Guest Blog: npower’s Wayne Mitchell on YEP event

Can innovation solve the energy trilemma? Balancing energy sustainability, security and affordability is a key aim for every government and every nation. But it’s also a big challenge, especially as […]

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By george marshall

Can innovation solve the energy trilemma?

Balancing energy sustainability, security and affordability is a key aim for every government and every nation. But it’s also a big challenge, especially as each of these three factors often pulls in competing directions from the others.

The solution is far from clear. We know we need to find answers in new ideas, new technologies and new approaches to energy management.

But innovation doesn’t happen by itself. So where better to encourage it than among the young talent in our industry. As Einstein himself said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Which is why I’m delighted to share news of an exciting free event for young energy professionals on 17 September, which will tackle the need for greater innovation in solving the energy trilemma.

I appreciate the terms ‘energy industry event’ and ‘excitement’ don’t usually go together. But I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this one.

My colleague Kate Zaitschenko has been busy working with fellow Steering Committee members at the Energy UK Young Energy Professionals Forum (YEP) – which is hosting this event, along with our parent company RWE npower and EY – to make it stimulating, engaging and interactive.

While a panel of experts will be sharing their expertise (see below), YEP is putting the audience in the driving seat to determine where the discussion goes.

A series of energy trilemma scenarios will be presented which participants can then vote on, using their phones. Feedback will be gathered in real time and will impact the overall ‘balancing’ score for the three key areas of sustainability, security and affordability.

The outcome will then inform the debate on the role of innovation and how new ideas can provide the necessary solutions.

The evening’s experts include:

  • Our own Magali Hodgson, Head of Innovation at npower Business Solutions
  • Jamie Crystal, EY Director for UKI Power & Utilities, who will be facilitating the debate
  • Melissa Gander, Manager Director of In Home Technology at Ovo Energy
  • David Hill, Business Development Director at Open Energi
  • Alastair Gill, Team Lead for Project Support Offshore Wind at RWE Innogy
  • Joe Warren, MD at PowerVault
  • Ric Vacari, Vice President of Sales, EMEA Opower

The event takes place at 7pm on Thursday 17 September at the Elgar Concert Hall in Birmingham, and will conclude at 9pm with a drinks reception. It’s free to attend. But as you might expect, being a Young Energy Professionals event, the target audience is industry professionals under 30. (So sadly, you won’t be seeing me there!)

To register, visit the Energy UK link here.

Do please go along if you can. Innovation is so key for our energy future, and the new ideas needed to spur the solutions we need are likely to lie in your hands – and your heads