The Art and Science of Energy Transformation
Part 3

The Power of Your Voice and Knowing your Audience

What is the single most complicated element of a complete energy transformation? Relationships. It’s the sub-atomic particle in all decarbonization programs. Without a clear understanding of the human dimensions of your projects, you can risk failure before you start.

Local governments have certainly embraced decarbonization goals but the goalposts keep changing. it’s a continuous process subject to Federal and State policies. As of 2020, over 130 local governments, through renewable energy purchases, will have achieved their decarbonization goals (source) As the number of local governments who set similar goals grow, the need for a tangible sense of the value of their assets is critical while they set a plan for their transformation. 

Here is where the human dimension is key. In our experience, almost half of all decarbonization projects depend on understanding stakeholders and influencers to attain success. That means, engaging in pre-planning, budgeting, approvals, logistics, and the downstream impacts after switching to renewables matters at logical and emotional levels.

Without engaging with the people who are central and tangential to a project’s success you risk a quick and easy failure. With local US governments controlling directly and indirectly over 52% of emissions that occur within their cities and/or municipalities (source) coordination and collaboration on a personal level will help navigate the daily pressures and politics of decarbonization projects and will build trust.

From utilities, PUCs, environmental advocacy groups, consumer advocacy groups, utility customers, electricity generators, local municipalities, and the end consumer, our view is holistic. This is more than selling, it’s about having a sense of clarity, empathy, and an understanding of the art of relationships amongst a cross-section of people.  The key issue is to Listen. Everyone has been, is currently, and will be impacted by the transition.  Within each situation, each stakeholder has a unique perspective with legitimate issues that need to be addressed.

In some cases, local governments don’t have direct control over their sources of electricity. Some cities are developing partnerships with utilities and advocacy actions as part of their strategy. (source) This approach broadens the level of coordination and influence one would need to manage a major decarbonization project. As state and local governments commit to energy goals, every decision they make impacts someone’s job, and every oversight can create obstacles and setbacks. We understand that the nature of energy transformations is about people first followed by technology and engineering.

Everything cannot occur instantaneously. Overly abrupt change resulting from overreach and lack of sufficient cause-and-effect analysis will be detrimental to society (competitiveness, quality of life, security etc.). A pragmatic approach to decarbonization and energy transformation must consider all the variables.  

From utilities to merchant power to the intricacies of environmental, financial, and renewable obstacles and priorities, our teams of experts have achieved what you hope to achieve.

In our view, whether it’s transformation, remediation, repurposing, or closing obsolete or unrepairable properties, managing multiple, critical relationships in an energy transformation is an art. Knowing what stakeholders to focus on, and how to connect with them while understanding their top priorities are some at the core of the strategies we provide.