New technology and skills needed in the era of net zero infrastructure change

Princeton University and Worley published a net zero report that calls for a more rigorous approach. The report is discussed on the renews website.


‘Standardisation needed for renewables boom’

Standardisation in renewable energy project is not where it needs to be, according to a new net zero report by Princeton University in collaboration with Worley.

Solar PV and wind lead the way, but ultimately most projects are still bespoke, so to meet the massive demand, renewables infrastructure must be standardised to a greater degree.

The study also found that deploying low carbon technology relies on the readiness of digital infrastructure and that addressing the technological and digital skills gap will be key to moving forward with renewable infrastructure deployment.

The report outlines five different shifts in the way infrastructure is delivered, which the authors believe are necessary to meet the scale and speed of mid-century net zero shifts.

One shift is to unlock the potential of digital technology.

Using learnings from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, prioritising critical actions can be achieved with a “models, platforms, people” framework that ensures readiness for ramping up progress over the coming decades.

Creating partnerships is another shift, said the report.

“In this unprecedented era of net zero infrastructure change, it is essential for business and education providers to collaborate with governments to craft learning pathways for new technologies and skills,” it said.

Sue Brown, Executive Group Director, Sustainability for Worley, said: “We developed the five shifts and the indicators of change to describe how the delivery of major industrial infrastructure needs to change to build the scale and enable the speed of delivery required to get to net zero by 2050.

“But project delivery practices need to have radically transformed by 2030 for us to have any chance.

“Indicators of collaboration are particularly important to track, as this will be the key to driving more transparency, better participation, and more inclusive outcomes.”

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