An introduction to Angela Wilkinson, the World Energy Council’s new scenarios chief
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) former Head of Strategic Foresight Angela Wilkinson recently joined the World Energy Council as the Senior Director of World Energy Scenarios.
The organisation constructs informed predictions about what the world could look like in decades from now, based upon critical decisions and predetermined factors from the likes of economics, politics and population changes. These predictions are presented in three scenarios looking ahead to 2060 - Hard Rock, Unfinished Symphony, and Modern Jazz.
“The World Energy Council has been going since 1923,” Wilkinson said in an interview with Energy Digital. “It’s a community of practice which is truly international and neutral, trying to bring key figures and stakeholders in the energy system together to work out what's going on. What's the big picture? What can we do about it now?”
With significant knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of energy foresight, Wilkinson explains that although progress is being made in the direction of a sustainable future, this is only down to action, and governments and global corporations need to recognise and prioritise action more readily if a future that encompasses clean energy is to become a reality.
“I used worry about the future, but then I became an activist,” Wilkinson continued. “It's not ideological, it's just getting people who can make some change happen to change.
She continues to state that whilst action is needed, there is no point in action without informed direction and the way of achieving that is through communication and debate of people from all walks of life.
“Governments need to step up and state the facts to some of these big businesses. Google has signed up to something called the Breakthrough Energy coalition where a whole group of digital billionaires have decided that they are going to transform the energy system. This is the cult of celebrity that I really find quite frustrating. Just because you're a billionaire, it doesn't mean you know anything better than the next person.”
For the full interview and Wilkinson’s exclusive insight into the three scenarios, and her plans for them, look out for the October edition of Energy Digital Magazine.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.