Keeping the lights on

Last week the Daily Telegraph reported that Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket in the UK, has built a series of gas-fired generators due to its concerns over security of supply. The article quotes Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at the company, who said that worrying about energy security keeps him awake at night as his…

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Unintended consequences

In my last post I wrote about the nature of innovation and the challenges of delivering commercially successful innovations even when a clear need has been identified. In the energy sector those clear needs to innovate can be found across the board, from the cost-challenged E&P environment to the re-shaping of the power markets. European…

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“Innovate or Die!”

I was recently asked to give a presentation on how innovation can be harnessed to boost productivity and competitiveness. This is an interesting question, particularly coming as I do from an industry that is in a period of rapid systemic change, and which is not really famed for its ability to innovate. The UK is…

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The changing face of the energy mix

In my previous post I wrote about the basic design of the gas and electricity systems and the importance of balancing supply and demand in real time, and how de-carbonisation is posing challenges for maintaining this balance in the power network. The electricity industry is undergoing a period of significant change. De-carbonisation is leading to…

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You can’t squash electricity!

Over the past few years I have given a number of talks to students about careers in the energy sector, and it always strikes me how little people outside the industry know about the mechanics of our gas and electricity systems…we expect the lights or the heating to go on when we hit the switch, and…

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