The Energy Transition we all need to undertake

Sources FT Guide: The Energy Transition







In recent months I have become totally “wrapped up” in the energy transition occurring across the world. The whole transformation we are undertaking is not just for our energy sake; it is for more for our climate sake and having a sustainable future.

Energy is one of the critical drivers of our well-being, providing one of the essentials to survive and thrive. We need water, food, air, shelter, and sleep, and our source of energy underpins all of these as the energy transition in its solutions are aimed at cleaning up our climate and environment before it is too late and give us more energy to power the next growth cycle.

We are suffering increasingly from polluted air; we need to increase intensive farming that requires fertilizers that are presently highly fossil intensive. We are living in a very crowded planet where our shelter (home) becomes our “place to be or simply survive”

Our water supplies need consistent refiltering as freshwater in increasingly growing in shorter supply. Humans need their sleep, and it is the environment that enables that, and as 70% of the world’s population by 2050 will live in cities, all are becoming  “highly dependent” on energy to fuel the system. What we must do is reduce our greenhouse emissions and manage the energy transition towards clean energies, based on renewables of sun, wind, and water.
We are becoming highly dependant on one of the key outcomes of energy, simply the growing need for more electricity. It “powers” our lives in connectivity; heating, cooling, data, and much, much more, in industry, communications, health systems, etc.

Many people today argue we are losing our battle for survival as our planet is heading towards a real crisis in global warming making it a place that will increasingly be a tough environment to thrive without a major intervention or evolution.

Energy holds one of the most powerful “keys” to change the path we are on, one where we stop polluting the world, threatening so much of what we know. The need is to move significantly away from a reliance on fossil fuels that are the main polluters and into energy sources generating clean energy, harnessed from renewables of the wind, sun, and the use of water.

We need to manage smarter the effective generation through biomass, such as purposely grown energy crops, wood or forest residues, waste from food crops, horticulture, food processing, animal farming, or human waste to “fuel” this energy alternative.  We need to move away from extracting minerals that have a finite source; we need to focus on extracting energy from all the sources of renewables.
To undertake such a colossal change in our energy system there is the need to undertake a radical shift in the “upstream” part of the energy system. We need to move from coal, gas, and coal and switch to wind, solar, hydro, or hydrogen is a massive undertaken, driven by science ‘informing’ us of this urgent need and by innovation to get us there.

This “triggered” wholesale need to change also applies to the transmission and “downstream” infrastructure within the energy system. This is not just to adjust to renewables but to resolve the antiquated power systems that have been in place, sometimes for a century or more.

We need to tackle those monopolies built up over decades of energy suppliers that are needed to be disrupted or forced to accept an accelerating change.

Then we also see the opportunity and growth potential for energy engagement. Offer energy solutions that enable our own energy generation and allow for utilities to move towards a more consumer (prosumer) relationship where each of us increasingly determines our own energy needs, that we consume and feel comfortable in using.

We are moving towards a new energy system and energy market.
So why am I writing (again) about something we should all already know?

Simply because we are not doing enough, our pace of change in the energy transition is not happening as quickly as it is needed. We are not biting the bullets of changing regulations and policies, adopting carbon omissions targetted on the polluters to change, and within the “vested” industries there is a consistent blocking of change to suit their interests.

We lack leadership here. We need inspirational leadership. John F. Kennedy made one of the most famous “call to actions”

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

We do need a call to “collective” action on solving our rapidly warming climate, but it is through our “connection” to energy, and especially electricity, we need this moment of inspiration to contribute to making a change.

What would be your inspirational statement? Mine is “We made a choice to make our energy clean and sustainable”?


Author: @paul4innovating

A transition advocate for innovation, ecosystems, and digitalization for the energy and IIoT systems

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