Humanising Energy: why communities must be at the heart of a clean energy revolution

9th February 2022


Humanising Energy: why communities must be at the heart of a clean energy revolution

Dr Angela Wilkinson, our Secretary General & CEO, discussed the critical role of humanising energy at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's web dialogue on 'The Clean Energy Revolution and its Implications for the OSCE region'.

Excerpt from Dr Wilkinson's speech

Energy is front page news across the world. A lot has changed in the past few months.

Yet what we have learned as THE world energy community over 100 years is more relevant than ever.

Energy is a system – behind every button, switch and fuel pump is a myriad of connections and interactions.

Energy transition is a process, not a destination. And it can’t be delivered all in one go.

Energy system diversity, in its broadest sense, is increasing.

The future of energy cannot be predicted or controlled, but better energy futures can be imagined and cocreated.

And lastly, energy technology transition always involves societal disruption. As the relationships between energy technologies and society change, so do our relationships with each other.  

This year’s edition of our World Energy Issues Monitor, which surveyed energy leaders immediately following COP26, shows a global increase in uncertainty  – reflecting concerns about climate change management, volatile commodity prices, and the security and resilience of global supply chains. Energy geopolitics now extend beyond oil and gas to hydrogen and the non-energy resources necessary for ensuring clean and just energy transitions and scaling the role of renewables.

Clean, affordable, reliable and equitable solutions in energy are possible, but there is no free or one-size-fits-all quick win. It’s not as simple as swapping old technology for new, or. throwing money at the problem. The next big thing is not a global technology moon shot but a series of smaller, place-based steps. Think global, act local!

In closing the gap between global ambitions and local action, our organisation engages the power of community-based collaborations across the world. Our emphasis is not on a single energy revolution but on many.

Enabling diverse voices at all levels of society, clarifying choices, and developing new ways of collaborating are key to mobilising a new world energy movement. As responsible leaders, we cultivate transformational strategies that work across borders and sectors and involve all levels of society.

Our World Energy Trilemma Index provides an integrated and objective framework for managing national performance on energy security, affordability and equity as well as environmental sustainability. Only by addressing each of these can humanity hope to secure more energy for billions of people across the world.

The contours of a new and different energy future are becoming clear. Energy flows –heat, power, fuels and storage -- are the lifeblood of modern societies and are all headed upwards – as more people need more energy for sustainable development and climate change management.

Humanising energy is the best way of moving forward together as the focus shifts from 2050 to 2030 and includes scope 3 emissions. And lest we forget, energy connects the dots in recovery from crisis, repairing our planet, renewing our societies and maintaining global peace.

That’s why we are mobilising a step-change in global energy literacy. Its why your conversation today is so important and why the theme of the 2022 World Energy Congress is “Energy for Humanity.” This Congress, marking the start of our 100th year, will showcase progress in collaboration on energy developments and transitions from all regions and levels of connected energy societies.

We will continue to listen, learn and deepen the leadership dialogue on mobilising the role of people and diverse communities in securing more energy for billions of better lives and a healthy planet.

For media inquiries, please contact the Council’s media relations team at FTI Consulting: or +44 (0)7929847395

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