Renewable Energy SmartPod

Top Trends Shaping The Global Energy Transition

March 14, 2023 Sean McMahon Season 2 Episode 20
Renewable Energy SmartPod
Top Trends Shaping The Global Energy Transition
Show Notes Transcript

From Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, numerous major events have transpired during the last couple of years that have had an impact on the global energy landscape. Luke Brett from Reuters joins the show to talk about how leading policymakers and key industry executives are keeping pace with such rapid change and continuing the shape the global energy transition. Luke also shares the details of upcoming events that he and the team at Reuters are planning for the rest of 2023.

SmartBrief also has some huge news on the podcast front. We've launched yet another show, and this one focuses on all things sustainability. The Sustainability SmartPod is an industry agnostic show that will keep you informed about all the people technologies and trends, who are shaping a more sustainable society for all of us.

Sign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBrief

Follow the show on Twitter @RenewablesPod

(Note: This transcript was created using artificial intelligence. It has not been edited verbatim.)

Sean McMahon  00:08

What's up everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Renewable Energy SmartPod. I'm your host, Sean McMahon. And quite often on this show, we do a deep dive on the people and technologies that are powering the renewable energy sector. But for today's episode, we're going to step back a bit and take a wider look at the news and trends that are shaping the global energy transition. Let's face it, a lot has happened in the last year or so, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act right here in the US. So Luke Brett from Reuters is going to join me later to talk about how those events and more have recalibrated the energy landscape. 

Luke's role at Reuters puts them in the room with key industry executives and leading policymakers. So the insights he's gleaned are worth a listen. And if you want to get in the same room with all those influential experts, Luke is also going to share the details of upcoming events that he and the team at Reuters are planning for the rest of 2023. 

Here at SmartBrief, we've got some huge news on the podcast front, we've launched yet another show, and this one focuses on all things sustainability. The sustainability smart pod will keep you informed about all the people technologies and trends, who are shaping a more sustainable society for all of us. I will be joined by other SmartBrief content experts, including Karen Kanter, Evan Milberg, and Jan vanValkenburg as we discuss the way sustainability is influencing how businesses operate. This show takes a bit of a different approach for us, because it's industry agnostic. So while the show you're listening to now focuses on the energy industry, the sustainability smart pod will look at all industries. There's a lot of knowledge that can be shared. So we're hoping to highlight companies that aren't just talking to talk when it comes to sustainability. But walking the walk, I think you'll find the sustainability smart pod to be a great listen. So look for it on all the major podcast platforms, or click on the link in the show notes for this episode. 

And now, let's get to my conversation with Luke Brett from Reuters. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me. 

My guest today is Luke Brett, who's the global project director for the energy transition at Reuters. Luke, how you doing today? 

Luke Brett  02:27

Hi, Sean, nice to be with you. Thanks for having me. I'm doing well. Thanks.

Sean McMahon  02:30

Yeah, I'm excited to talk to you because as someone in your role, I think you quite literally sometimes have a front row seat to some of the most high level conversations dealing with the energy transition. So tell me a little bit more about your role at Reuters and what your team does.

Luke Brett  02:42

Yeah, absolutely, very much. So no, that's the Super App, we do indeed get a front row seat of some of the most fascinating and interesting conversations in this space. So yeah, I'm I'm a producer in the energy transition team at Reuters events. And obviously, Thomson Reuters, for those of the listeners who don't know, is one of the largest kind of news agencies and media organizations in the world. What we do and what my role broadly boils down to is sort of serving various different executive communities around the world with business critical information. And the primary form that that information comes in is in our events and the summits that we do. But we also produce a lot of statistical reviews, reports, surveys, and other kinds of contents, like white papers that really drill into some of the trends and the the market analysis that those executives really need. So yeah, looking forward to discussion today. And I'm going to be using quite a lot of the content that we've produced over the last couple of years as some of the backbone for the conversation we're having today as well.

Sean McMahon  03:36

Great. Well, let's just dive right into it. So what are some of the biggest trends you're seeing right now, when it comes to the energy transition?

Luke Brett  03:42

Yeah, I think I mean, the energy transition is such a dynamic space and such a dynamic market space at the moment, but I think there are a few kind of key trends that we've seen really emerge to the top of the pile in the last 12, 24 months. And the first one is governance, really, and sort of the role of the policymaker in the energy transition. You know, we've seen climate action, and we've seen climate change action, you know, being quite top of the pile for a lot of Western economies, Western national governments over the last couple of, you know, few years, decades even. But what we're seeing now is more of a trend towards those national policy frameworks really aligning with the energy transition and backing kind of clean energy production, wholeheartedly. So there's two examples here that I want to bring up. Obviously, the first one comes as no surprise to you, I'm sure the inflation Reduction Act signed last year by President Biden, I mean, alongside all of the other kinds of tax relief credits and investment incentives within the IRA $270 billion of investment in tax credits goes to renewable energy and clean energy domestic power generation there. So you know, renewable power generation nuclear, hydrogen, electric vehicles, all of these really critical elements of the of the transition to receiving these tax credits. And so you know, I think it was Princeton University came out with a report recently suggesting that those efforts and that those tax Credits and that investment incentive could cut carbon emissions massively by 2030. Similarly, the IRA also now has elements of the justice 40 initiative, when a President Biden's projects, which looks at 40% of the overall benefits of this, these climate and clean energy and related investments should be going to marginalized or, you know, over polluted communities, or those who are perhaps underserved by energy infrastructure today. So I think the IRA is a really, really interesting example of how you know, the federal government in the US is now kind of throwing its full investment power behind clean energy and domestic clean energy power generation. And a really good indicator of the role that kind of have a change, the role of governance is sort of changing in the energy transition discourse. And so that's kind of on your side of the pond, Sean. But then when we look over, over here in sort of Europe, I also wanted to touch on repower EU, which is the this new EU plan, ostensibly to sort of divorce the EU from Russian fossil fuel supplies and supply chains. But, you know, actually, it really does also tend to focus on on clean energy production and also critically, energy efficiency. And I think this is a really interesting indicator of the role that geopolitics is also now playing within energy transition. And that marketplace. You know, geopolitics now has really, really strong implications on the energy transition, given those energy security concerns that are now becoming so important. So as I say, this is all this repower. EU is all about, you know, clean energy production and accelerating that in European countries. But it's a quite a specific example in terms of divorcing the Europe from from Russian oil and gas supplies. But it is indicative of the way that legacy energy relationships are changing. And the role of geopolitics has such a strong impact on those energy supply chains. The energy transition is now actually offering energy security guarantees that it couldn't have done previously. So very, very interesting to see how that the role of the policymaker in the EU there is changing as well. Again, I mentioned all the content we do and I wanted to bring in some specific stats here. So we did a Trends report with Deloitte back in last year towards the beginning of last year, where we polled a whole host of industry professionals on various different elements of the energy transition. And one of those that we focused on was kind of public policy and the role of the policymaker. 90%, or more of the respondents that took that survey agreed that the public sector leadership is super critical to the energy transition success. And similarly, over 60% felt that cup 26, the UN's annual climate meeting, those outcomes from COP 26, would impact their business strategy in the next five years over 60%. And so I think what that really demonstrates is that corporates and sort of corporate business players and are really paying close attention to the to the public sector, and looking to work hand in glove with policymakers on accelerating the transition. So there's that policymaking piece, which I think is one of the most important trends. And you know, there's another one I think is super important, as well as the kind of the advent of digitalization within the energy transition. I was having a conversation with somebody about this earlier today, the interconnectivity and the wide range of kind of Internet of Things, the huge amount of digital software that we have on offer now in terms of increasing efficiency will impact the way that the energy transition is accelerated and is now actually, you know, quite business critical for a lot of, particularly these larger organizations who have, you know, huge legacy operations that need decarbonisation, or the need to be made more efficient. Digital is kind of intrinsic in doing that. And similarly, as well, you know, the more that we look at energy production becoming decentralized, and you know, becoming more localized as well, you know, the idea of local power generation through onshore wind or solar energy, for example, despite the fact that it's decentralized, everything is still connected, right. And so there is that need for digital software, to ensure that that is all aligned, ensure that all of these systems are playing nicely together and working well together. So this idea of digitalization is something that I think is going to be 100% key to the success of the energy transition.

Sean McMahon  09:01

Let me jump in there. So getting back to the the survey did with Deloitte coming out with the COP 26. Right. I think everyone agrees it was a ton of momentum coming out of Glasgow. I'm curious, is that a survey you'll do annually? So there might be another one coming up this year? Because it seems to me that like, not as much buzz and momentum coming out of COP 27 As there was COP 26

Luke Brett  09:21

Yeah, so we do produce annual trend reports. And it is something that we're looking at doing again this year. And they typically come off the back of the events that we do and the discussions that we have there, but we also do them in combination with the surveys that we release. Yeah, really interesting point about COP 27 as well. I think there was an element of COVID and the COVID pandemic in in last year in the years before that kind of crystallized the importance of COP 26 I don't know if you remember, but there was a lot of conversation particularly here in the UK where I'm based around, you know, the pandemic and lockdowns and people staying inside and the obvious impact that it had on the environment and people's working and living environments. And so I think you know, COP 26 was almost a, you know, a unique flash in the pan in terms of the attention that it got from from the public sector and from the public at large. I'd agree I haven't seen quite as much kind of furtherance for COP 27. But that said, you know, those meetings are a really, really good example, I think of the role that large scale meetings and really large scale events can actually play in accelerating change. It really goes to the heart of what we're trying to achieve as well, you know, we want to bring all of these stakeholders together, the idea being that having all of these folks in one room is the best way to hammer out, you know, collaborative partnerships, and what the future of energy will look like. And so, you know, I think he even even though it may not be front and center in the minds of the public at large, I think COP 27, and the COC meetings annually plays such an important role in the energy transition. And yeah, I think they're super valuable for all of those players who get involved in them.

Sean McMahon  10:50

So I guess it'd be nice to see how much hype builds up around this year's COP 28 meeting in the UAE, back to you. You said your third point you want to make?

Luke Brett  10:56

Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think the third point is one that is, again, quite obvious to any of those who work in the industry. And it is renewable investment patterns, essentially, I think it's not really a surprise, again, to those who are insiders. But I think when you I was really struck, I was just looking at a graph that I saw earlier today, I think it was in in Bloomberg, looking at the cost of renewable technology over the last decade or 15 years. Such a massive, sharp fall across all elements of renewable technology from wind, solar storage, storage, in particular, has had a huge, huge fall up until last year. And and this year, you know, we've seen a slight uptick, given the massive rise in energy prices, again, linked back to the geopolitics and the invasion of Ukraine. But what we have seen is that, you know, two, I think, was an IRENA report that I was reading that said, two thirds of renewable power added in 2021 had lower costs than the cheapest Coldfire options in G 20. countries as well. So what we are seeing is a really encouraging fall in the cost of renewable technology, that hopefully means in combination with those policymaking pieces I outlined earlier, we should see a massive, massive uptick now and investment and deployment of those renewable assets.

Sean McMahon  12:02

Okay, and you mentioned the cost of renewables kind of coming down and the latest data on that. So which sectors are which technologies, I should say, you know, wind, solar, green hydrogen, things like that. Which ones are enjoying the most momentum right now?

Luke Brett  12:14

Yeah, I mean, to be honest, I think, I think they're all enjoying momentum in their own way. Really, I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that each of those that you touched on there has their own role to play. But I think there are a few that are seeing a lot more attention in the last kind of 12 months that I think are really interesting. The first is nuclear energy. Now it's it's, you know, somewhat of a debate, particularly over on my side of the pond as to where nuclear energy falls in the renewable green, not green spectrum. In my personal opinion, I look at nuclear energy is a really interesting kind of baseload solution, and baseload augmentation of renewable energy. And, particularly, I'm most interested in this idea of small modular reactors, right, and their role to play in in a sort of localized power generation, particularly in developing economies, and particularly in remote communities as well. In nuclear as well, we've also seen this big fusion breakthrough that happened in the last couple of months, I believe it was just at the end of last year, fusion energy over in the US. And finally seeing looking as though it's going to be market viable at some point in the next century or so. So again, you know, nuclear is has somewhat of a controversial reputation in some circles, but personally, I see it as something that I think really should be involved in this conversation around the energy transition more. And I think the technology behind those SMRs and behind the fusion energy breakthrough is super fascinating. And so I'm really keen to see whether SMR has actually hit market commercialization by 2030. I think that's, that's the risk that's been identified in this space, you know, Will Will they have market viability in the next decade, 20 years to justify that high cost of investment that they have today, but still to be seen as to as to how that plays out?

Sean McMahon  13:51

I think what they need is a little bit more publicity, quite frankly, I think, you know, the public doesn't isn't quite aware of SMRs, and what they do and how they're structured and things like that. I mean, I live a mile from the headquarters for new scale, right, one of the biggest players in that space. And my neighbors, I've never heard of them. Their headquarters is right down the road people like Wait, what are they? What do they do? And so I think it's almost one of the just public awareness and public education on that might help.

Luke Brett  14:16

Most definitely. I mean, the nuclear energy industry really has has had a branding problem for for, you know, a couple of decades. I don't think that's a really controversial thing to say. But at the same time, I think that is shifting now. And I think that the new kinds of technology that are coming to the forefront and what they offer, I mean, for SMRs, in particular, like I look at it through through the lens of those developing economies or those, you know, remote communities. If SMR market production is able to spin up effectively in the US, there's absolutely no reason why those SMRs couldn't be exported, you know, sold on to developing economies and then again, we're offering them something that isn't that that kind of low cost, fossil fuel Pay As You Go pay to play kind of energy production that they currently rely on, because they don't have the kind of level of investment and capital to spring for renewable infrastructure at this stage. So I think SMR is is super interesting, definitely one of the pieces of technology to keep an eye on at the moment. And there's another couple as well, I think, you know, floating solar is something that we have heard a lot about in recent months as well, this idea of kind of massive floating offshore solar farms. Again, I think, you know, and this also comes into the conversation about offshore wind, I think we're now seeing this sort of shift from offshore activities, primarily focusing on kind of oil and gas exploration and production and more looking to making use of that ocean environment space for for renewable power production. And, of course, within solar as well. And also within wind energy, there have been super interesting developments in terms of the quality and the innovation behind these different pieces of technology, you know, new photovoltaic materials on solar panels, you know, I saw, I think it was Siemens who were doing a working in conjunction with university, I believe it was MIT on a new design for wind turbine fan blades, right there were in, you know, just a simple design change really doesn't make much difference to construction in manufacturing. But it caused a massive amount of inefficiency off the top and made them much more, may be able to produce much more electricity on a single turbine. So I think what we're seeing is a lot of development and a lot of r&d, going into these specific kinds of technologies, and just really tightening the bolts and making them a bit sharp. One more, as well just mentioned, which I feel is super important, and that we constantly hear about is energy storage, you know, China has had Yes, I think it's got something like 30 gigawatts of non hydro storage capacity planned for that for the next three, four years. And this idea of energy storage becoming more efficient and more effective is really, really intrinsic, again, to the to the success of a renewable integration, we've got to be able to store that renewable energy and make use of it again, effectively in order for these renewable assets to be as effective as they can be. So yeah, I'm personally really interested to see how the energy storage composition evolves further, and what the technology looks like in that space in the next decade.

Sean McMahon  17:04

Are you seeing any headwinds for any of those individual technologies or for the sector as a whole?

Luke Brett  17:08

Yeah, I mean, there are still a significant amount of barriers when it comes to the energy transition. I think. And and I would say that, you know, the each of those technologies has their own specific barriers. And I think we touched on them a little bit around nuclear, right, market viability, branding, you know, however, you want to phrase that. And I think if you look up wind and solar, you've always got the traditional NIMBY problems, not in my backyard, right. And so I think, rather than looking at specific technical, technological barriers, I think there are still actually some more existential barriers that we're seeing in the energy transition space at the moment, which primarily, honestly boiled down to costs, right, you know, the cost of retrofitting, of repurposing of redesigning infrastructure, it's extremely expensive. And it's cost prohibitive for a lot of not even just a lot of companies or a lot of businesses, but for a lot of countries and a lot of national market environments. So I mean, if we take the example of digital right, once something that we talked about at the very top, the role of digital solutions, and digitalization, you know, they can help maximize efficiency, they can be used for analysis, risk analysis, you know, they can be used for Workforce Management, they can do almost everything that needs to be done within kind of a resource management and an efficiency management perspective. But, of course, the level of investment is massive, in order to get that digital integration done effectively across an entire organization. So for smaller players, you know, it's while it may be obvious that digital is super important, they may just not have the capital or the capital, the free capital to go and invest in now. Similarly, then, you know, the high cost of the high capital costs of infrastructure development in itself, for energy means that affordable financing is going to be really important. And, you know, we again, touching on the developing economies piece, and what I mentioned earlier, I was reading a really interesting article by the World Bank, there was a quote in there that was touching on this idea of, you know, developing economies at the moment are very much reliant on fossil fuel power generation, typically from a third party, again, also hang harkening back to this conversation about Russia and European supply chains, for lots of developing economies that are dependent on fossil fuel power being fed into them, you know, they get it at a cheaper rate than they possibly could for renewables. And it's, again, cost prohibitive for them to step ahead and, and invest in that renewable infrastructure because they don't have that free capital to do so. But in this world bank peace, there was a quote, which really stuck with me, which was, quote, the poverty trap becomes an energy trap that is becoming a climate trap. And so, by this, what we're seeing is that by virtue of the fact that they you know, these developing economies don't have the capital to reach out and start that renewable infrastructure development. They can become caught in the fossil fuel supply chain, caught in having to continually feed their their grades and their businesses and their homes through fossil fuel energy because of it's cheaper, but that then, of course, is then trapping us and their economies in the trap of heavy carbon emissions and so on. We need affordable financing in the energy transition space to do so. And whether that comes through, you know, multinational development banks, whether it comes through donors or investment, private investment, institutional investment, wherever it may come from mobilizing that low cost capital for developing economies is going to be super critical. I mean, another big barrier, I think that we see a lot here is, is around infrastructure in itself and the nature of that infrastructure. A good example, I would say on this would be electric vehicles, right. And electric vehicles have had a real Renaissance moment in in the last kind of decade, maybe even five years really where we see Tesla's and we see all these large automotive automotive makers now leaning into electric vehicles, which is obviously fantastic, and from a consumer perspective is excellent, in terms of the cost of charging, etc, and that continues to fall as well. But, you know, we have to ask ourselves these these difficult questions. I mean, I think it's California over on your side of the pond, who's who's looking at banning the sale of petrol cars, in the next 20 years, and petrol Gas, gas powered cars. And, again, a laudable a laudable Initiative, a laudable approach and a great idea. But we have to look at the practicality of what that means, where I live in London, here on my street, you know, there are two rows of houses, and the road in front of me is quite narrow. And there's just enough space for two single file lines of cars to park on either side of the road, and there's only space for one car to drive down the road in the middle. You know, and I often look outside when I'm here working at home and ask myself, well, if we were to try and have robust electric vehicle infrastructure in London, what would that look like? Realistically, how would this be feasible if every person who lived on my street drove an electric vehicle, the reality behind charging their cars would be absolutely impossible to recognize, you know, it's a bit of a facetious example, and again, realizing that it's not spot on. But I think that the notion of that argument is still pretty important, you know, do we have, can we have the acceleration in the infrastructure development that we need, in order to serve what we think the community, the energy system and energy supply chains of tomorrow are going to look like? So this also comes into play with hydrogen as well, right? You know, hydrogen is great can be shipped in a liquid form, can potentially be repurposed into existing kind of natural gas infrastructure. But again, super cost prohibitive. And the idea of what the journey between where we are today and realizing that tomorrow looks like is only going to be achieved through massive, massive levels of investment, and kind of facing into the wind, if you like. I mean, you said it yourself in terms of headwinds, I think that really is the way that we have to look at this, it's battling against that headwind is going to be an imperative if we want to be successful and actually deliver a kind of netzero energy.

Sean McMahon  22:39

Yeah, I mean, a lot of folks, I'd like to think that one of the biggest things hydrogen has going for it is the fact that so much of the infrastructure is already in place. With gas pipelines. I mean, it's, it's almost some people think it's the biggest step that it hasn't had some of the other technologies, for sure. So we've talked a little bit about events like, you know, cop, 26, seven, and then upcoming COP 28. So obviously, your team puts on a lot of events for Reuters, where you bring a lot of these the leading minds around the world together. So talking a little bit about some of the stuff you haven't scheduled for, you know, the near future or say the rest of the year.

Luke Brett  23:07

So yeah, we've got a whole host of really exciting events coming up this year. And I'll talk about them each in turn. But before I do that, just some context around what we're trying to do. We run fairly small, fairly intimate events, but we keep them focused on those who are essentially the most important decision makers in this energy transition space. So we work with, you know, CEOs and executives from the world of oil and gas utilities, renewables, chemicals, hard to abate sectors, as well as finance, and policymaking and manufacturing, and EPC, and digital and all of these other players who are involved in the conversation, we bring them together, and we unite them in purpose, and in Outlook, and to sort of discuss how they can use their boardroom position to really accelerate the energy transition effectively. So like I said, we've got four events coming up this year. And I'm really excited about all of them. I think all of them are looking to achieve slightly different things. But they're all on really, really important topics. So the first we've got coming up is in New York City. And it's our global energy transition event, and which is in on June 7, and eighth. This is the flagship event in the portfolio and looks at the sort of international macro economic and existential challenge that the energy transition presents. So here, we focus on international collaboration, you know, forging innovative partnerships and cross sectoral partnerships, working with policymakers securing that investment flow and that capital, you know, being ready for a clean economy and preparing all of these different stakeholders for what the future of clean energy means and looks like. And also really, really, critically, the just transition and energy equity and energy accessibility. This is something that I think is super intrinsic to this conversation and something that should never be left out of the discussion. And not just how are we going to bring low cost electricity to developed economies, but how are we going to bring the rest of the world and those developing a con Meet up with us. And again, this harkens back to the cost conversation we had earlier. What we look to do in these events is really kind of provide those executives with sort of practical and tangible pathways to delivering both their own sustainability strategies in their companies and their organizations, but also to carve out what their wider role in society as a whole is. So that's the global event that's in New York, and then that focuses on the International Peace, as I said, and then when we look through to September, we've got our industry transition event in Pittsburgh. This focuses specifically on the hardware base and kind of industrial decarbonisation industrial colocation, much more of a kind of an infrastructure, construction flavoring to that event. And, again, focusing on another key vertical within the transition and one that we haven't touched on much in our conversation today, you know, industrial decarbonisation, specifically, the challenges that that has are unique and wide ranging. But we see that industrial, decarbonisation and industrial transition conversation really fitting in within the wider discourse around energy supply chains, energy consumption, generation and distribution as well. And then when we look towards the end of the year, come November time, we'll have our two regional market summits energy transition North America in Houston, and energy transition Europe, in London. Again, we retain that executive feel we retain that seniority of our audience. But we're really looking here at the sort of regional challenges that we see in each of those market spaces. So, you know, this year, for example, or I should say, last year, in 2022, in North America, you know, we focused pretty heavily on the role of policy on the inflation Reduction Act, and on his subsequent impact on investment patterns and outlook for the energy transition in the US and Canada. Whereas in Europe, we looked at geopolitics and energy security and the role that those elements have to play in the future of energy supply chains around Europe. So all in all, you know, what we do in these energy transition events, as I said, is we bring together all of those really senior stakeholders who are looking to, you know, change momentum, or are looking to really affect change within their industries in the energy transition itself. We bring them together, we have them share strategy with each other, learn from each other, build a community build their place in that community. And ultimately, year on year, we want this to be a staple in those executive diaries and be, you know, touching base, checking in on each other, making sure that everybody's on the same page. And I think we've had a lot of real good success in this space in the last couple of years. And it has really reminded us how, especially on the back of COVID, in the pandemic and the lock downs, and you know, being in the events, business, of course, suffered a real existential threat all the way through our COVID. And now, on the back of that people have really, I think cottoned on to how important those face to face meetings and how valuable those in person conversations can be.

Sean McMahon  27:45

Okay. And as someone who sits there kind of at the intersection of, of all these senior stakeholders coming together, I bet you have a unique perspective on what they're all talking about, and what the future might hold. So one of the things I like to do on the show is ask all my guests for bold predictions about any given area of the renewable energy transition that they're involved with. So I'm gonna ask you the same question. When you look at the energy transition for the next few years. Any things that are maybe not on people's radar, or any kind of bold predictions you want to, you want to go out and make?

Luke Brett  28:12

Yeah, so I think there's so much dynamism, so much momentum in the energy transition market space, that you could make a whole host of bold predictions. And you'd probably be right in lots of ways, or in some ways on almost all of them, because of how quickly it is evolving and the momentum we have in this space. But I think there are two bold predictions that I would make, in terms of what we would see in the energy industry in the next couple of decades to come. First one is hydrogen, I think hydrogen is really something that is going to come it's a bit of a dark horse at this stage. And it's not necessarily super well understood, least of all, by me, kind of how that will play into existing energy supply chains. And we talked about it earlier with infrastructure, etc. But I think the potential for hydrogen to unlock so much from specific technologies to, you know, fuels, you know, often touted as a fuel of the future aviation fuels, shipping fuel, right, the way through to industrial processes, you know, in combination with carbon capture, etc. There is so much potential for hydrogen to unlock, you know, is it a replacement for fossil fuels? How does it work in terms of, you know, electrification of the grid, etc. So I think hydrogen is something that is yet to be understood kind of exactly how momentous it's going to be, in terms of the upheaval for the market. But I'm personally really excited to see how that develops further. And then I would say, secondly, I think it's, it's the emergence of collaborative and circular partnerships and new kinds of relationships between, you know, essentially old foes in legacy energy environments. And so, you know, again, thinking about hydrogen, for example, it offers the opportunity for new off takers to come into the value chain in places they never have done before. You know, as I said, again, in combination with carbon capture, and carbon capture being fed back into energy systems for production purposes, I think we're going to see a real change in the way that these relationships form between key energy stakeholders. So you know, we're already seeing big organ as Asians partner up on offshore wind farms, we're seeing them partner up on carbon capture and storage projects on larger energy storage projects as well. Because you know, not every company has the right capabilities to be able to do what's necessary in the energy transition today, you know, that when it gas companies, for example, are set up to cater to the oil and gas market environment, and they have very robust capabilities in some spaces. But of course, then there are renewable power generators or renewable manufacturers, renewable technology developers who have capacity and capabilities in places those oil and gas companies don't. And so, you know, rather than the adversarial competitivity that we've seen in the market in sort of the last 2030 years, and what I think we're now seeing is more of a conciliatory approach, where folks are realizing that actually working together is not just better for their own bottom line and for the revenue generation of their businesses. But it's also better for kind of the long term prospects of their role to play in society, because that is how you decarbonize and that is how you cut carbon and cut emissions where they need to be is by maximizing that efficiency, and leaning on the capabilities of those partner organizations that you may not necessarily have. So I think in a nutshell, we're looking at hydrogen really changing the game in years to come. And I think we're looking at the nature of relationships between these different stakeholders changing rapidly as well. Well, I

Sean McMahon  31:19

gotta tell you, I'm a big fan of any prediction that involves foes becoming friends and collaborating. Listen, Luke, I appreciate all the insights you've shared. It's a fascinating conversation, and I'm looking forward to being at the event in New York City in June. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of smart thinkers pointing the way for where the energy transition is headed next. So thank you for your time today and for sharing all your insights.

Luke Brett  31:39

Thanks, Sean, very much appreciate speaking to you. And yeah, looking forward to seeing you and the team at the event as well later in the year.

Sean McMahon  31:46

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