A self-described Technology Evangelist, Kevin O’Donovan is the go-to guy to for all things technology and energy. As the founder of a boutique technology consulting company, wittily named A Bit of This and That, Kevin helps businesses understand today’s tech landscape. His company provides innovative technology consultation and works to inform executives on the future of energy.
In this episode of Energy Superheroes, Kevin highlights the technologies that he believes will have a big impact on the energy systems of tomorrow – from battery storage to carbon capture and beyond:
- Using energy communities in Europe as an example, Kevin advocates for the personalization of energy. Through the use of distributed energy resources, neighborhoods can take control back into their own hands, becoming self-reliant and selling surplus energy back to the grid.
- Blockchain has the potential to be a strong enabling software architecture for the energy industry, according to Kevin. Currently used for applications such as renewable energy certificates and supply chain management, Kevin believes blockchain could further revolutionize many aspects of the energy transition.
- Kevin insists that he is hopeful about the future of energy. He believes that the advancement of energy technologies will only continue to accelerate in the years to come, as more dollars and creative minds are pushed toward the challenge.
Peter Perri 0:02
From Energy.Media this is Energy Superheroes with Peter Perri. Hey everybody. Welcome to Energy Superheroes. I’m excited to have today, Kevin O’Donovan. Kevin brings a wealth of experience. He’s a technology evangelist , whose PowerTalk on the future of energy was amazing. I’m excited to have him. Kevin comes from a very unique background. And that he comes from a lot of the computer world, Compaq computer, HP, Intel. So he’s very qualified to speak on digitization, as well as the perspective of digital companies on the future of energy. Excited to have Kevin, welcome to the podcast.
Kevin O’Donovan 0:41
Thanks, Peter. Delighted to be here.
Peter Perri 0:43
So great stuff I just in really enjoyed your PowerTalk. It was it was tremendous. So you ran through a series of energy technologies that I thought were super unique and are going to be impactful to the future of energy? Can you rank order technologies? What’s your number one in that whole group? Or do you feel that they’re all equally important?
Kevin O’Donovan 1:06
If you look at the scope of the challenge with the energy transition, there’s no one size fits all. So I do think it’s not just digitalization, it’s not just material sciences, not just chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, it’s a bit of everything. And I suppose one of my favorite things right now is around energy storage. And granted, that’s a big topic, right? Because, again, when you’re trying to how much energy you’re trying to store, whether you’re storing it far and for how long, and you have everything from, you know, lead acid batteries, which are still the biggest store of energy today, say outside of pumped hydro. And then you have lithium, and then you have all the different chemical combinations, you flow batteries, you have flywheels you have compressed air, you have people looking at using ammonia or hydrogen and sticking it in solid caverns for 12 months. So it kind of people just got energy storage. Yeah, we personal opinion, we have to have energy storage for the energy transition. There’s so many different types. So you could spend them, you could spend a year talking about them, right.
Peter Perri 2:14
Very cool. Yeah. I mean, if we ever get energy storage, right on a massive scale, we’ll be in good shape. It’s certainly taken a long time. Very unique that you point out that lead acid, lead acid is bigger than lithium, I’ll bet you’re not a lot of people knew that.
Kevin O’Donovan 2:28
Yeah. And that’s simply because of, you know, look around us in every existing vehicle we have on the planet, there’s probably a lead acid battery in there today. Now in some of the new EVs, maybe not because they’re replacing it, but what percentage I have we have EVs now that’s going to change. But even if you go into some massive power stations around the planet, they’ll have a big set of lead acid batteries for Blackstar. And all this kind of stuff, right? So there’s another lead acid batteries out there, and they’re not standing still lighter, right there. They have advanced lead acid technologies. And then that,
Peter Perri 3:04
No doubt, no doubt. So I remember when I first found out you were with Intel, of course, I had to ask you if you ever met Andy Grove, but towards that end, who’s had the biggest impact from a mentor standpoint on your thoughts about energy?
Kevin O’Donovan 3:19
In terms of the art of the possible it would be a bunch of different people, I’d follow a different folks in the IT world and kind of the art of the possible quantum computing. But I suppose in terms of one of the things that I kind of see as the easy bit is technology. And what I mean by that is, technology is easy, but it’s when humans get involved, it starts getting complicated. And the business model and the politics. And I must say I suppose over the last, whatever, 10 years, when I saw my background was in it Intel, we started looking at different verticals. And I had been working on green technologies and whatever. So that turned around that Intel asked me to set up and lead our sales and marketing into the energy sector worldwide. And probably one of the people that I started going well, it’s great having a cool technology, but you can walk into a utility or an oil or gas company guy either No, we just I don’t know what problem it solves, but boy one, it’s really good. And I suppose where I started watching for things was the folks at Bloomberg New Energy Finance kept talking about the technology is cool, but nobody cares. And folks like Jigar Shah, again with Yeah, the technology is yeah, we’ve been using that for years but you can’t you couldn’t give it away. There’s no business model. The regulations now right and then so I suppose, in what you know, from a technology point of view, I have a list 50 people long where I can go they’re brilliant, the distant data, but it’s kind of bringing it back to the business model and people have been to use it. So there’s probably 10 or 15 people, I kind of follow the blogs and because I, I often say, I don’t know what I don’t know. So you’ll always find something new, right? It’s like, oh, God, I had never thought of that. That’s very clever. So one person I,
Peter Perri 5:20
I, well, you meant you mentioned Jigar Shah. So we’ll go with that.
Kevin O’Donovan 5:24
But, you know, he’s off with the new government, the new administration.
Peter Perri 5:30
Oh, very cool. I didn’t know that. Where is he in the administration?
Kevin O’Donovan 5:34
Ah, he’s responsible for a lot of the new project development and funding around new new technologies within the Biden administration. So he’s, let’s say, kind of stopped all his previous things. And he’s off there now as you do.
Peter Perri 5:52
Well, shameless plug for the government folks out there, if you’re in the Biden administration, make sure you turn into energy superheroes to hear about the future of energy. So just had to throw that in there.
Kevin O’Donovan 6:02
Well, and if I may, you know, it was at Sara week, John Kerry, the climate ambassador from the US, and obviously, I’m here, I’m an Irish guy living in Europe, and we’re doing stuff with the EU Green Deal, and then that then hydrogen economy, but I suppose one of the key takeaways from John Kerry was he said, you know, we’re not against fossil fuels, we’re against the emissions. So to carbon capture, and then right, because I personally do not see us not using oil and gas over the next course, number of decades. But we got to get we got to get a handle on the emissions otherwise, we you know, we’ve all a different set of problems.
Peter Perri 6:40
No doubt about that. So that’s a great transition. I saw you commenting on Sarah week, a little bit other than John Kerry, what came out of there that you thought was particularly unique or interesting.
Kevin O’Donovan 6:54
Everybody. So there was two things that everybody was talking about. One was hydrogen, and the other was carbon capture. And whether that was an oil and gas CEO from you know, I was a who’s who were the island CEOs, right more white, from Asia, Middle East, Europe, the US, everybody was talking about carbon capture, everybody was touting about the technologies that they’ve been using over the past 1015 years. But again, the challenge was, was that apart from enhanced oil recovery, in some parts of the world, none of them are commercially viable. So they were chatting about the fact well, how do you create a viable carbon market fund to better work? Now you can tax it? are can you create a kind of a carrot or a stick? So the stick is your text cost of business? Are Is there a way can we can we use carbon? And what are the industrial processes like for within the cement industry where we can start using cement instead? Sorry, co2 Instead of steam? People looking at meat and paralysis where you get solid carbon? So can I use solid carbon as a building material? Can I build wind turbines with Nano to graphene stuff instead of steel? Now some of the stuff is still science fiction. But I think it can’t be just simply about collecting co2 gas and sticking the donor reservoir, we don’t have enough, right. So we got to find ways of using it. And that’s the whole carbon economy, then it becomes profitable to capture carbon, that changes the game completely. But this is so hard to do right there, too. And again, it’s not the technology, it’s the political will. And if what if, if 99 countries do it, and one doesn’t, then what happens? You know, it’s complicated.
Peter Perri 8:46
Yeah, I feel like we’re some number of years out with carbon capture. But you also meant mentioned hydrogen. And I’m hearing a lot of buzz around that. And I can, without mentioning names, I can, I can say that several utilities I know of our near term implementing hydrogen fueled gas turbines. So we talk a lot about that here. And we love to focus on technologies that are near term getting implemented that have a chance to make a huge impact. And I’m excited to hear that they’re that they did talk about hydrogen over there at Sara week, because it is a it is a really important technology.
Kevin O’Donovan 9:21
That hydrogen, I’d say come up in almost every single session. I don’t care about it was a strategic session or a techie session. Hydrogen was everywhere. And yeah, I’d like the likes of Siemens energy. Most of their gas turbines now are either between 10% Mix are some of them up to 50 or 60% mix because it changes the bar and race and metal corrosion and then but yeah, they’re, you know, I certainly see my personal opinion, natural gases, in many ways a transition fuel. And again, if you’ve captured the co2 emissions properly with new technologies, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t keep using it for many years to come. But potentially you, you move over to hydrogen. And if the same infrastructure, if you build a gas turbine or a gas plant today, and they can burn hydrogen in the future, then you’re kind of future proofing. Now there’s a long way to go, right? But it’s because it’s not trivial. You can just pump the hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline today, and away you go. Bad things will happen. So there’s, there’s a lot of work to do there. Yes, are burning ammonia and all this kind of stuff.
Peter Perri 10:32
Yeah, for sure. What I love about it is it uses the infrastructure, let’s say model that we have today, which is a model of creating fuel and then distributing it. So it’s, I think it’s an exciting technology. So glad to hear you mentioned that. Maybe, let’s transition into, as far as the new technologies go, what is what is the most exciting for you, as far as the future of energy, that’s, let’s say, some number of years out there, that maybe isn’t on everybody’s radar screen.
Kevin O’Donovan 11:07
So that the concept of making energy personal. And what I mean by that is here in Europe, you’ll hear people talking about energy communities, that’s part of the European energy directive where people, individuals, communities, towns, villages, will have more control over their energy source and how they think what I mean by that is that I could have solar on the roof, you’re living next door to me, you got an EV, the guy down the road has a power wall, or a sudden energy storage are, you know, whatever, I pick a technology. And, and we as a bunch of neighbors. somehow magically, it our energy supply is balanced between us because there’s a bunch of little bits of software, potentially blockchain doesn’t have to be but you can call it a micro grid and nano grid, energy community, whatever, but I do start to see that your street, so your feet are fallen to a better word will almost become autonomous. And it will only start going back up the grid to go, I have loads of energy, our I need a I need a bit of backup, in the next whatever, a couple of hours, because whatever it is snowing here or something. So I do think that fundamentally changes a lot of you know, we, there’s a lot of discussion, and you hear people going, Oh, if we put too much wind on the grid, it’ll collapse. And then you have some countries in Europe, where they have 100% wind on a given hour day, and the grid doesn’t collapse. Now they’ve put a lot of technology into the transmission lines and balancing systems to make that happen. It’s, it’s, it’s not easy. But I do think the concept of kind of micro grids and I just have an app on my phone they got I don’t care or it’s almost just between us we kind of just free energy, we just make sure we have enough and that that changes the way society and resiliency and now, that sounds great in Western Europe and in some parts of America and Western world. But if you look at a lot of parts of the developing world, they’re not putting in big grids. They’re already going straight to distributed energy resources and that kind of a model. And if you look at kind of blockchain projects, you’ll find a lot of them in Africa and places because, again, you don’t need the clouded back infrastructure, right. It’s a distributed piece of software.
Peter Perri 13:33
Great to hear you mentioned blockchain. I think it’s a technology that has a lot of mystery for people. Maybe you could talk a little about blockchain and in the context of what you just mentioned, the personalization of energy and even in the developing world. And then I’ll follow up with some other questions about Bitcoin and such.
Kevin O’Donovan 13:54
You have to bring in Bitcoin integrity. It’s just energy discussion today regarding Bitcoin. Yeah, a whole different world. So blockchain, Blockchain is is a enabling technology. It’s a software architecture for want of a better word, right? We, we spoke about the World Wide Web and it was HTML and web services and API’s and then down well, Blockchain is just at its basic level. It’s a software architecture. And you hear people talking about all about blockchain. And I’ll keep adding blocks of data. It’s a distributed ledger technology ledger, as we all know, right as keep writing into the ledger. But I suppose the difference is that when you write something into a blockchain, into that distributed ledger technology, you can never change it. So it creates all sorts of interesting things around traceability and making sure someone doesn’t go back and not that everyone not that anyone ever go back in and delete something out of a database or backdated or whatever, but you can do that in the blockchain, right? So everything is either happens or doesn’t. So you can do all sorts of traceability At the end, and then and when we talk about a blockchain and we add something to the blockchain, there’s a piece of software that writes something into the blockchain. And that piece of software we’re all familiar with, especially in the energy industry, internet of things. So I have a device or a sensor, and it’s run in a bit of software, and it captures data and don’t send it somewhere and someone writes it. Well. Blockchain is a distributed application to be quite simple. And any one of those devices can write something into the blockchain. So you don’t have a big, you don’t have to have the big cloud in the sky, you don’t have to have the big data center or database in the sky. So it fundamentally just, it’s a different way of programming. Quite simple. But because it’s immutable, and it’s quite, many of you hear people talking about smart contracts, smart contracts, a piece of software that runs on your smart meter to do something. And the results are written in a blockchain. So no one can ever turn around and say that never happened or whatever. So it’s a fascinating but no, it is not the answer to the energy transition. It’s simply an enabling software architecture piece of technology.
Peter Perri 16:06
Yeah, that that immutability is a very interesting concept. Could you talk about somewhere where you’re seeing the blockchain implemented in the energy industry could be around immutability could be around another functionality. But where’s where somewhere that you’ve, you see it implemented.
Kevin O’Donovan 16:24
So three, three key areas today, people talk about renewable energy certificates. And that’s become a market in many parts of the world. There’s a couple of companies out there using either the energy web Foundations Energy web are things like hyper, hyper, hyper ledger from IBM, where they’ve, they’ve built applications for one to better word so that when I go and buy renewable energy certificates, they’re on the blockchain. So it’s not that I can double count them and all this kind of stuff, and I can track them and so that’s a big thing. And companies like Flexi door, there’s many others out there. So that’s a thing. There are renewable energy certificate markets out there that are based on blockchain. A second one is around supply chain. And that could be in any industry. But you know, today, whatever, my mind, lithium, or I make a device and I ship it across the globe. And as it shipped around, someone’s got a barcode scanner, and they’re scanning it, they’re scanning a barcode, and it’s been stored in some database in the sky somewhere. Well, instead of sticking it in the database in disguise to get in the blockchain, so again, it can’t be deleted. So I know exactly where it was. And nobody can go back in and delete something. Because in a blockchain, if you delete something, everything else fails afterwards, the whole the way it calculates the next block, if it finds one missing it, the whole thing falls apart, so you can’t delete. So the ability to be able to trace things and know that it’s the right piece of equipment, and you know where it is, and then so think of ESG or, and then the other angle is around cybersecurity. And what I mean by that is, every time you update a piece of firmware or a piece of software, or you do a compliance check, if you record that on the blockchain, well then it’s recorded at that precise time and it can’t be changed later. So if something bad happens, and when the insurance company comes in and goes, Well, did you update everything, you can go on the blog, you can say we did and here it’s in the blockchain, we whatever it’s not going to haunt the piece of paper from the clipboards, it’s a here somewhere, I’m sure there’s a filing cabinet over there, I find it in a minute, you know, it completely changes that game. Now it also changes the game and that nobody can go back date something it was either done, or it wasn’t so it changes the compliance way of doing things in a big way as opposed to the database sort of a piece of paper model so there’s three quick ones and then there’s people using it for all sorts of other it’s an act it’s like a piece of software and
Peter Perri 19:04
that’s it’s very interesting so it’s gonna make it a lot harder to fudge things if I hear you right it’s gonna make it very difficult.
Kevin O’Donovan 19:10
It’s either it’s either on the blockchain are it’s not right and you can’t do it the right thing it doesn’t work at all. That’s that’s going to be interesting
Peter Perri 19:18
that the compliance people are going to be really happy, though barely get
Kevin O’Donovan 19:25
ought to be.
Peter Perri 19:28
So interesting. Well, of course I have to bring up Bitcoin. Last I checked, it’s over $50,000 A coin. I remember looking at it way back and maybe it was 2011 or 12 when it was maybe five or six cents a coin. So the greatest investment of all time, you know, that that we all that most of us missed, let’s say. So Bitcoin runs on the blockchain technology. How does that work and net the reason I want to bring it up in this conversation is As I’m hearing rumors of people taking energy assets and directly using those energy assets to mine Bitcoin now because the price is so high,
Kevin O’Donovan 20:09
that that is a thing, using flare gas or our excess gas methane for powering basically a small data center that’s sitting beside the well. And one, so you use the flare gas or whatever to drive a small generator, and it generates electricity and you use that electricity for some compute work. And one of those things is Bitcoin mining today. So let us let me back up a second ourselves. Right. So So Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency? It’s, it’s, it’s built on blockchain technology. But one of the features with Bitcoin is. So if I send you some bitcoin, that’s a transaction. In order to prove that transaction, it has to be written on to the blockchain. And cut long story short, because there’s no one owning this is not one bank or whatever it’s distributed, and anybody can do it, you have to give a reward to somebody to go do that, to raise it into the into the blockchain, because they’re not going to do it for free. And the way that the entire Bitcoin architecture has been set up is that there was this way of saying, Okay, we need people the call of miners to verify the blocks. But the way that you verify the block is you need to solve a mathematical puzzle. And in order to solve the mathematical puzzle, you need a lot of compute power. And I’m not, you know, you’re talking to a data center, right, not a PC. And long story short, a lot of people invested a lot in what they call mining rigs and data centers, they think Google data center kind of thing, right? With special mining hardware. And as they, as more and more transactions happen, someone has to go off and validate those transactions. And the first five or six people that kind of crack that compute challenge, they get to write the block, and they get a reward. So they guess, I think, right now, it’s like seven Bitcoin, every time they’re solid, they write a block. So it’s quite profitable, right? 50 Whatever, right. So the long story short, the feature with that is that that’s what drives the integrity of the Bitcoin because these people are proving the writing the blocks, and then but the feature is, is that the way they run this incredibly high compute intensive algorithm to kind of, say we’re forced, they call it proof of work, it uses a vast amount of energy, just to create just to solve an artificial problem that allows you to say I got it, I can write the block, give me the Bitcoin. So there is a whole argument around the fact that Bitcoin is a digital currency, but look at the amount of energy it consumes. Now if the energy is renewable are going to waste you can have that discussion. We use energy for a lot of things that you could say we don’t need. But yeah, in Texas, right now, there’s a lot of people looking at using flare gas and whatever as a way of whatever use the product use, the energy I generate from and Bitcoin mining is a thing right now. Now, it’s not that easy. It’s not that you’re gonna put out a container full of Bitcoin mining things in your Mega billions. It’s really hard to be one of the first people to crack one of these problems, right? It’s, there’s a whole economic model behind it.
Peter Perri 23:29
That makes you figure that at some point, price of Bitcoin, you could have gas turbines out in Texas that are peaking plants running all the time just to try to generate power to be able to mine Bitcoin, if the
Kevin O’Donovan 23:46
price is high enough, potentially, yeah, you could.
Peter Perri 23:48
And you know, our prices are low enough. There’s, there’s, I don’t I’m not enough of a professional economist to figure out where the breakeven point is. But I’m sure at some price per dollars per kilowatt hour compared to the bitcoin price, it makes sense to mine the Bitcoin instead of sell the power onto the grid.
Kevin O’Donovan 24:10
Yeah, now, as I said, you one guy with a well and a container full of Bitcoin mining, so it’s not normally computers that are Bitcoin ASIC miners, blah, blah. If you have one of them, the odds of you winning any one of the challenges are slim to none, you have to be part of a mining pool. So you can I think, kind of work with a lot of other people with a lot of compute power and whatever. So that works. So to your to your point. There’s the investment in the hardware, there’s the cost of kilowatt hour, and then there’s the probability that you’re going to ever win in a mining pool are whatever so there there’s you can go Google it. There’s a lot of people out there with spreadsheets and there are people there are people like any business it there are business models around it, right. It’s like if he was building a wind farm off the west coast of Ireland, there will be a spreadsheet you need to figure out whether you’re gonna make money out of it or not.
Peter Perri 25:04
It’s very interesting. I like to ask everybody who’s the smartest person you ever met? For me it must be the guy that invented Bitcoin but I mean, it’s just a ledger anyone
Kevin O’Donovan 25:15
ever met him because they don’t know who he is allegedly don’t know yet he has he has a fake name.
Peter Perri 25:19
He has a pen name. So brilliant individual, obviously, but in your mind is the people that you’ve dealt with who’s who’s somebody that you look up to? That’s a really intelligent person, it could be an energy or in other areas.
Kevin O’Donovan 25:34
So I, I came out of the IT world and when I was when I was growing up. Probably Bill Gates was probably the most standout guy from my generation. Right? I that generation. So like when I started out, I was doing always to, and Microsoft, we’re working on the first OS two with IBM. And then Austin went away and Windows appeared, like always still was a much better operating system. This is going back to the late 80s, early 90s.
Peter Perri 26:08
And but I think IBM was based down here in South Florida at the time and Boca Yeah.
Kevin O’Donovan 26:15
I actually was at IBM Booker a time doing testing out there always to speech recognition in 93.
Peter Perri 26:25
Very cool. They were trying to get it out to a good friend of mine from high schools. Scott singer, He’s the mayor of Boca Raton, and he actually just got called out in the onion, in the newspaper and for bocce being so boring that they don’t have to worry about lockdowns. But it turns out to take it from a local it’s not a boring place. It’s got an amazing history. So I’ll give a shout out to my friend Scott singer. But anyway, I digress.
Kevin O’Donovan 26:54
But no, I suppose like one of the most intimate, influential in the world of it back in the late 80s 90s. Bill Gates was kind of out there.
Peter Perri 27:03
Yeah, no doubt, no doubt. And, of course, Andy Grove is an amazing individual as well from Intel. So are you still in touch with the folks over at Intel?
Kevin O’Donovan 27:16
Oh, I would be some of my best friends are still there. And, you know, the reason I finished up at Intel i i When I was with Compaq, I moved their mobile after comeback by digital. And we wrote relocated the pre sales team from Munich, most of us down here to the south of France, just to say nice, that’s where I am today. I was 20 years ago. But long story short, I went through the HP merger finished up, joined Intel back in what 2016 17 Intel asked me to move back with the family, my wife to Munich. And my wife’s German and I came from Munich down here and whatever. But long story short, sort of France is not the worst place to live. So I decided to stay here. So that’s why I left Intel but it’s a great company and you know, they have a new CEO Pat gunslingers back I did you ask about some of the smartest people I’ve met or worked with a lot of them will be an Intel some of the stuff that they do with the silicon design. And that’s bleeding edge, right? It really is bleeding edge and what they’re doing with AI and quantum and I haven’t got my head around quantum configured.
Peter Perri 28:28
Amazing or that? So I’m sure they are, but we’d love to hear from you if they’re doing anything specifically targeted at the energy industry.
Kevin O’Donovan 28:37
They do true a lot of partners. So I suppose that you know, if you look at oil and gas for years, high performance computing, so everything to do with seismic reservoir modeling, now they have more competition these days with the likes of Nvidia and others coming along with GPUs. And then but high performance computing was always a key thing. You know, I went when I was back with Intel, or Compaq and HP, long before Internet of Things was a thing. We call it the embedded business. Because you were putting chips into embedded devices out in to measure something in the substation, and the refinery and wherever the pipeline so you know, what’s the internet of things it’s putting compute technology out at the edge and being able to communicate stuff back so what Moore’s Law drove enabled IoT to be a thing because if it was a CPU Pentium four CPU we were never going to have sensors like we have today right? So the whole and what Intel did for ARM did in video others you know that that’s where the Internet of Things and then you take all the data and you create digital twins and blockchain is a piece of software running on edge device. Since right, so you wouldn’t have had blockchain if you didn’t have the computer chips, and you wouldn’t have 5g If you didn’t have the computer chip so that the whole silicon industry has been, in my opinion, a fundamental basis for a lot of the stuff where we’re at today. And it’s not slowing down. Right. They’re still going.
Peter Perri 30:16
No doubt. I mean, that that’s really the building blocks of all the growth that we’ve seen. It’s great that you brought up Moore’s law, because certainly true would be great. If we could get Moore’s Law to apply to battery technology. A lot of people said that it was going to and I heard some part smart people say that it wouldn’t and so far, it hasn’t so well. We’ll see if it ever does. But that’ll be good if we could get that same principle going of batteries.
Kevin O’Donovan 30:41
Yeah, they, I suppose Moore’s law, Gordon Moore from Intel, who who coined that, that that has been you know, I’ve taught her father piece of technology has had a an exponential growth rate like that year on year on year, someone said, Moore’s law is slowing down a bit, right? Because once you start getting past the 10, seven, five nanometer, it gets hard. This stuff is really small
Peter Perri 31:10
understatement of the year.
Kevin O’Donovan 31:13
But at the same time, you know, you do look at some of the three, four or 500% price decrease and some of the silicon that are sorry, the silicon, the lithium ion battery technologies. You do see people now doing a lot more with floor batteries for long duration, Lockheed Martin and the likes and many others. So again, yeah. People talk about sodium ion batteries, solid state batteries. You know, there’s a lot of clever people out there working on some new physical materials and mechanical property. And then so I live in hope. I personally don’t see technology fixing the climate issues we have, but they’ll help mitigate our you know, and one thing I didn’t mention, but that’s out there, what happens if we get fusion working?
Peter Perri 32:09
I never know whole different ballgame, a whole different ballgame, it could happen.
Kevin O’Donovan 32:14
I agreed. And I I’m, I’m a glass half full. And I, I felt, you know, where I live in the south of France, I turn the International Thermonuclear consortium with the US, China, Russia, European countries, Asian countries, it’s 300 kilometers to the west of me. But if fusion technology becomes real, then yeah, change the game, like, you know, game changer.
Peter Perri 32:39
So we can and this has been amazing. We’re about a time here. But before we go, I would love to ask if there’s anything that I could have asked you that the audience needs to know. Or anything that you’d like to plug, I would love to hear your closing thoughts?
Kevin O’Donovan 32:57
What if anybody wants to get in contact with me to find us through Twitter or LinkedIn, you know, my, my day job is actually helping companies understand some of this technology landscape. Because there’s if you’re a C level executive and any energy company out there today, there are so many buzzwords coming atcha that it’s like, hang on a second, what is that and whatever. So I that’s what I do in my day job had companies trying to understand what’s coming out I’m not that I know everything about every technology, right? That’s, that’s just impossible. But at least I can spell the name, hopefully,
Peter Perri 33:29
now, but you’ve got a an unbelievable broad understanding of all the technology. So
Kevin O’Donovan 33:34
I get this kind of joy. I call it joining the dots. And again, I to be honest, we’re only scratching the surface on some of this stuff. Right? I saw it is fascinating, but no, it’s, it’s going to be you know, if you think technologies and the way we’re advancing with the technologies and the energy transition right now feeling it’s fast now, you know, buckle in, right, because we’re all the stimulus dollars across the globe. And you know, whatever you think about kop 26, and carbon zero net zero targets, whatever, there is money being put out this and there’s a lot of clever people. So if you think it’s going fast now, you know, buckle in, it’s only gonna get acceleration on a great couple of decades.
Peter Perri 34:13
No, no doubt about it. I love to talk to somebody like you that comes from the background in the tech world sees the same thing I do, which is now energy is really the the hot place to be. I’m excited to be a part of it. And it was great having you on the podcast today, Kevin, for all of the bigger companies out there that are looking for somebody that can really help teach them about the future energy technologies, make sure you reach out to Kevin, and I’m sure that you will not be disappointed. Kevin, thanks for the time today.
Kevin O’Donovan 34:43
Thanks, Peter. And hopefully we’ll meet up in person in the next whatever 612 months
Peter Perri 34:48
and we got to make it happen where I think we’re getting there, you know, things things are like,
Kevin O’Donovan 34:52
Oh, wait, wait again, we get there. It’s just we get there.
Peter Perri 34:57
We’ll be there eventually, no doubt. Thanks. Kevin cheers. For more Energy Superheroes with Peter Perri visit Energy.Media
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