The Energy Ecosystem needs re-configuring to clean energy only.

Understanding any ecosystem, you have to attempt to understand the whole system. The energy system is no different to begin to relate and build out innovative solutions that bring this complexity into some form of a new order.

To help with this energy ecosystem thinking the International Energy Agency (IEA) are doing some pioneering work that I want to touch upon here briefly, so there is a broader awareness of this.

Exploring the IEA  report yet again, “Energy Technology perspective: Special Report on Clean Energy Innovation” released mid last year, actually on 2nd July 2020 it has so much depth of value to relate too, in the energy transition challenges being faced.

In this report, they have developed some improved modelling tools to bring a higher capacity to answer key technology questions in greater detail that make up the Energy Ecosystem. This new modelling is good news and highly valuable.

Incidentally, IEA further followed that up later in 2020 with a flagship ETP 2020 publication to keep a tighter and more consistent focus on the role and need of innovation to accelerate clean energy transitions.

The ability to map the entire Energy System is critical

The work undertaken by the IEA has produced a comprehensive perspective of where we are today and our needs to track the achievements of different innovation breakthroughs known and in development or validation, to bring about the required clean technology energy solutions that need to be innovative in design for a new Energy System.

Their ETP Clean Energy Technology Guide is an interactive framework that contains information for over 400 individual technology designs and components across the whole energy system that contribute to achieving the goal of net-zero emissions. Currently, this stands at 433.

For each of these technologies, it includes information on the level of maturity (or Technology Readiness Level, TRL) and a compilation of development and deployment plans, as well as cost and performance improvement targets and leading players in the field.

You can use the different filters offered to narrow down the selection of technologies you are interested in, to achieve your designated search. Also, they provide an amazing poster version that covers all the energy ecosystem aspects. Here is a download link to this poster.

The Critical Parts of the Clean Energy Ecosystem

Briefly, the IEA approach breaks down the Energy Ecosystem by the classic Supply-side, the Co2 infrastructure aspects needed for clean energy, and the Demand Sectors by the crucial parts of transport, industry, and buildings.

The Supply Side requirement from Clean Energy Technologies

The guide goes into all aspects of the technologies in the energy transformation on power generation, heat, tackling biofuels, hydrogen, ammonia, synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, and refining. The technology grouping is then further broken down into generation, storage, and infrastructure as well as specific production and transport where necessary.

The Co2 infrastructure required for Clean Energy

This looks at the importance of Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilization (CCSU) with a breakdown of Supply sided CCU’s, Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Demand CCU’s tackling high-value chemicals, methanol, ammonia, iron and steel, cement and aluminum by fuels and methods

The Demand Sectors needs from Clean Energy Innovation Technologies

Within the breakdown, you have a structured approach to the technology grouping, the technologies applied, the sub-technology where necessary, and the specific components or designed needed. Within this demand side, it breaks the three significant energy consumers down into transport, industry, and buildings.

Transport covers the road, rail, shipping, aviation, and freight, showing sub-components or design by vehicle mode, their needed infrastructure, operations, and necessary components of different design solutions.

The industry segment covers critical a comprehensive breakdown of dealing with different “harder-to-abate areas covering ammonia, methanol, ethylene, benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Then it covers the specific industry sectors of high-value chemicals, plastics, iron and steel, cement, pulp and paper, aluminium, metallic products, and finally, cross-cutting one that requires systems integration. The technology applied covers fossil fuel, biomass-based, electrolytic H2 based, further broken down into recycling, blast furnacing, smelting, kilns, grinding, curing, pulping, and waste production conversion.

The buildings segment is broken down firstly into construction, renovation, then their heating and cooling options and designs, with further sections dealing with cooking, lighting, and system integration. Here it is looked at by generation, performance, efficiency, co-generation, distribution, control system, and storage.

To capture the Ecosystem of Energy Innovations and Technologies is a fantastic piece of work

This work is a stunning breaking down of the entire Energy System, which was updated this year by the  International Energy Agency and presented in such a visual way in the poster design work by Lundgren+Lindqvist gives us all the understanding of the complexity but also the innovation technology opportunities available.

The other more amazing part is the interactive website for using and tracking the evolution of The Clean Energy in Innovations and Technology as an ongoing Guide for presently 433 identified individual technology designs and components across the whole energy system for knowing where we are in their contribution to achieving the goal of net-zero emissions is impressive.

Yout time would be well-invested in viewing this work by the IEA if you want to grasp the entirety of the Energy System as a whole and what makes up this Ecosystem

I have to recommend anyone interested in the Energy System take a look at the website or download the poster to appreciate the complexity of the design and change we are all caught up in and need to support.

Our energy systems and tracking their progress today and in the future allows us all to participate and build more pressure on those undertaking the need for a radical redesign. It is of a scale that can be better understood by this work that the IEA is undertaking, showing the innovations for technologies that can deliver the clean energy ecosystem we need to have in place..

Do take the time to visit the website https://www.iea.org/articles/etp-clean-energy-technology-guide

The crucial role Innovation must play in the Energy system

 

Innovation is vital to the energy system’s integration and operation design, and we need to further recognize its crucial role. I believe we undertake a radical transformation in the way we supply, transform, and use energy. This requires a profound transformation in technologies, systems, and infrastructure.

Innovation is made up of many enabling technologies that support energy. This complexity requires innovative approaches to be built in highly systematic ways. Its ultimate result is to offer innovation that can continually look for re-imagining new market designs and business models to stimulate the changes and solutions for our future energy transformation.

Innovation needs to be transformational, offer greater value than what it is replacing, show the real advantage, set out to achieve competitive gains and offer a higher level of sustainability, value and impact.

We need an innovating mantra for energy.

Energy is a vital part of any country’s ability to be competitive. Today half the world’s capital is invested in energy and its related infrastructure as it is the backbone of any industrial and urbanization strategy.

Our need is to keep pushing for discoveries, for experimentation, for demonstrating. We must nurture innovation, and we must continuously look for ways to facilitate its pathway.

Our economic prosperity will be determined by transforming the energy sector, and it is through innovation we will achieve this. To avoid the predicted consequences of climate change, the global energy system must rapidly reduce its emissions.

The vast majority of global CO2 emissions come from the energy production sector, from our buildings or transportation systems. They all need a purposeful design of a new, cleaner energy system.

Innovation needs to be at the top of its game, to be accelerated and scaled.

The energy transition that the world is undertaking is one of the most critical areas where innovation needs to be at its absolute best, top of the game, to make the level of change necessary. We need to deploy every innovative tool to leverage ideas and discoveries and then accelerate the validation into a commercialization path sooner than later.

Innovation needs to get out of the laboratories, moved from theory to application, and off the desk of those executives who fail to see the urgency of change we need to achieve the energy transition.

Innovation has risk always associated with it, but that imperative to push the boundaries does need always to be constantly in our minds; global warming, pollution, and resource finite are our “burning platform.”

We need to ramp up our need for solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, redesign energy generation, transmission, and distribution and bring a balance back into our environments.

Pushing our present understanding, looking beyond the knowns

  • Today the solutions are centred on decarbonization, applying digitalization, and switching to an energy system that is more decentralized than at present. It is finding imaginative, innovating solutions that become essential to achieve this climate change through the energy transition we are undertaking.
  • Each organization within the energy transition looks at its own position and applies any changes to advance its competitive position. Quite rightly, but in focusing on one specific perspective, you can lose the bigger opportunity.
  • We need to extend the reach of electricity; we need to focus on Hydrogen, validate carbon capture and storage (CCUS) as well as bioenergy and take them out of the lab, out of the realms of theory and validate the innovation concepts into scalable ones that deliver the gaps we have in our energy transition.
  • We must find innovative solutions to reduce local air pollution, strengthen energy security, and develop a more significant energy system that is resilient to minimize the shutdowns and power outs. We need to find solutions to reliable and sustainable energy solutions that deal with heating, lighting, cooking, and cooling. Any change needs to find a way to create local economic value and jobs, as others in any change of this magnitude will be displaced.
  • As we search for enabling technologies, we need to constantly facilitate the integration of renewable energy, accelerate storage, explore sector coupling, introduce new ways to operate within the electricity system, seek out new power generation, design the grids for increased flexibility and digitalize solutions to provide further services, tools and distributed generation deployment knowing how to diffuse innovation in these general five approaches becomes valuable.
  • We need to continue to de-carbonize challenging industry sectors like steel, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, or our transportation systems if we wish to achieve any positive outlook of curbing carbon emissions and moving onto a pathway towards a zero-carbon future.

Innovation and showing progression give market confidence and encouragement that the innovation story is designed to take decisions through this innovation adoption approach.

Everything we are looking at in energy solutions faces a scalability challenge. 

It will be the ability to harness the existing with the new, and this is the role of innovation to deliver the changes by being the bridge and being the catalyst of change with new technology and innovative solutions.

Innovation adoption in the technology lifecycle for Energy Translation

Technological innovation has a central role to play in the Energy Transition currently being undertaken throughout the world. The shifts need to take the different parts of the energy system through a lifecycle approach to any future energy system.

The six critical focal points of the energy transition.

The six main thrusts for technological innovation within the Energy Systems for today’s energy transition are:

  1.  To accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies throughout the system.
  2. There is a real need to find innovative solutions that focus on the end-user sectors of transport, industry, and buildings.
  3. The technological and digital innovative solution needs to focus on the overall system design and the operation needs.
  4. Innovation needs to increase electrification through emerging solutions on the grids’ digitalisation and provide grid-scale energy storage for resolving variable renewable power and building out further energy storage.
  5. To push, nurture, and facilitate different energy sources to provide solutions to scale them up. These include solar power, geothermal, biopower, hydropower, onshore and offshore wind and finally tidal power.
  6. Lastly, innovation needs to achieve an affordably decarbonize industrial transition.

Many new innovation solutions need to continually unlock the system’s flexibility.

Besides technological innovation, there is growing potential for redesigning operational systems through new services, tools, and distributed generation deployment. There are opportunities to find fresh market designs that have demand-response models central to then provide new, more tailored services and then the exciting potential of designing new business models that look to greater co-creation, more flexible power purchase agreements and bring the consumer into the system as contributors, aggregators and highly energy aware.

My focus is on innovating energy.

Innovation must be at the forefront of the energy change; otherwise, we will fail to deliver on the 2050 commitments and goals, and that will have consequences for our very existence as we know it.

Besides writing about innovation and energy on two dedicated blogs of innovating4energy.com and digital4energy, I recently launched a complimentary website of innovating4energy.website, one that is laying out my business positioning and offerings to help in accelerating innovation within the energy system. That “open for business” sign.

I set out to offer the external perspective to those busy inside organizations focusing on mapping out the future of energy and where they fit to support, compliment, and provide different value points to this thinking and eventual work. I see this as more advisory to complement their insights, more feeding into and complimenting their expertise with different points of value.

Our need for a climate-friendly energy source

We need to find a climate-friendly energy source that overcomes those current end-use sectors that are hard to electrify as they need to require high-intensity heat levels than coal and natural gas provides. These high-grade industry heat sectors, known as hard-to-abate, such as steel and chemicals, some heavy transport, aviation, shipping, agriculture, and industrial feedstocks, need to put in place a clean energy carrier.

Enter Hydrogen, reinvigorated and repurposed based on Renewables and new Technology designs

Presently Hydrogen is the only feasible route for at-scale decarbonization. It is a highly versatile, clean, and flexible energy vector. So many have evaluated the potential of hydrogen sector by sector that ramping up Hydrogen is needed to achieve any energy transition in an efficient and economically attractive way.

The problem today is that Hydrogen is simply not (yet) fit for large-scale deployment. The accepted wisdom is Hydrogen is a really good solution as a clean energy carrier, feedstock, and fuel. It can facilitate the extensive scale integration of renewables through conversion from H2O to pure Hydrogen (H2). Continue reading “Our need for a climate-friendly energy source”

Why innovate Energy?

Why innovate energy?

The front end of energy means what exactly?

It is the place I feel I can make the best contribution, a place where innovation thrives and drives discovery to commercialization of a new idea that emerges as a concept of value, often replacing something that does not “serve today’s or tomorrow’s purpose, where the energy transition must embrace fully “

My aim here is : “To achieve better, faster and more valuable future solutions with a focus on sustainability, to anticipate constant change and build different more exciting and valuable business models for lasting impact”

We provide a range of services that support your energy transition at the front of the change process.

I have three sources of energy reference that is building the Energy Story, as I am seeing it. I encourage you to take a look….please Continue reading “Why innovate Energy?”

Continuing my Energy Transition Journey

Yet another one of those most intense periods of researching and then absorbing the material around different energy issues.
Ideas, invention and innovation
Image Courtesy of Renovagy

Everywhere you turn, you stumble across reports on one aspect or another of the energy transformation we are undertaking.

I am looking at this energy transition through the eyes of the innovator, as it offers so much in new solutions and designs that any innovator would love to be part of.

My big move this week was to determine my Energy Transition journey

I added my dedicated website on innovating4energy.website. It stays a W-I-P but its role is to keep the offer separated but also be highly support in this posting site as the more dynamic place for breaking news, discoveries and progress and combined they underscore the value position offering.

I am taking on the front end of the energy transition as my advising positioning.

More on that in future posts. Continue reading “Continuing my Energy Transition Journey”

Putting innovation intensity into the Energy transition

The level of innovation intensity within the Energy Transition is a fascinating one, and it is one I continually place more and more a focus upon.

I think it is worth referencing here how the IEA breaks down to track clean energy progress, it is a pathway that needs innovation to be central.

The thinking within post has been inspired by the IEA report  Tracking clean energies IEA report, published last year and has significantly crystallized my own views or thinking on the need to accelerate innovation as central to the Energy Transition.

The IEA track the following aspects of the energy system; power, fuel, industry, transport, buildings, and energy integration. That gives innovation focus a sound way to break down the complexity within the transformation underway.

Just reflect how difficult this energy transition actually is. Continue reading “Putting innovation intensity into the Energy transition”

Are we seeing the Apple of Hydrogen in Plug Power?

This Monday, January 11th, 2021 Plug Power (PLUG) closed at $53.97 in the latest share trading session, it has gained 98% over the past month. Today with a fresh expansion announcement it is standing at $64.02 at this moment of time. Clearly, Plug Power is outpacing the Industrial Sector. It belongs as one of the alternative energy company stocks that focuses on green hydrogen, the present ultimate answer to as close as you can get to a zero-carbon fuel.

So what is going on? What is causing this incredible jump and market sentiment?

To add a little more to this “what is going on” let me do something else.

Why do I compare Plug Power to Apple in past years? It is simply how its stock has rapidly accelerated away in the past year or perhaps the growing expectation of sizable growth to come, on new products and market penetration. 

A year ago, Plug Power struggled to raise money, but it has been executing on a plan consistently in the past few years that is beginning to pay off. Continue reading “Are we seeing the Apple of Hydrogen in Plug Power?”

My Job: Sparking Innovation within the Energy Transition

Why did I choose to give a specific focus on different aspects of innovation within the energy transition? Well, it is simple for me. I have focused on building capabilities, competencies and capacity to innovate for 20 plus years. Innovation has been my core area of focus. Today, I am channelling that specifically towards the building of innovation within our Energy Transition

The real imperative for finding new innovative technology is critical. We have such a real threat of climate change and any pathway to meet the Paris Agreements, where all countries pledged to keep the rise of the global temperature below 2 degrees C by 2050 and ideally try to work towards the position of 1.5-degree C above pre-industrial levels. These target goals mean bringing our temperatures down dramatically.

The critical period for transforming energy is coming in this current decade. We need to speed up that transformation.
Continue reading “My Job: Sparking Innovation within the Energy Transition”