What are our biggest challenges in transitioning to 100% renewable energy?

#BrightMindsChallenge

We asked, our partners answered: What are our biggest challenges in transitioning to 100% renewable energy?

What are our biggest challenges in transitioning to 100% renewable energy?

The Bright Minds Challenge partners represent various sectors and unique expertise. We asked them to share their view on the key challenges for a global transition to 100% renewable energy and cutting the carbon off the grid. Scroll down to find out what they had to say!

Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs

Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs

As the world’s population is growing, we need to find ways to meet the increasing demand without destroying the environment. We need to find new ways of producing and consuming energy and move away from our dependency on fossil fuels. Every day, entrepreneurs and innovators are working hard to develop technologies to address this global energy challenge.

One of the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs and innovators face is gaining access to the right resources and markets that will allow for commercialization of their technologies.

Science-based companies like DSM and programs like the Bright Minds Challenge play a crucial role in leading the transition to a low carbon economy by helping clean-tech startups develop and commercialize their technologies at an accelerated rate. At Greentown Labs, we are passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship and technology that will help mitigate climate change. The DSM Bright Minds Challenge encompasses all three of these areas and is helping to turn ideas on how to address the global issues into reality.

Danny Kennedy, Founder of Sungevity, MD of California Clean Energy Fund

Danny Kennedy, Founder of Sungevity, MD of California Clean Energy Fund

The biggest challenges as we go from low double-digit percentages of renewables in our power supply is still deployment at scale. But for those economies that have higher penetration of renewables the challenge will be integrating those resources into their old grids - especially going from 50 or 70% to 100%. For that we need new power electronics, new storage technologies, new business models and so Bright Minds can help with those. In leapfrog markets, where we are starting from scratch and jumping straight to 100% clean energy supply, the Bright Minds Challenge can help make consumers, investors and market makers aware of the possibility and opportunity at hand. Sungevity

Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

The future is already here – it just isn’t evenly distributed (William Gibson). In other words, we don’t lack the innovation needed to create change – but we need to encourage adoption of innovation and individual and organizational behaviour change if we are to transition to 100% renewable energy. The Bright Minds challenge doesn’t only support new innovations; it creates awareness of the possibilities that exist for us, that we need to take hold of and replicate. Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Sander van der Heijden, Managing Director Chemicals and Natural Resources Practice, Accenture

Sander van der Heijden, Managing Director Chemicals and Natural Resources Practice, Accenture

Get innovations through the 'valley of death' is one of the biggest challenges, especially since vested interest play a role. Brilliant innovators have not always the skills to scale their solutions.  This takes team work and that is exactly what the Bright Mind Challenge brings. Accenture

Rob van Leen, DSM's ‎Chief Innovation Officer

Rob van Leen, ‎Chief Innovation Officer of DSM

In solar, it is (1) further lowering of cost to allow for higher PV deployment and storage, (2) prevent too large imbalances in demand/supply in fast growing market (causing high price volatility) and (3) adequate local support schemes/policies tuned to the needs in that local situation. Furthermore, (4) grid integration and storage integration because of intermittent character of PV and finally recycling/End-of-Life treatment of PV modules.

In energy storage, it is all about safer, more efficient and cost effective batteries and supporting the need for Gigafactories required to meet Market demands. We undertook this challenge because we’re convinced that bright minds around the world outside our company have the technologies and solutions we need to transition to 100% renewable energy. And that by working together in new ways we’ll get them to the market much faster. DSM

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