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Turning risk into opportunities

Recorded live at the Global Smart Energy Summit 2018 in Dubai.

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Turning risk into opportunities
Welcome to the latest DNV GL Talks Energy podcast series, which was recorded live at the Global Smart Energy Summit (GSES) 2018 in Dubai. Each week notable industry thought leaders join us to discuss the hot topics from GSES, and provide their insights into the main drivers behind the global energy transition.

Turning risk into opportunities 

Behind every risk there is an opportunity. In this episode, Sven Mollekleiv, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at DNV GL, explains how DNV GL’s Global Opportunity Report focuses on turning risks into opportunities to support sustainability.

In this fascinating and current episode, Sven shares with us how DNV GL have used our core skills of identifying, assessing and managing risk to develop the Report, alongside UN Global Compact and Sustania. We discuss the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’), created by the General Assembly to achieve sustainable development for all, and consider which four of these 17 goals are falling behind their 2030 targets. With these four SGDs forming the basis of the Report, Sven touches on two key topics in our discussion: Keeping it Cool and Reuse to Repower. He explains why there is a growing need for cooling systems to become more energy and cost efficient; and highlights several companies re-purposing old batteries to increase their lifespan and use. Finally, Sven, a panelist at the Energy Industry Conference 2018 also held in Dubai, shares the key messages from that conference, and discusses why businesses must be part of the smarter solutions of the future.

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NARRATOR Welcome to the DNV GL Talks Energy podcast series. Electrification, rise of renewables and new technologies supported by more data and IT systems are transforming the power system. Join us each week as we discuss these changes with guests from around the industry.  

MATHIAS STECK    Welcome to a new episode of DNV GL Talks Energy here from the Global Smart Energy Summit in Dubai. My guest this morning is Sven Mollekleiv, the Senior Vice President, Sustainability of DNV GL, and we want to talk about how to turn risks into opportunities. Good morning Sven.

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Good morning, it’s lovely to be here.

MATHIAS STECK    Sven, great having you. Before we jump into that topic it would be great if you could introduce yourself as a person; and maybe since DNV GL, probably the audience knows, you could explain the purpose and the vision of DNV GL?

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Exactly, my name is Sven Mollekleiv and as you said now, I’m the Senior Vice President for Sustainability. When I started in DNV at that time, in 2001, I did that as an HR Director for the company and being part of the Executive Board at that time. Since then I had been working also with, over the company’s policy for corporate responsibility and relations, and I had also been the ombudsman for all the employees all over the world. And representing also the company in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and working very closely with the UN Global Compact. And I also had the pleasure to work with the Oslo Energy Forum and other energy forums together with all the business areas for quite some time. And you asked me about the purpose, because when I started with the company I really, like the rest of the employees, loved the fact that we are safeguarding life, property and the environment, and to have this vision of having a global impact for safe and sustainable future gives us energy. I mean, the fact that we, everyday, make the world a better place, a safer and more sustainable place because we help our customers to do the service more efficient, more safe and better.

MATHIAS STECK Right, and the Global Opportunity Report nicely fits into this, and maybe it would be good if you could put that into context and explain what the Global Opportunity Report is and explain how that helps the sustainability. 

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    With great pleasure. You know, the core competence of the DNV GL is to identify, assess and manage risks, and every year the world seems to be meet up in the Valley of Davos and they have this world risk report which is music in our ears, but we thought we should move from risks to opportunities because behind every risk there is an opportunity. And if we can, could ask business leaders and leaders of organizations all around the world about what do you think are the most important risks and how do you see the opportunities behind those risks. And if, can you please help us also to identify and raise up the solutions, I mean, sustainable solutions, which is good for the environment, good for people and definitely good for business.  And that’s why we, together with the UN Global Compact decided, with support from Sustainia, a think tank company in Copenhagen, to develop this report. 

And so, we have identified five risks every year, 15 opportunities in markets and a lot of solutions, and from that risk report every year we decided to take another step to develop what we call the Global Opportunity Explorer. And that is where companies, authorities, research organizations can really come up with their sustainable solutions, link themselves into that network; find each other to develop sustainable business. And the reason why that is important is that the world managed to agree on the 17 sustainable development goals. I mean, after Kofi Annan challenged the business world in the year 2000 on the global millennium goals to fight poverty, give access to clean water, to education and to medical service, business went into the discussion and really defined the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And after that, we found out but we must do more to achieve those goals within 2030, and since we did the impact assessment for the UN Global Compact they decided to use this Global Opportunity Report as their business strategy. And in the last report we found out that there are some of the SDGs really lagging behind. We have been successful in many areas, but four of them lagging behind, and that is: inequality, that is responsible consumption, that is climate action and it’s life below water. So, we decided in this report to concentrate on those four areas and we found that through the report the DNV GL has made, called, Spaceship Earth, where we also ask companies to tell how they use the 17 SDGs as their business strategy and really reach their business goals by delivering to the SDGs. And that’s why we are so happy to see that this Global Opportunity Report actually is a strategy and a tool to make more sustainable business for the future.

MATHIAS STECK    Right, and you mentioned already the four main themes the new report is focusing on. Today we focus a little bit on the energy related topics and one of them is, Keeping it Cool, can you explain a little bit about that, what that means?

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Well, the hotter it gets, because, you see, the climate is already here. It’s more draught, it’s more floods and heavy winds, and we see that we have to fight the raise of temperature. And in the world you see that more and more people would like to use the cooling system, the refrigerators, and one fifth of the energy today is used by cooling. And that is a challenge for us, so, we have to reduce that, we have to develop smarter solutions, so, we have to find out how we can use solar as a new alternative to the more conventional air conditioning, because it’s 85% more efficient. And that’s why we have lifted up Cool System for cooling, to make it smarter and through the digitalization we also see that there will be a lot of systems that needs cooling, so, we need to find smarter, more energy efficient ways of doing the cooling for all those digital systems.

MATHIAS STECK    Like data centers?

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Like data centers, exactly, and we managed to also use   a lot of good experiences from cultures past, in the past, to be smarter in a way to do it. So, we are happy to see that this is more energy efficient, it’s cheaper and it’s good for the environment.

Yes, and it’s interesting that we see developments also going on in big cities; we heard of another episode from a colleague that Dubai also is banking on district cooling, we hear the same thing from Singapore, to get more efficiency into cooling. Because as you say, it’s a large amount of energy we use in that area.

It was very interesting listening also to the authorities in Dubai yesterday, really telling their ambitions for the renewable energy in the city, in the years to come, and to see how they would like to use smart solutions. And that’s why the Global Opportunity Report can be an efficient and good tool and an inspiration.

MATHIAS STECK    Yes, very good. Another theme I picked up there for energy was, Reuse to Repower, and that sounds very interesting as well. It’s around batteries I understand. So, it would be great if you could give us some insights there as well.

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Well it’s about how you can use the batteries in electric vehicles another time to give them a new life after they have done their job in the cars, we can reuse them. And so that we can see that they can live for 20 years by using them into storage systems. And if you also combine the different energy sources you can find a smart and good solution. So, link it to the grids, use the solar, use the battery as storage so that you can use the batteries when the electricity is expensive and you can take from the grid when it’s cheap. And you can find better solutions to reuse the batteries and that is using resources in a much more efficient way.

MATHIAS STECK    And I understand this is not only in theory, also there we have looked into real use cases.

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Yes, we have an example from the UK where a company called xStorage, where they have partnered up in collaboration with Nissan and Eaton, the storage company, and we would take the batteries from the Nissan Leaf into the storage and you see the reuse of it into buildings and to other departments, and where you can really use that system as I just explained in a good commercial way, and good for the energy use as well. So, this is not only theory, it’s business theory.

MATHIAS STECK    Yes, and it fits well into another report recently launched, the Energy Transition Outlook where we forecast that the electricity demand is rising by about 140% but a large amount of that electricity, I think up to 72% will come from renewables, which means we need smarter solutions like storage to balance out the generation and the loads in the grid because it becomes much more dynamic. So, for some people it’s perceived as a risk that’s going to happen, but as you just explained, there’s a big opportunity behind it.

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Absolutely, and the new Energy Transition Outlook will also focus on buildings and smarter solutions. We talk about smart as it is, we talk about smart as a solution for buildings as well; it’s all about using the technology in a smart way for better energy use.

MATHIAS STECK    Yes, and that, I think, be launched somewhere end of this year.

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    Yes, exactly.

MATHIAS STECK    Sven, you also were on a Panel here in Dubai, on another conference which happened in parallel to the Global Smart Energy Summit, the Energy Industry Conference 2018, can you give us a little bit of an insight what was discussed there, what are the main topics, what did you find really interesting there?

SVEN MOLLEKLEIV    It’s very interesting to be in Dubai these days and to discuss with the industry and with the authorities and with the civil society on how to look into the future to take the challenges. I took part in a discussion about digitalization, not only about the risks and the challenges but also the opportunities.  And we also had discussions about how we, together, can partner up, because the 17th SDG is partnership. We realized that we have to work together. When the World Business Council for Sustainable Development was established they said that business will not succeed in a society that fails. 

Like Kofi Annan said, when we established the UN Global Compact, that there will be no sustainable future without business being part of the solution. And that’s exactly what we have done in Dubai and now discussing now on the different conferences to see how we can partner up to find smarter solutions; to find the energy needed for the welfare development, for the people, to lift people out of poverty, to give them access to the market, but to do it in an environmental friendly way. And find solutions that are good for business, profitable, sustainable solutions. 

But we also have to face some of the challenges through the digitalization because digitalization makes it more efficient, smarter but we always have to ask, what are the purpose? Do the right thing right, be sure that it’s not misused. When we developed nuclear, it can be good for industry, it can be good for people, but the nuclear bomb can also destroy all of us. So, we always have to find out how we use all this technology and all the new solutions to the benefit of the people and the globe.

MATHIAS STECK    Yes, agreed.  Sven, unfortunately we come already to the end of this episode, highly interesting, your insights around the Global Opportunities 2018, thank you for being here with us and thank you to the listeners. That was Sven Mollekleiv, Senior Vice President, Sustainability from DNV GL.

NARRATOR  Thank you for listening to this DNV GL Talks Energy podcast. To hear more podcasts in the series, please visit dnvgl.com/talksenergy.