The competition looks to stimulate discussion and generate entries, focused on three core questions:
1. Skills for innovation – To build on its past strengths and successfully adapt for the future, the energy sector will need to access a skilled pool of talent—well-trained engineers, technicians and scientists. How do engineers, technicians and scientists stimulate innovation in the energy sector? How can education systems and businesses develop a broader approach to STEM skills and make related professions more attractive?;
2. Diversifying our energy mix – The world faces two major energy challenges over the next 40 years. The first is to meet rapidly rising demand for energy and the second is to realise this goal while also achieving substantial reductions in carbon emissions. How can technology and innovation help meet these twin challenges? What are the most promising alternative sources of energy- are they viable?;
3. Ensuring access to energy in developing countries – Affordable, reliable energy is critical to boosting prosperity, health and education. Yet more than 1.5 billion people in the developing world lack access to grid electricity. This has become even more acute because of the increased vulnerability brought about by climate change, the global financial crisis and volatile energy prices. What key policy changes and investments are needed to secure access to energy in developing countries? What are some of the most innovative local approaches that could be rolled out elsewhere?.
Students, graduates, business executives and energy experts are invited to contribute their ideas and views on these issues in the form of a written essay, video or infographic by 17:00 GMT on 23rd December 2013. Entries will then be reviewed by a high-level panel of judges who specialise in each category, including Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group; Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, James Smith, Chairman of the Carbon Trust; and Jose Goldemberg, Brazil’s former Secretary of State for Science and Technology. Format specifications can be found on the contest website www.energyrealitiescompetition.org.
The competition will culminate in a 90 minute live-streamed webinar on 25th March 2014, facilitated by The Economist Intelligence Unit. This webinar will bring together four energy experts and the competition winner to debate how these challenges should be approached.
For more information and to view the press release please click here.
Image credited to Alan O'Neill/Statoil