At Engerati we recently hosted the webinar showcasing the £50,000 dynamic demand challenge prize run by NESTA (entries close on the 9th september details on entering can be found here). The aim is to help build a solution which will show significant impact on the consumption of energy.
I was particularly impressed by the line-up of speakers and supporters of the prize you can watch the webinar and get more details here.
I had a particular affinity and agreement with he views of Tom Burke – Founding Director E3G who makes observations which I share, having my roots in the ICT and technology market.
The nature of the change
Energy policy is fundamentally a countries climate policy. The drive to a zero carbon vision will ensure we will see more low carbon technology coming to market. We will also see a fundamental shift in in the energy consumption eco system. A recent lead in The Economist (yesterdays fuel) even postulated that we may be at the point of peak demand.
What is certain is that this is an age of transformation for the energy sector unlike any shifts before. Much like the ‘cloud’ revolution in the ICT sector there is a requirement for innovation and a fundamental need to find and adopt new business models which will lead to disruption.
The numbers are different
A key change is the nature of the solution, the top down model of generation is being eroded. We are moving into a world where the answer lies in joining up small producers in big numbers to dive a new generation paradigm.
This will see households, businesses and communities fitting into the generation puzzle like never before.
The driver for this will be energy security in in a diverse and distributed system not unlike the ubiquitous ‘cloud’ of the ICT world. We are already seeing companies take charge of their own energy destiny. Google’s increased investment in renewable technology companies has less to do with altruism and more to do with business continuity – which is a good thing as reported in our article Google sees green.
The role of demand response
This distributed grid will need a new approach. A grid built for the end vision not just one that reacts to new technology and tries to adapt to this.
The types of solutions fostered by the prizes like the NESTA dynamic demand generation prize will be essential to this distributed grid,
Technologies and solutions will need to play a role in not only ensuring the stability of the grid but also help predict demand and play its role in the new generation portfolios.
Join the challenge
We have been excited by the challenge prize and want to continue to promote this and give it continued coverage.
It is essential that not only are innovators encouraged to build solutions but that these solutions and their thinking are exposed to the more traditional energy players like utilities, regulators and governments.
We are looking forward to giving the winners more coverage sharing the solution with you.