An op-ed by Shankar Krishnamoorthy, ENGIE Executive Vice President in charge of Strategy & Innovation, Industrial Development, Research & Technology, and Procurement, who also supervises the Africa Business Unit and Tractebel.
As many other industries, the energy one is in full transition. A transition towards a cleaner and greener future, enabled in particular by new technologies and disruptive business models.
ENGIE has embraced these changes early on, and set its ambitions to lead the transition towards carbon-neutrality. To do so, Research and Innovation are crucial.
Four years ago, in a world turning more and more decarbonized, decentralized and digitalized, we decided to reposition ourselves to put the energy transition at the heart of our business.
And we have significantly progressed in this transformation. We have more than halved our direct CO2 emissions since 2012 and we have returned to organic growth in 2017.
Today, we are also committed to helping our clients – mainly companies and local authorities – to achieve their own transition, providing them with more efficient, greener and smarter energy solutions. To do so, we have decided to focus mainly our investments on client solutions and renewables, while relying on our strong positions in electricity and gas grids and optimizing our thermal assets.
Research and Innovation play a key role in enabling us to stay relevant in an ever evolving world, allowing us not only to improve our operational efficiency but also to prepare the future by sourcing, testing and deploying new technologies and business models.
We decided to put a special focus on energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, distributed energy systems, future buildings and industries, green mobility, smart cities and grids, and energy access, to name a few. These activities represent the future of energy: they are all consistent with a carbon neutral trajectory and will grow at a rapid pace.
Research and innovation at ENGIE are talents and organizations , from our Research & Technology teams developing and testing new technologies for our future, all over the world, in the domains of new energy sources and uses; to our Corporate Venture Capital fund, ENGIE New Ventures, creating options via minority investments in cutting edge startups whose technologies and business models are promising for tomorrow’s energy world; to our internal incubator scaling up energy and services projects into global new businesses; and our dynamic internal ecosystem of researchers, innovators and intrapreneurs in our entities across the globe, working together and with external stakeholders. All of them can be proud of the collective intelligence of their global community that will bear the fruits of a better and greener energy future