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06.05.2023 | 3 min

What Are the Challenges of the Energy Industry? Oslo Tech Tour Green Energy 2023

In late March, Karol and I had the opportunity to attend the Tech Tour Green Energy in Oslo. Attenting this conference, focused on connecting startups and investors in the renewable energy sector, was inspiring. With 50 emerging companies showcasing their latest green products and ideas, it was clear the future of the energy industry is bright.

What Are the Challenges of the Energy Industry? Oslo Tech Tour Green Energy 2023 - 2024 17
Table of Contents
  • The Market Is Already Big and Has Great Potential
  • One Overarching Issue
  • Many Seemingly Small Challenges
  • What's the Future of the Energy Industry?

The Market Is Already Big and Has Great Potential

The significant quantity of startups is already quite remarkable and serves as evidence of the presence of numerous ambitious and imaginative entrepreneurs within the industry. While I am unsure of the exact number of investors in attendance, it was certainly substantial. From my perspective, this indicates a considerable level of interest in green and innovative technologies. This brings me great satisfaction, both personally (as I am a supporter of green energy) and from a business standpoint.

It is evident that the emission-free policies implemented by various countries are fueling this growth. For instance, Norway has set a target for all new cars sold in the country to be zero-emission by 2025, and the EU has a similar goal for 2035. These directives are serving as strong incentives for entrepreneurs to develop innovative and captivating products. I anticipate that this trend will persist, leading to further expansion and remarkable advancements within the industry.

One Overarching Issue

The energy industry's biggest challenge is the efficient storage of electricity, meaning batteries. While many innovative ideas exist, it's tough for any of them to gain traction beyond the start-up world without a major player like Samsung or Lenovo investing in them.

The challenge lies in the reluctance of industry leaders to adopt new technology on a large scale due to the associated risks. Concerns about incidents like exploding batteries have made major players wary of taking similar risks. As a result, companies are likely to adhere to a "better safe than sorry" approach, even if there are superior solutions available.

This cautious approach poses an additional risk for green energy startups. What if Apple develops and releases its own battery technology, disregarding the solutions proposed by entrepreneurs? This could potentially eliminate many grassroots initiatives and solidify Apple's dominance in the innovation market for years to come.

Overall, the energy industry is somewhat stagnant. However a groundbreaking innovation will eventually occur – it's just a matter of time.

Many Seemingly Small Challenges

The conference left a lasting impression, highlighting the numerous challenges that lie ahead for the alternative energy sector, despite its immense potential.

Firstly, the depletion of raw materials, such as lithium, used in battery production necessitates the exploration of new and efficient technologies as replacements.

Secondly, although hydrogen power plants and batteries hold great theoretical efficiency, there is still excessive energy wastage during the transmission and storage processes. Companies are actively seeking ways to enhance energy conversion and storage efficiency, but there is still a considerable distance to cover.

Thirdly, the recycling of batteries incurs high costs, prompting the industry to develop more effective and environmentally friendly disposal methods.

Fourthly, the establishment of a centralized platform is crucial to keep the industry updated on the latest events, technologies, and ideas. Currently, such a platform does not exist, making it challenging for individuals to stay abreast of trends.

Lastly, in order to achieve truly green energy, it is imperative to utilize green sources. Merely transitioning to electric vehicles will not solve the problem if the power is derived from coal. European countries like Poland and Germany must prioritize the transformation of their energy sources, not just their transportation systems.

What's the Future of the Energy Industry?

To be completely honest, there are not any good answers to the issues. However, after engaging in conversations with numerous innovative and imaginative individuals at the conference, I am confident that solutions will emerge in the near future.

From a personal standpoint, Oslo Tech was truly inspiring. Naturally, there is still much to learn, but we are heading in the right direction.

Therefore, our next destination is Essen, specifically the E-world Energy & Water Conference. I look forward to seeing you there!

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