I have just finished the third and final day of panel events offered by #SiemensEnergyME in their #EnergyWeek. I took the time to attend all of the panels, the debates, the complexities, and the significant differences as starting points in the #energytransition we are all undertaking was well brought home.
The panels were full of highly knowledgeable people, the hands-on ones that are dealing with the energy issues of today each day, and thinking through the ones for tomorrow. Siemens drew in Ministers, CEO’s, Senior Management, CFO’s, CTO’s and Director-Generals to offer insights and create the atmosphere for what I would call “creative tension” that good knowledge brings to a debate.
So I have just finished up my second day at the Siemens Energy Middle East & Africa #EnergyWeek. A completely different day that took the second theme of innovation into a deeper dive around tackling the decarbonization of the hydrocarbon industry, followed by digitalizing the energy industry and a final panel about preparing societies for energy evolution
It was a mixed bag for me. Innovation is my core topic, and energy is my major focus area to apply innovation to, so this was a day of expectations and insights. I am sorry it is a little longer than I would have liked but here you go:
Is deep decarbonization possible? The level of investments will be substantial and require enormous changes to the energy system we have in place today.
Taking a higher-level of decarbonization, I have summarized the critical aspects we need to consider when we discuss this area. I have put them in blocks of bullet points here in this opening decarbonization post. I am planning to delve into each of these in later posts. Continue reading “Themes for Decarbonizing, My Agenda Setting Post”
The significant shifts we are undergoing in the energy transitions today are allowing real innovation opportunities when you survey the innovation landscape. The challenge is spotting and seizing these opportunities.
There is a clear realization that there is significant complexity in all the energy transitions going on. Still, it is the researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs that can see the possibilities and ‘energize’ the innovative solutions are the ones that hold the future in their hands.
If innovation is given its appropriate place within the energy transition, the pace of innovation and energy transition will scale up and accelerate to meet the needs of a world rapidly wanting to decarbonize. The world is demanding a change in our energy supplies and rapid decarbonization.
At their own admission, it has been three years since they (IEA) released its last Energy Technology Perspective (ETP) report. Although they argue they have been reflecting on the critical technology challenges, it is way overdue.
IEA will further follow up later this year with a flagship ETP 2020 publication later in the year to keep a tighter and more consistent focus on the role and need of innovation to accelerate clean energy transitions.
Something that will take thirty to forty years to turn from being ambitious and full of intent into realization is hard to relate too. Hydrogen is one of those promised solutions that can potentially allow us to achieve our “net-zero” carbon ambitions that have been “set in stone” (The Paris Agreement) dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, signed in 2016 that we need to achieve by 2050.
Hydrogen is becoming a central pillar for many countries across the world to help achieve their targets to this net-zero by mid-century. Hydrogen holds, it seems, such a promise, but it is nearly all to do. There is so much to validate, prove, and certainly scale to make a real impact on changing the sources of our energy.
The more you investigate Hydrogen, the more you realize the complexity of making it a viable energy source of sufficient scale. One that will really deliver the suggested results that Hydrogen could meet 24% of the worlds final energy demands by 2050. Today it provides around 1%. To change our energy systems reliant on Oil, Gas, Coal, and make these renewables based on Solar, Wind, and Water separation is at a level of magnitude is hard to imagine.
I strongly relate to Smart Cities or Smart Infrastructure as the grouping area dealing with the business dealing with the Edge for final energy transmission or the final beneficiary, the Consumer but I do relate to Urban Development as a “greater” catch-all for thinking a little wider on the potential to engage far more.
There is so much potential in technology currently being invested in our cities and their infrastructures. There are many estimates of this investment, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, they estimated that cities around the world would need to double current infrastructure investments from $10 to $20 trillion annually, to build the necessary physical infrastructure to support growing populations and needs.
Smart infrastructure connects many parts of the city both physically and digitally. Services that capture the relevant information enable the deployment and introduction of the appropriate assets as the solutions.
Smart solutions for resolving the demands placed in everyday events like traffic flows, energy, and water requirements, transportation utilization, or in managing energy peak demands or optimizing buildings.
Through digital understanding, you learn from what is in place to improve the future in designs, capability, and asset utilization through the use of intelligent data providing relevant insights.
A digital understanding can help predict many variances and assumptions, for example on load demands, on traffic flow, on shifting resources to balance the “system” for the immediate and future; all of these are based on the data collected and can be compared on the forecasts made.
To achieve this, you need a constant flow of ‘real-time’ data, not historical ‘lagging’ information, that is often out of date before you can evaluate it.
Energy is essential to the modern economy. It provides the vital power source of electricity for industry, for public services and powering infrastructure, as well as resolving domestic activities where heating, lighting, cooking can take place in different ways from traditional wood fires. Our growing reliance on communications, technology, and mobility all are reliant on having this constant source of energy.
As we grapple with the impact and effects of the CORVIt- 19 virus, we are rightly ‘transfixed’ on saving lives, keeping people healthy, but underpinning this is maintaining essential services. A reliable, constant power source is critical for hospitals, for our homes and work environments to support and sustain us.
In an extraordinary time of being “locked down,” we appreciate the safe haven we call home, the office, or the working environment. We are expecting it to be a safe environment for us to continue to operate and provide us the comfort and protection we are all looking for.
Having intelligent connected structures is playing an increasing role in our lives, in the mission of your organization, in your loved one’s daily lives; in offices, in our building like hospitals, in government offices, in research labs or schools, and most importantly in our homes.
We often do not recognize everything that goes int our building to deliver an optimal or suitable space for us to be productive. We assume it is there, working and functioning as required. It is when something goes wrong, we begin to notice. It is when we have time to stop and look around we begin to wonder how we can improve our environments. There is a lot we can do, and as we learn to work increasingly “at a distance.” Continue reading “Viewing our buildings differently for what they offer”