When you stop and think, you realize that infrastructure, at its core, is undoubtedly about connectivity.
Infrastructure enables people and what they need, so as to function and thrive, to provide the structures to get them from place to place, to provide sustaining residence and prospects.
If we make this infrastructure “smart,” what will that give us?
“Smart” as a concept is not just supplying the connectivity but also delivering the sense-making capability from what it offers, through the data provided. We can model, use big data analytics, apply analysis and data mine, to make this set of connections, to improve our intelligence.
Energy is in a massive state of change, truly global in its transition. There is a power sector transformation going on, towards a low-carbon, reliable, affordable and secure energy system.
The need is to manage the transition from the old, more reliant on fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) into the renewables /wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass). Turning to innovation in new solutions is making this all possible.
For me, the interesting thing is that innovation is the engine powering the energy transformation and that the pace of discovery, exploration, and solution is beginning to happen at a rapid rate of demand-driven need. As someone engaged in innovation, the energy transformation story is getting really exciting.
You sense the future is changing, gaining unstoppable momentum. The difficulty for us all is this sort of transformation is at such a scale of complexity, rapid pace and variability; it is highly complex to relate too.
The energy transition we are undertaking is highly complex, and it is multiple ecosystems interacting, some parts being replaced, others introduced. It has a significant “layering effect”.
We have to strip away some parts and equally add new layers but we need to maintain the integrity of the energy system (supply) at all times.
Providing energy is as embedded as deeply as you can get into the socio-economic system we are all part of. Changing the energy-generating composition is critical in reducing climate warming but it is incredibly hard to manage the transition. It is as complex as it can get.
A sustaining, dedicated effort will take us twenty to thirty years to make the “basic” transitions. To maintain it, strength it and reinforce it will be well beyond all our lifetimes, actually all of the 21st century, to (fully) reverse the global warming effect we are experiencing, and return our planet into a more balanced one where the “human effect” gets fully mitigated. Continue reading “Placing context into the Energy Transition-part one”