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  • Anne Ramsay

More Coal, more Black outs: Anticipating Consequence...

What if our best efforts to decarbonise made things worse, and not better? How do we achieve the right balance when choosing between our environment, jobs, and winter heating? How do we accelerate systems-level change when we don’t have a unified view of current state, let alone future scenarios?

Energy transition at speed (years not decades) is complex. Unless we zoom out and see that everyone is connected to everything in ways that defy borders and geopolitics, people and the environment will suffer unnecessarily. More coal will be burned, more black-outs will occur, and household power prices will become unaffordable – with tragic consequences for those exposed to extreme winters.

For various reasons, the problems, factors, and potential solutions, are over-simplified and considered in static isolation. Rather than improving outcomes, our best efforts fail to recognise complex and dynamic inter-dependencies across economic, environmental, and social systems. So rather than phasing out fossil fuels, we’re seeing decommissioned coal-power plants fired-up again to help make up for electricity shortages. This is just one example; the issues go far deeper and wider.

Everyone has an opinion, typically a strong and principled one. These opinions polarise and divide based on strong feelings and fears (at both extremes), and it’s often the loudest voice, or biggest cheque book, that wins out.

We propose a more holistic, dynamic, and science-based approach to balancing society’s ever-growing needs with nature’s fragility. Yes, billions of dollars are being invested by governments and industry on developing incredible solutions – but it’s a fragmented effort. And we need better answers now, not in 10 years’ time.

If you’re an asset owner, utility, or market operator, contact us to:

1. Test resilience by simulating complex inter-dependencies and disruptive events beyond one-dimensional 'n-1' scenarios, to more realistic simultaneous 'n-x' impacts.

2. Model how renewables (DER) adoption will impact power prices and carbon footprint.

3. Accelerate proactive adaptive network management to reduce the price (and cost) of electricity by better anticipating dynamic variable supply and demand factors.

If you’re a scientist, economist, or ESG consultant, contact us to join the Sentient Modelling Community - it's open and free.

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