Setting the agenda for 2017

Louise Kingham OBE FEI Chief Executive

Louise Kingham OBE FEI Chief Executive

Now in its third year, the EI’s Energy Barometer is becoming an established channel for gathering evidence from our members to inform policy decisions. Our last blog detailed some of the ways it informed our messages to policy makers and laid the foundation for further engagement around Brexit negotiations and industrial strategy in 2016. A look at the media coverage of the 2016 findings also demonstrates why this initiative, and our members’ participation, is so crucial. So as we prepare to send invitations to take part in this year’s survey, here’s a preview of what to expect in 2017.

The survey and report will focus on policy, markets and investment. On climate issues, we will again explore professionals’ expectations for emissions targets and the most effective ways to meet them. We’ll also look into drivers of the low carbon economy and the potential role of adaptation measures in the UK. Of course Brexit will be on everyone’s mind throughout 2017, so we hope to capture our members’ views on priorities for negotiation and transition plans, as well as forthcoming industrial strategy. We’ll also think about whether Brexit might have any impact on energy prices and the labour market in the short term.

Each year we take a deeper look into 2-3 areas on professionals’ and policy makers’ minds. This year we’ll be asking members in more detail about decarbonising heat, new business models in the energy industry, and trust between industry, government, and the public.

In response to feedback from young professionals, we are planning a section in the report which puts a spotlight on the unique perspective of Graduates. They will answer some tailored questions about the best ways attract and retain young talent, and how they foresee their own job might be transformed over the course of their career. We hope those new to the industry will share their vision for the future, and a fresh look at what attracted them to the industry and keeps them in it.

As always, the survey questions are intentionally diverse – there’s no need to be an expert in all the areas covered. It’s the respondents’ experience inside the industry that makes the responses valuable. And all the responses truly are valuable: the survey results will determine our key messages to policy makers for 2017 – specifically around priorities for Brexit negotiation and transition, industrial strategy, and how to make the UK more ‘pro-innovation’.

Invitations to join the EI College, the group which will be surveyed, will be sent by email in mid-January.  Watch for yours, and I hope you’ll accept this unique opportunity to contribute to the energy debate should you be one of the limited number of members to receive an invite.

For more details about the Energy Barometer, including past reports and media coverage, visit knowledge.energyinst.org/barometer

All change please…

Louise Kingham

Louise Kingham OBE FEI,         Chief Executive, Energy Institute

 

 

 

In the last few months I’ve been involved in various settings – apparently co-incidentally- discussing how the energy industry is set to change and in some cases why it needs to, as well as what those drivers for change might be. For me this obviously directly leads to discussion about how the EI as a professional body and learned society with a unique proposition promoting and advancing energy knowledge, skills and good practice should prepare. The fora for these discussions have been varied – workshops about the role of a 21st century Institute; our own Brexit and Energy debate, listening to a keynote speaker talking about the outcomes of the CMA report, taking part in discussions promoting diversity of thought and better balance in energy companies, engagement in a review of how the engineering community is organised and of course the EI’s own consultation process with members and other key stakeholders about its future strategy. These are conversations I relish because they make you think and challenge the status quo. Some would say I like them too much but I think it’s what keeps you relevant and ready to adapt when it’s right to do so. They also challenge your creativity.

But it’s important to recognise that many fear change – in quite a natural way because it’s a fear of the unknown and a disruption to a comfort they understand. But for the energy industry, I believe there are some real challenges which mean there are opportunities to harness. Whether it’s putting the customer at the heart of the electricity system in a way which is ‘smart’ and makes best use of technology, or whether it’s new lower carbon business models for organisations heavily invested in fossil fuels. And there are many more I could mention. The point I leave you with is that the EI thinks long term, sees the opportunities and is ready to support energy professionals and their organisations on their journey.

P.S. Change can also bring frustration so if you have downloaded the latest apple operating system on your iPhone and iPad and now find your email tricky to work with go to settings, mail and switch off ‘organised by thread’. Members I’ve shared that one with this week have been delighted!