Shifting paradigms to advance the energy transition19.10.2023
Like many things, experience can be a double-edged knife. On the one hand, it shows us how to solve problems practically and efficiently in a way that theory hardly ever does. However, sticking to experience gained in the past can eventually lead to narrow-mindedness and not being able to keep up with fast-changing environments. Without a mindset shift, we may end up stuck in the past.
A parallel with the current state of the energy sector can be drawn here. For decades, power grids in developed countries have grown accustomed to a slow-changing environment: up until around a decade ago, they tended to be served mostly by a handful of large generation plants (often fossil fuel-based) and only a few new assets were needed to come online from time to time to keep the lights on. Such inertia determined how the rest of the system worked: Access to new connections, grid operation, and even the supply chain of essential components were built around slow growth. But times have changed rapidly and the energy transition is underway. Paradigms are shifting and the climate goals set by nations around the world are spurring a flood of investment to expand renewable energy capacity globally. However, this flurry of investment cannot be realized unless grids -through the laws that regulate them, the entities that operate them, and often the governments who own them- are the object of fast and decisive actions necessary to make them fit for the future.
Examples like this one, together with many other unsolved problems around making the energy transition viable in the long-term, need to be actively addressed. Taking from the words of the great management author Peter Drucker,
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”.
But how can decision makers find the clarity they need to take bold steps with limited resources in an uncertain environment? International collaboration, sharing best practices, and bringing new generations into the discussion can help unveil opportunities and set clear courses of action looking into the future.
With this goal in mind, the 26th World Energy Congress will bring together over 18,000 individuals -including more than 7,000 key stakeholders from public and private organizations- to find solutions aimed at redesigning energy for people and planet. Do not hesitate to join us in Rotterdam on April 22-25, 2024, for this grand event. We need all hands on deck!
Future Energy Leader from Perú at World Energy Council