ScottMadden, Inc., one of North America’s leading energy consulting firms, recently joined researchers, academics, and industry executives to “power up” the conversation about the future of energy and technology, specifically how these two industries are connected to and affected by current innovation. These discussions were the focus of INTERSECT: Energy in an Information Age—a invitation-only summit—presented by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Strategic Energy Institute. The keynote, delivered by Admiral Bob Willard of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, highlighted the call for a new generation of leaders to take a strategic, bold, and long-term approach to guide the transformation toward a new energy future.
During the event, Chris Vlahoplus, partner and clean tech & sustainability practice leader at ScottMadden, captured the four challenges facing our evolving energy sector: balancing equity, managing digitalization and big data, assuring resilience, and engaging stakeholders throughout the transition. Despite the challenges of navigating the energy sector’s evolving transition, there was an underlying optimism that these changes will collectively bring value.
“Energy in the information age is an apt description. The industry has undergone disruptions in the past, but technology advances, data availability, and consumer freedoms are changing the game at a rapid pace,” says Mr. Vlahoplus. “Gatherings like INTERSECT, which draw a diversity of energy stakeholder groups to the same room, need to happen more frequently these days," continues Rich Simmons, director of the Energy, Policy, and Innovation Center at Georgia Tech's Strategic Energy Institute. “Tapping into creative perspectives on innovation that extend beyond new technologies to new business models and regulatory approaches is a great way of adapting, and even thriving, during this rapid energy transition.”
As the report shares, energy is arguably the single most important issue of our modern times. Few sectors have a greater direct impact on our economy or every aspect of life—from household comforts and conveniences to transportation, manufacturing, and communications, it is omnipresent. Networked digital systems that are connected to the traditional, physical energy infrastructure are growing exponentially. The overlap between these systems and computing, big data, and physical infrastructure is creating a need for new resources, particularly in regards to the safety and security of operational structures and personal consumer information.
Advances in technology, the ability to access and process data, and the evolving role of individual consumers are driving disruptions in the energy industry at a pace that is challenging paradigms that were originally built around multi-decade’s investments and policy cycles.
The INTERSECT conference emphasized the potential of this energy transition, while reminding stakeholders to be wary of creating unintended consequences. Four themes ultimately emerged as key challenges facing our evolving energy sector: balancing equity, managing digitalization and data, assuring resilience, and engaging stakeholders throughout the transition.
To access the complete conference overview, please click here.
About the Strategic Energy Institute
The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Strategic Energy Institute integrates energy activities across the nation's largest technology university. Its mission is to serve as a channel for integrating, facilitating and enabling Institute-wide programs in energy research and development while attracting and engaging with external partners. The Strategic Energy Institute focuses on collaborative interactions in research areas that include fuels and chemical processing, energy generation and conservation, energy utilization, delivery and storage, and policy.
About ScottMadden, Inc.
ScottMadden is the management consulting firm that does what it takes to get it done right. Our practice areas include Energy, Clean Tech & Sustainability, Corporate & Shared Services, Grid Transformation, and Rates, Regulation, & Planning. We deliver a broad array of consulting services ranging from strategic planning through implementation across many industries, business units, and functions. To learn more, visit www.scottmadden.com | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn.