Are we losing the Energy Transition Battle? Innovation to the rescue?

The growing fears are that we are falling behind the need to meet the Energy Transition required goals to the World has agreed to by 2050, set to meet the Paris Climate Agreement.

The climate is about to get really difficult to predict. We are facing some of the natural consequences of our present inability not to reduce greenhouse gases at the rate they are required.  We as humans are the perpetrators of generating all these greenhouse gases, and global warming is ruining this one and only planet we have.

Each part of the world is pursuing its energy agenda, understandably so in many ways, but the shift from the dependence on fossil fuels and recognizing all future solutions should be clean energy.

Our environment is in such a significant crisis when you witness the changing weather patterns increasingly becoming unstable and unpredictable. Then we have the increased frequency and amount of flooding or drought many places in the world are facing, let alone the melting of our ice caps and arctic regions.

Our planet is under great stress. Continue reading

Thinking sustainability needs a mix of future scenarios.

The accelerating need to build a sustainability pathway

Sustainability is rising to be top or close to the top of a boards agenda. The growing concerns of several intertwined issues need addressing as they will initiate a significant change to the Business and how it operates and presents itself to the world.

Boards are asking where our business fits within and alongside society, both in who we serve and society in general, coupled with realising that the planet is heading towards a critical crisis and what we can do to reduce these pressures?

Not just sustainability forces a sharper need for strategic choices but the ability to undertake the product reinvention. A reinvention that concerns itself with reducing waste, minimizing carbon emissions, valuing the full life cycle and the ability to show the increasingly important end-of-life part of the lifecycle model. To extract precious, rare earth minerals and recycle parts reduces the demand for future mining or heat intensive materials.

Any products need to have a clear understanding of all their stages for the clarity of sustainability. Continue reading

Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation

“Without a major acceleration in clean energy innovation, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 will not be possible.”

A groundbreaking report, “Net-Zero by 2050: a roadmap for the global energy system“(referred to as NZE here) by the Internation Energy Agency (IEA), has been emphasising that this decade is pivotal to reaching net-zero by mid-century.

This 2050 target is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, the foundations of global consensus to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5c. This requires nothing short of a total transformation of the energy systems.

The report is the world’s first comprehensive study of how to transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050 while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access, and enabling robust economic growth.

The report sets out a cost-effective and economically productive pathway, resulting in a clean, dynamic and resilient energy economy dominated by renewables like solar and wind instead of fossil fuels. The report also examines key uncertainties, such as the roles of bioenergy, carbon capture and behavioural changes in reaching net zero.

The role of innovation has a crucial one to play.

In the near term, the report describes a net-zero pathway that requires the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies, combined with a major global push to accelerate innovation. Continue reading

One great visual paints a thousand innovating words

One great visual paints a thousand words

This visual I came across some years back, and for me, is outstanding in providing the feedback loops that go into developing the right innovation vision. To get to a definitive endpoint of having an innovation vision, you are faced with some complex challenges. These are well shown here.

Each influences the other and constantly loop back, making an improving vision success hopefully.

The critical feedback needs for constructing an innovation vision

The different challenges seen in this terrific depiction provide the sort of dialogue and efforts that needs to go into ‘crafting’ the innovation vision. It is hard, thoughtful work. Let’s look at each of these a little more.

The Time Challenge
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Going beyond the 5 bold steps offered to Reimagine the American Innovation Agenda

I have been reading a report written by Stephen J Ezell of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) along with a guru of innovation, John Kao, of ILSi on their concerns that something is amiss with the U.S. innovation system.

The report “Five Bold Steps Towards a Reimagined American Innovation Agenda“, written in February 2021, argues for embracing these five bold steps of story, stewardship, strategy, scaling, and system reimagine innovation for the decade ahead.

In all honesty, it is a little underwhelming, not just the bold but simple five steps but the short document of five pages. It assumes a position, and that is dangerous.

Their argument regarding innovation is that Americans have come to see U.S. leadership as a birthright, as a matter of course. In my view, they lost the leadership mantle for innovation years back. I totally agree it should and needs to come back as a bedrock of future growth, prosperity and dramatically altering today’s landscape. Continue reading

Human-centred innovation in a digital world.

Today we are facing many current disruptions where we need to react fast and intelligently. There are many situations we are facing that is a race against time. As we continue to respond to Covid-19, technology has the power to reduce the complexity often faced, speed up and contribute to solutions that help resolve pressing issues.

We recognize that equally as important as the technology are the people using the technology. Having people at the centre of designs enables more intelligent, rapid and lasting innovation.  The Digital Twin is where data from the physical and virtual world come together and is increasingly where people and technology come together to resolve many of today’s challenges.

Applying human-centred innovation

Tony Hemmelgarn, the CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software, presented “Human-centred Innovation” at the Hannover Messe show (April 12th to 16th, 2021), which was held in a virtual environment. Continue reading

The Critically Important Innovation Narrative

Whatever we do, we do far better when we become emotionally connected. Often understanding a good story builds this emotional connection or simply puts you off. Stories can inspire and spark even greater ideas. The art of storytelling and making connections with the listener or reader has incredible value. Yet, a story has limited value. For me, it is the more powerful narrative that drives innovation, inspiring and gaining identification in multiple ways.

A story is linked to a series of events that take a character from one state to another. In contrast, a narrative is a system of stories that links values and events to establish a broader and often new cultural meaning.

Let’s draw down on so much of John Hagel’s work on narratives. It has shaped my thinking. Continue reading

Going beyond the known of today

There are so many places where innovation is essential within the Energy Transition due to the magnitude, size, and complexity of the change needed to achieve a decarbonized world. There is a world of innovative possibilities.

One of the most important catalysts for changing the energy system into a sustainable green one is by taking our thinking beyond the known into the possibilities we need for a sustainable future of energy based on the ability for renewables to generate all our electrification needs.

We need to build out all our renewable possibilities that include solar, wind, hydro, green hydrogen and nuclear energy.

In this combination of pursuit, nurturing, and expanding our thinking through the thoughtful construction of a vision built on knowledge, exploration and understanding, we can mobilize the changes needed.

My energy journey is being navigated across the three-time horizons. Continue reading