What Industrial Strategy Challenge am I leading?
I’m leading the Energy Revolution Challenge which aims to demonstrate innovative new ways of delivering cheaper, cleaner energy services to meet the needs of future consumers by intelligently joining up local energy systems. The way we supply and manage our energy system is not going to be the same as it has been historically.
The future will be much more dispersed than centralised, with low cost clean technologies like renewables, batteries and fuel cells being controlled according to your needs by the latest digital technologies. These highly connected, local approaches have the potential to deliver the warmth and power exactly when you need it while locally trading your storage and generation to maximise your returns.
We’ll be equipping businesses and local bodies with the best expertise from across our research base to design and demonstrate the future of energy.
Where have I come from?
Since graduating as an engineer, I’ve worked in innovation all my career, and have run the energy programme at Innovate UK for the last four years. I learnt all about delivering innovation myself earlier in my career when running R&D programmes in the food and packaging industries for multinationals like Pepsico – a great training ground.
I decided that energy was the issue I really wanted to get my teeth into and re-trained ten years ago to give me the skills to be able to do that, and haven’t looked back since.
What are my hopes for the Energy Revolution Challenge?
I have three hopes for this programme. Firstly that we’ll catalyse groundbreaking new clean energy business models that take advantage of the huge technical opportunities out there to show how consumer needs can be much better served in future. Secondly I hope that the programme will engage the finance community to enable a self-sustaining roll-out of those new models. And lastly I want the nation to prosper as a result – through reduced energy costs and therefore bills, and through new high value jobs in local systems and growing, exporting UK businesses.
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