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Amping up the energy transition

21 July, 2023

The Financial Times’ outgoing US energy editor recently highlighted a concerning trend in the energy transition – capitalism’s inability to drive the shift fast enough to meet the immense scale of change required. The urgency to combat climate change demands rapid and widespread adoption of renewable energy sources, and while some progress has been made, the pace falls short of what is needed. 

One of the most interesting – and perhaps surprising – aspects of this situation is that consumer demand is strong. Consumers exhibit considerable interest and excitement about new technologies, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, recognising them as technologies of the future. So, you might think capitalist forces would come into play and supply would emerge to meet the demand – and the market. Instead, it is exposing the failings in this system. Established providers in these industries are often found to be pushing back, as Bloomberg Green’s Todd Woody related firsthand earlier this year. There is an inertia that stops them moving to adopt new technologies quickly, whether they’re popular with customers or not. This may be because contractors aren’t familiar with the latest options, because their existing sales-channel relationships limit their access to the latest and greatest and/ or because they fear bad reviews if they get it wrong.   

The energy transition is undeniably a complex and multifaceted challenge that requires collaboration from all stakeholders. And it’s clear there is an important job to do to help providers capitalise on consumer eagerness for sustainable technologies. Building awareness, education and capacity among installers, contractors and dealers will play a key role in the process. 

We – desperately – need everyone to work together through concerted efforts and a shared commitment to a sustainable future if we are to have any hope of overcoming the limitations of the current system and paving the way to a more resilient and environmentally conscious energy landscape. 

By Lucy Bell

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