Sustainability. Energy. Technology. Rather than perceiving these as three distinct fields – as traditional energy systems often do – they must be seen as interwoven and interdependent. These outdated systems based on fossil fuels and linear value chains are no longer sufficient in dealing with the monumental threat of climate change. The energy industry therefore requires a mindset shift to embrace more innovative and holistic approaches.
The energy sector is responsible for 73.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To counter this alarming contribution, the clean energy transition is already in full swing. Renewable energy sources now account for 90% of new power capacity expansion globally and the share of EV sales compared to all car sales in Europe increased from 3.3% in 2019 to 10.2% in 2020.
Enabling the energy transition
We cannot, however, become complacent. The last five years have been the warmest to date and even the current rate of global warming will lead to catastrophic consequences. Government support in the form of stricter emissions targets – which were recently announced by the US, the EU, Canada, Japan and the UK – is a crucial lever to encourage developments in the fight against climate change. However, it is not the only lever.
Technological innovation from companies and startups is also pivotal as it enables higher levels of efficiency and resilience in the production, storage and management of energy. Rather than investing huge sums of money on new infrastructure, it is far simpler and more cost-effective to make existing systems run more intelligently. There is no shortage of companies innovating and providing solutions in this space, but challenges remain in embedding these solutions into mainstream processes.
"Clean energy innovation is the bedrock of the energy transition."
David Balensiefen, Managing Director, gridX
Managing Director of gridX David Balensiefen thinks that the energy industry needs a new outlook that looks beyond the status quo. “Clean energy innovation is the bedrock of the energy transition. But to eliminate emissions in the energy sector we also need government and private sector support, collaboration between various stakeholders and a collective mindset that welcomes change,” he says.
The importance of collaboration
“The idea for a conference bringing together accelerators and experts in the field was born out of this need. We want to incite meaningful dialogue around sustainable energy technology, share knowledge and determine how to overcome barriers to further accelerate the energy transition,” says Balensiefen.
gridXdays is a two-day virtual conference that will bring together scientific experts, regulators, investors and technical innovators to focus on exactly this topic. Participants can hear from leaders at Google and Microsoft, CEOs and founders from startups like sonnen, Next Kraftwerke and Plan A and policy advisors from WWF. The energy conference will be split into three blocks focusing on the industry’s status quo, solutions to make energy more accessible and affordable, and the best ways to effectively put them into practice.
Its aim is to provide a platform for people who have unique insights into the most important trends and technologies in the industry. Sign up to the free event to learn how truly interconnected sustainability, energy and technology will become.