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08 Sep 2020

Why is a systemic innovation approach important in the energy sector - read the wrap up article of IRENA’s special episode

Why is a systemic innovation approach important in the energy sector - read the wrap up article of IRENA’s special episode

Read about the topics discussed in the special episode of the Enlit Europe New Energy Landscape Hub Series and watch an exclusive interview with Kristian Ruby, Secretary-General of Eurelectric.

“We are delighted to work with IRENA as their work is always of interest to the Enlit Community.  However, this episode "30 innovations for a renewable-powered future” was especially interesting. We believe strongly in encouraging and creating a platform that stimulates innovation to accelerate the energy transition. So being able to share some of the findings of this  essential report live, and now on demand, is really what Enlit Europe is all about”, said Paddy Young, Enlit Europe's Director, about the recent episode of Season 1 of the New Energy Landscape Hub Series.

Hosted by Enlit Europe as part of our digital Hub Series Special Episodes, this joint session with Initiate and IRENA discussed the 30 innovations that are accelerating the energy transition. These innovations are identified by IRENA and published in their report “Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future.”

The special episode stressed the importance of a systemic innovation approach, meaning fostering innovation in four dimensions: enabling technologies, business models, market design and system operation. 

The role of those innovations was discussed in the context of the ongoing disruptive trends in the power sector: 1) digitalisation, 2) decentralisation and 3) electrification. These trends are changing paradigms, unlocking system flexibility for a high share of VRE penetration. They are changing the roles and responsibilities of actors and opening doors to new entrants in the sector.

Expert presentations were followed by a panel discussion, during which questions from the live audience were answered.

“The webinar co-organised with Enlit Europe reconfirms the findings from the IRENA Innovation Landscape project for power systems flexibility. Hundreds of experts from around the world have contributed to this effort, some of which were also present during the session. The different stakeholders discussed the solutions and strategies for an accelerated energy transition, an effort that is of tremendous importance and urgency”, said Dolf Gielen, Director Innovation and Technology, IRENA.

During this episode these questions were discussed:

  • Why is the share of renewable energy in Europe changing? What are we doing right?
  • Are renewables to blame for recent outages in California?
  • Should we expect to decentralise the physical energy world with a one stop shop? Any similarity to Airbnb and Uber?
  • How is the energy industry going to attract the next generation of top talent into the workforce? Is it exciting enough?
  • In relation to the market design, how can a whole system approach of regulation contribute to innovation?

The audience answered the poll about: Where do you think more innovation efforts should be made to accelerate the transition?

Click Here To Watch This Episode On Demand


After the episode, we had the opportunity to have a discussion about this with Kristian Ruby, Secretary-General of Eurelectric. "What I liked about the IRENA report was that, rather than just looking at the technologies, it really took a holistic approach to the innovation challenge", explains Eurelectric’s Secretary-General.

Watch the full interview with Kristian Ruby:

Eurelectric logo Enlit Europe Kristian Ruby Secretary-General





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