subject matter expertise, and the difficult challenge of peeling away a client’s practice to understand how they can rebuild them to become unique, into a leading practice that cannot be copied.

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Taking Final Ideas to Market is the Hardest Part

 

It seems so simple doesn’t it – “bringing final ideas to market”. So easy to say, yet it does seem so very hard to achieve.

Everything we should be aiming at is ‘successful execution’, it’s the last, hard five yards of all the work that went into something, which can be finally realized and come to ‘commercial life’

Here in Europe, it is often suggested that “Europe is the cradle of creativity”, perhaps but I think the United States is “the crucible of innovation”, it forges ideas and takes them to market far better. In the US there is this powerful push to make money far more and to realize innovation, as clearly you must focus on the ‘making money part2 otherwise it remains a good idea but not fully market executed.

Europe has many good ideas but they seem to get lost in this final stage, the execution of the concept, turning it into something realizable and commercially valuable, or socially needed. Much of Europe’s hard work in the discovery and validation stages fail to gain scale due to this lack of sustaining commitment until the concept is firmly established. There is far more emphasis on this final step within the Horizon 2020 funds to show ‘proof of concept’ or commercial value than in the past and that is a good thing.

Putting more resources behind the likely winners, rather than on projects that simply stay ‘blue sky’ or conceptual, then get picked up by others to commercialize. It is the final go-to-market that makes a real difference in wealth creation and job creation.

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Innovation has the power to unlock the Energy Transition

The energy shifts undergoing in the energy transitions today are allowing real innovation opportunities when you survey the innovation landscape.

There is complexity in all the energy transitions going on. Still, it is the ones that can see the possibilities and ‘energize’ through new innovative solutions that hold the future in our hands to capitalize upon as fast as we can..

All we can predict is that the pace of innovation and energy transition will speed and then scale up to meet the needs of a world rapidly wanting to decarbonize, and the companies that are the investors in innovation will be the best placed to capitalize on this.

During the next ten to twenty years, we are in a race to transform our energy systems, one that moves from fossil fuel reliant to clean fuels based on renewable energy. Innovation is the catalyst for this. Continue reading

From MW to GW’s of Renewable Hydrogen using Electrolyzers

I was listening to a short chat between Armin Schnettler, the SVP New Energy Business, Siemens Energy, and Kevin O’Donovan. Kevin, without doubt, is an outstanding, knowledgeable technology evangelist for all things relating to the Energy Transition.

The two briefly discussed green Hydrogen and where Electrolyzers will fit within the future strategy of building a broader Hydrogen business. You can watch the 4-minute chat here on YouTube.

The conversation triggered several questions that I decided to find out about, research, and learn and covered in two posts, this one and one specifically on Electroyzers over on my dedicated Energy Transition site of https://innovating4energy.com

I certainly believe we will see emerging a lot of new inventions and innovations to get the Electrolyzer based on PEM technology Industrial ready. Continue reading