Phil De Luna, Director of the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program within the National Research Council of Canada, sits down with Energy.Media to discuss his broad vision for a decarbonized future. As one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and a Carbon XPRIZE finalist, Phil has wide-ranging experience in the realm of net zero technologies and strategies.
In this episode of Energy Superheroes, Phil describes the multifaceted approach required to achieve global decarbonization:
- Phil focuses on the importance of public private partnerships in a successful energy transition. The use of public funding will aid in the de-risking of clean energy technologies, providing the private sector with data and confidence to globally scale these innovations.
- Phil believes that robotics can play a big role in the fight against climate change – from using AI to speed up the discovery of novel battery materials, to finding new ways of measuring carbon emissions via satellite.
- Speaking with investors in mind, Phil highlights how we can make solutions like carbon capture profitable. By utilizing a carbon capture as a service business model, companies can charge a reoccurring “subscription” fee for capturing CO2, while generating additional value through products created with the carbon collected.
- The key to maintaining power reliability as we phase out fossil fuels is energy storage. Phil sees green hydrogen as a solution for intermittency issues with current renewable energy sources, particularly in places where adequate sun or wind is seasonally dependent. By using power generated with renewables to split water into hydrogen, then using stored hydrogen for power generation during times of low renewable availability, communities can create long-term grid stabilization.
- As a first generation Canadian immigrant, Phil emphasizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the energy industry. By ensuring that teams are more diverse, companies are not only more likely to generate more innovative ideas, but are statistically proven to be more profitable.
Peter Perri 0:02
From Energy.Media, this is Energy Superheroes with Peter Perri. And hey, everybody, welcome to Energy Superheroes I have on the podcast today, I’m excited to have Phil DeLuna. He’s from the National Research Council of Canada, which is an organization of the government of Canada, that has to do with their national research lab system. Pretty amazing. He’s also given two TED Talks. So he’s our first podcast participant that’s given two TED talks, or that’s given any TED Talk. So that’s pretty good. He’s also Forbes top 30, under 30, and carbon X Prize finalist, which is amazing. Phil, we’re excited to have you and welcome to the podcast.
Phil De Luna 0:45
Thank you so much for having me excited to be here.
Peter Perri 0:48
So I just heard you give your power talk, which was, which was absolutely amazing. You talk about the need to get to decarbonisation or to net zero quickly, could you just summarize for the audience? Are we going to be able to do this? Are we are we totally in trouble?
Phil De Luna 1:06
Well, I’m an optimist. And, you know, I’m a technologist. So I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be working so hard if I didn’t think we could. Absolutely, yes, we can get to it, it’s gonna take a lot of work, a lot of infrastructure, a lot of public private partnership and investment. And unfortunately, so that basically, the whole thesis of the power talk was that in order to get to net zero, there are a whole range, almost 50% of the technologies that we need to get there are not yet commercial. They’re either in the lab, or they’re building prototypes, or you’re making demonstrations of them. And this, this development cycle, which is normally about 40 to 50 years for energy technologies, needs to be sped up as much as possible. And so the whole point is, we’re very lucky to be living in a day, where technology is advanced in terms of computing power, in terms of data, and in terms of robotics, that we can now utilize these technologies to help speed up the discovery, deployment and impact of new clean energy technologies. So that’s what we need to do.
Peter Perri 2:16
Very cool. Just a couple of things, right? To be to be able to make it to be able to make it happen. No, but I’ll hit on that word, public private partnership, because that has kind of different sorts of connotations, you know, what do you Could you identify, say, a good public private partnership that’s been effective. And what was it that made that successful?
Phil De Luna 2:39
Yeah, I mean, well, right now we’re living in a pandemic. And the number one public private partnership I can think of is vaccine development in a pandemic. So many countries around the world have put lots of money in public private partnerships, whether that’s in vaccine discovery and development, in helping subsidize manufacturing of vaccine manufacturing facilities, whether that’s the Kovacs organization, which is in a public private partnership, where wealthy countries donate money in vaccines to a pool, that can then be dispersed to developing countries, in in Africa or in Southeast Asia, etc. This is just one example. The reason why I like to use the public private partnership example of the pandemic, is because there are so many parallels that we can draw to the response that we’ve seen to fight the pandemic, and why we need that same kind of response to now fight climate change. And now look at our energy transition. When we think about energy, I mean, there are so many public private partnerships that are happening, whether that’s in Canada, for example, of grants and contributions that go and work with startup companies to develop new technologies in new next generation of solar cells or batteries, or hydrogen, or whether it’s public private partnerships in the development of carbon capture and utilization facilities, which are massive infrastructures that require millions of dollars to do, right. In Alberta, there’s the shell quest carbon capture plant, which captures a million tons of co2 per day, and would not be possible if it wasn’t for a public private partnership in order to make that happen. So the point of public private partnership is that the public dollars play a lot of role in the sense of, of helping to de risk new technologies in building first of a kind so that private industry can have a data set and confidence in a new technology. And in using these first of a kind plants or technologies to develop helpful regulation that will spur the markets to act, but it’s only the start. We really need the private sector to then scale. The government can be there to help Risk and be the spark, we really need the private sector and markets to make things catch fire.
Peter Perri 5:08
That’s great. And that immediately makes me think of the internet right, which a lot of people don’t realize was initially started through the governments and had been developed through the government’s for many years before the private sector jumped in and then scaled it. So I feel that’s a good example of a successful sort of public private partnership that doesn’t normally get recognized. You know, I go back to the, to the late 90s, to the.com days when things were first really taking off. And it was amazing how quickly things took hold once the private sector came on board. But of course, if you ask them to, to do all the infrastructure build from the beginning, it wouldn’t happen. So it’s a that was an amazing example of public private partnership, for sure. So you talk about robotics, which I think is not usually identified by people as, let’s say, an area that can benefit climate change. Could you maybe touch on how you see that coming into the fore and can help with climate change?
Phil De Luna 6:20
Absolutely. When it comes to robotics, and robotics, like any other sort of platform technology is a tool similar to artificial intelligence is a tool. And there are many creative people who are looking at how we can use robotics, and AI to impact climate change in a positive way. I can give an example with respect to using robotics to help facilitate the discovery of these new materials are these new technologies. I’ll give you an example. At Toyota Research Institute, which is organization I worked before in a previous life, they’re basically using robotics and artificial intelligence to help speed up the discovery of new materials, for example, new batteries. If you want to develop a new material, you have a large search space that you have to look through a various compositions of different metals that you can mix together to make a new battery. It takes time to do this. They’re using robotics to automate that process. So they can test new batteries, and then predict failure modes of new batteries far into the future. We can also use robotics to characterize and test things in the field. For example, during my presentation, I gave a picture of spot, the robot dog by Boston Dynamics. There are lots of oil and gas and energy companies who are now purchasing this robot to do routine maintenance and energy efficiency checkups throughout power plants, which helps to one, increase efficiencies, lower operational costs and provide more reliability 24 hours a day, so that you can actually respond to the needs of the grid, or respond to potentially downtime. And hopefully, you know, you use less energy to accomplish more things. And then there’s there are people who are using robotics, to create, for example, new ways to measure carbon dioxide emissions with satellites, or new ways to do self driving, robotic shipping vehicles, etc. To help with more efficient freight transportation. We’re really at the beginning stages of, of, you know, these traditional silos of technology that are now being broken down, and inventors and innovators today, the biggest innovation is not making necessarily something new, but the combination of things to create something new.
Peter Perri 8:52
Now that’s really cool. Your thoughts about energy are super broad, I think in cross a lot of different industries, which is, which is rare. Did you have any mentors that helped sort of affect your thoughts about energy and gets you to the place where you are now?
Phil De Luna 9:09
Absolutely, I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it wasn’t for the mentors in my life. A few of them. I found that the most effective mentors are the ones who gave me the responsibility and the space to explore who were there to support me even when I made mistakes, and who showed me how to own up to those mistakes and improve. So one of my, one of the mentors that I think really shaped my life was my PhD supervisor. It during my PhD at the University of Toronto. His name is Ted Sargent. He has a massive group of 8200 people. And he runs a university lab, like a startup, you have deliverables. You talk in quarters, you talk about, you know, instead of hitting this metric for sales, it’s when you get your next publication out. How do we to be collaborative, how do we find out where industry wants to go, you know, to give a Canadian analogy, you find where the puck is going, not where it is, right? And that kind of thinking, and that’s a systemic understanding of how to be ahead of the curve and how to find the connections in systems is so important to my growth. And, and one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from my mentors is, is time management is prioritization. And it’s how to network and communicate with people, especially those who are outside of your sphere of influence, or who those who you may not know, another great mentor, for example, his name is Shafiq Jaffer, he is the vice president of Science and Technology Partnerships at totaal, a massive oil and gas company. And she showed me why it’s important for these large oil and gas companies to be part of the energy transition. And the smart ones who are investing in the transition now will be the ones who survive the transition and actually benefit and thrive. So you know, going into energy being young and, you know, naive you, it’s common for people to dismiss oil and gas, or to have a very us versus them view of the energy mix, you know, but some of the best mentors, and some of the best lessons I’ve learned is how to live in the great, and how technology is really living in the gray. And it should not be about us versus them, but all of us together versus the emissions.
Peter Perri 11:37
Now that is that is absolutely, that’s a great point. And that’s really the founding principle of of what we’re doing here with energy superheroes is we’re wanting to bring to for the people that are making a difference that are changing the technology and getting it to where it needs to be in terms of bringing that thought process. And those skill sets to the table to operationally change the technology which of course, is a tall order. So now that’s, that’s awesome. You mentioned skate to where the puck is going, which I think is a Wayne Gretzky quote. I love that I’m a sports guy. And so is speaking of that, Where’s the spot that maybe the puck is going that most people have blind spots to right now that you can help sort of put in people’s mind to think about?
Phil De Luna 12:30
Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a lot of attention being put to sort of next generation fuels, or what can we not electrify? What is it what is too big, too heavy, to cost effective to place a battery on. And I’ll talk about two sort of technology areas that I think are really going to be key to the energy transition, and are attracting a lot of investment right now, where people need to be careful and understand the fundamentals of these technologies before diving in. And that’s hydrogen technologies, and carbon capture utilization and storage technologies. Hydrogen is tremendously exciting because it’s a zero emission fuel. When you use it either in a fuel cell to generate electricity, or when you combust it, the only emission is, is water. Now, people need to be careful with hydrogen because in fact, the biggest emissions associated with hydrogen today is how it’s produced. Hydrogen is actually made from natural gas and fossil fuels today and actually emits a lot of co2. So what a lot of governments and private industry and technology developers are looking at is how can we make low carbon intensity hydrogen, either through electrolysis, which is splitting hydrogen using electricity and water, or through a methane pyrolysis, which is decomposing natural gas to hydrogen and carbon solid instead of co2 gas. And so there’s a lot of hype and interest in hydrogen technologies right now, along the entire supply chain of production of transportation and storage and utilization, whether that you know, so production being electrode electrolyzers, electrolysis, transportation, being infrastructure investments, and then utilization being fuel cells, in trains, and planes and automobiles. So we have to be careful about this because, as I said, new technology investments take time. And when investors hop in on a on a trend, typically, they want to make an A return within two to three, five years at most, when really, again, these massive infrastructure changes are going to take years in order for return to occur. So for any investors out there, if you’re going to get into the hydrogen hype train, you have to be patient and you have to realize what you’re getting into and understand the fundamental fundamentals of the technology and the infrastructure that needs to be in place. say that that technology is about five to 10 years behind, maybe five years behind sort of electric vehicle battery technology, and maybe 10 years behind solar and wind in, hopefully less, because we need these faster and more. But that’s just to give you a sense, carbon capture, utilization and storage is even further away, where we have companies like carbon engineering, and climeworks, who are capturing co2 directly from the air and trying to make fuel from it. But this is still not necessarily economically viable. And a lot of technology investments and fundamental science has to be done to bring these costs down. But the reason it’s so important, and why this will be the future. What I’d like to call carbon capture as a service is because it despite all of our efficiencies, despite all of the electrification, we still will not get to net zero without negative emission technologies, or actually removing co2 from the atmosphere, whether that’s nature based solutions, or artificial based solutions. And with nature based solutions, like planting trees, it takes a long time it takes you know, how would you sequester one ton in a tree a year, when we’re emitting 1000s, and millions of tons 1000s of millions of times every year. So we have to think about artificial based solutions where we can actually succeed to out of the atmosphere. And again, there’s a lot of interesting work happening here. Elon Musk recently announced, you know, a $100 million dollar investment for a new XPrize partnership $100 million to to find the new technology that can take co2 from the atmosphere. So you know, these are exciting times for these technologies. And, and well, whereas when people think of renewables, I think solar wind batteries, the next will be hydrogen and carbon capture and co2 conversion to new to low carbon fuels.
Peter Perri 17:00
Very cool. You hit that word carbon capture as a service. And I’m hearing a lot of as a service attached to the energy industry, which is, which is very cool. I think it comes from the cloud software industry, which has grown and changed really rapidly. What are some other technologies where you see them, being able to deploy it as a service to sort of defray those capital costs? And maybe talk a little more about just how that business model could work? Yeah, absolutely.
Phil De Luna 17:33
So traditionally, in energy, it really is either direct to consumer or b2b business to business, or sometimes big business to government, or contract work, where what you’re paying for and the sales models, you’re either buying a really big machine, or you’re paying someone to clean something up for you on a one off, right. And the idea of something as a service, whether that’s carbon capture as a service, whether that’s energy efficiency as a service, we there are lots of digital apps right now that are promising a efficiencies and reductions in energy consumption by using their products. The reason why these business models are so exciting, is because as we’ve seen in the digital realm, it’s quality recurring revenue. If you if you sell if you build a widget and you sell that widget, then you constantly have to sell that widget produce that widget, and it’s a one time purchase and one time revenue generation. If you rent out that widget, or if you provide a turnkey solution and service, then now you get monthly recurring revenue, your revenues are more stable, you don’t necessarily have to worry about a contract coming through this or that or the other, because you already have an existing base that you’re continuously growing. And that’s why it’s so attractive to investors and also to the growth of a business. When it comes to for example, carbon capture as a service. The idea is providing a turnkey solution to an emitter, there are so many emitters and they come from small to large scale sizes, small scale size, a small micro brewery that is making a beer or as a small distillery that’s making for example, spirits and vodka and whiskey, the whether they have a natural gas boiler, or whether their process actually creates co2, you could then presumably go to them and say hey, for this fee per month, we will install maintain a machine on site we will capture the co2 you will take it away from on site and that will lower your co2 carbon footprint. And in jurisdictions like Canada, where you actually have an emission a carbon price, which will rise to $170 per ton per year per seat for co2. You know if you have a process or a plant that’s emitting 10 tons of co2, you lose a small amount per year. And then you say, hey, I’ll charge me $100 a month, then the now it’s cost effective to actually have that someone come on site and remove that co2 for you. And I can scale from a small, small micro brewery to a massive cement plant or fertilizer plant, or power plant. And so that’s the exciting piece of it. And on top of that, not only are you using carbon capture as a service to reduce the footprint of a customer, but now you can think about using the carbon that you’ve captured and stored, and then upgrading that or utilizing that to make value out of products. And now you’ve created a revenue stream from emission avoidance, that is real, not just sort of carbon offsets that are kind of, of wishy washy, that you can’t even really tell where they’re coming from, but real carbon emission avoidance, and a revenue generation opportunity from taking those carbon emissions and creating products with them. And so these are the kinds of models that I think are going to be really exciting. And you know, I really think the next multi billion dollar trillion dollar unicorn will be an energy as a service company.
Peter Perri 21:17
Interesting. Yeah, I tend to agree with that. And the carbon capture as a service is super interesting. And for my all my free market, guys that are out there, the carbon emissions are a negative externality, right. So it is a sort of a free rider problem that is existed for a long time. And I think, coming up with a carbon capture as a service where you’re actually capturing the carbon from the site versus let’s just say, some of the Generation One things where you’re sort of buying these carbon credits, I really liked that concept of tying the carbon capture directly to the site itself. And I do think that there’s a, there’s a free market way to do it, which makes total sense. But so I love the concept there, I think it’s really, really smart. Maybe talk a little about financialization within the energy industry. Because I think one of the big reasons why the app as a service stuff makes so much sense, is because of the ability to finance it. So if you’ve seen anything in that area, I would love to hear about it.
Phil De Luna 22:34
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the short term is really drawing from the software as a service model is already exist in, in tech, right. And so what I’m seeing are technology companies that are providing software as a service, to the energy space to increase energy efficiency, and these sorts of things. There’s actually a really interesting example of a materials company called carbon. It’s a 3d printing company that does hardware as a service, where they actually almost rent out or lease equipment, to a production manufacturing facility for a fee. And the data that they get from that is all hard coded and encrypted. And you know, it’s illegal for anyone to kind of modify the instrument, they have to go through the, through the company, and this company are making complex 3d printed shapes for, for example, the apparel industry for shoes for Nike and Adidas, or, or for a specific parts manufacturing and aerospace and defense. So that’s a really interesting model. Now, can we port that over to energy? Absolutely. I haven’t yet seen beyond actually some examples of companies that are doing energy storage as a service, where they’re actually owning the assets of like, let’s say, batteries, or fuel cells on site. And Bloom Energy is an example of this. And there’s a company in Canada that does this as well, and I forget its name, but they do an energy storage, that is really saying, Okay, we’re going to own all of the equipment, the infrastructure, all of this and provide all of the maintenance and upgrading, but just pay us a monthly fee. And what you get is energy security, so that, you know, a data center that’s based in Texas, and that experience is a massive polar vortex anomaly where all of the grid shuts down then will not have to worry about their data center or or any of their operations being affected. So that I think that is a really interesting opportunity as well.
Peter Perri 24:48
Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of people don’t realize that the energy market is a free market with prices for dollars per kilowatt hour and and very liquid markets. So I think as the liquidity increases, and we get to a place where maybe we even have a national market, you know, with within the United States, for example, I think one of the challenges we faced in Texas is you didn’t have that Arcot market, which was kind of a closed situation. And so it’s difficult for them to import and export power. Throughout the world, most of the most of the countries have a national market. So it’d be nice if maybe the US could go to a model like that, I think would be more financial, and allow us to deploy technologies in a more uniform fashion.
Phil De Luna 25:40
I couldn’t agree with you more. The what I see there’s a few kind of barriers that you’ve, you’ve hit on something that I’m very passionate about, which is harmonizing and increasing the energy grid. throughout North America really, the the biggest issue actually, there’s two, there’s a technological issue and then a political issue, the technological issue is that many of the grids were developed regionally. And for example, the Quebec grid, the New York grid, Canada, and us are highly integrated. And there’s energy transfer and liquidity transfer all the time. But the problem is that it’s actually very difficult to transfer electricity, and expensive to transfer electricity from east to west coast, for example. Whereas other countries, for example, in Europe, which have which are much smaller geographically, are able to have a national energy system, because the distance for energy transmission is far less. In North America, the technology situation is a little bit more difficult. Then there’s the political situation, which I’m sure you know, in Texas, traditionally, the reason why the electricity grid was separated from the rest of either the East Coast or West Coast grid in in America, with states rights was the idea of state independence, making sure that they were able to, to essentially have their own and have ownership over their destiny, their energy resources, and should ever you know, God forbid secession be an issue. I think it was more a case back back back way back when, when America was still young country, then they would be as secure. And the same is, you know, sort of happened. It’s the same reason why in Canada, Ontario, and Quebec, our energy grids are not exactly as integrated as they could be. So I think it one there’s the investment piece of harmonizing energy grids across our nations. And then two, there’s the political hurdle, which I think, you know, if people can understand the benefits, in terms of resiliency in terms of opportunity, and economic security, that hopefully should subside, but I guess time will tell.
Peter Perri 27:57
Time will tell for sure. So let’s stay on the grid, I think the grid is is something that people don’t often think about, just the idea that you can flip a switch, and that you always have light. As we transition away from fossil fuels, how do we maintain that level of resiliency that consumers have come to expect? Where it’s it’s really an always on technology or an on demand technology? Yeah,
Phil De Luna 28:23
the key to this is energy storage. And this is this is so so key. The reason that, that renewables have not penetrated markets as much as they could, despite the market potential when the market opportunity and the momentum from the market is because they’re intermittent, right? Like what do you do when the sun doesn’t shine? What do you do when the wind does not blow? When we’re all at home at night watching Netflix, because it’s a pandemic? You know, how can we expect solar electricity generation, it doesn’t work when you’re living in a cold climate country like Canada, you know, and it’s freezing in the wintertime and it’s cloudy, we can’t necessarily expect to harness as much as we’d like the energy from the summer in sunny months to the winter months. So the biggest sort of hurdle that we’re looking at is energy storage. And there are lots of mediums and technologies that are being explored for this. From a short term perspective. You know, the Tesla power wall, the batteries can play us a scale, sort of hour to hour, but they are not resilient enough to go day to day, week to week, month to month seasonal storage. Hydrogen actually is an example of of a potential energy storage medium, where you can use off peak renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and then use a hydrogen as electricity generation fuel. You will of course lose some efficiencies because nothing is 100% efficient. But if you’re using renewables in one time of day or in one time of year, and then converting that into chemical formulas In the form of hydrogen, then you can recover that, again, because it’s stable over time at another period, so the combination of electrolyzers and fuel cells for energy storage and grid and grid stabilization is really exciting for the long term scale, and then batteries for the short term scale.
Peter Perri 30:19
Now, that’s great. Another topic you hit on in your power talk was sort of you mentioned Larry Fink and BlackRock and some of the financial companies and their investing themes, and how that’s changing, and sort of the flow of funds. I’d love for you to talk a little more about that, because it’s not an area that people often think about when they when they think about decarbonization. They’re mostly thinking about, let’s say, the operational part of it, but the financial part is huge, as well. So talk a little about that sort of investment theme.
Phil De Luna 30:51
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I find it ironic that of all of all of the kind of players in the financial space, it was the accountants, you know, the most risk of people who were the ones who, who, who rang the alarm on climate change. And it makes the most sense, right? Accountants and insurance people are having a difficult time thinking about how do we price and amortize assets, especially assets that could have climate risk in the future? How do we provide insurance for homes that are in coastal communities that may no longer exist in 10? Or 15 Or 20 years? And how can we make a profit from that? And how do we reduce the risk exposure to that, and I think that the turning point was, was really, you know, Hurricane Katrina, and the massive amount of wealth that was lost during that that tragedy. And so now what’s happening over time, not only our financial markets looking at this from a risk mitigation perspective in the future, but they’re also seeing it as an opportunity for investment, because of the signals from the government and private consumers that are demanding more, more ESG environment, society and governance, action. And so it’s really impressive as well, when you think about some of the major tech companies, Apple, Microsoft, Shopify, Google, Amazon, these are companies that have you know, very little stake in, in working in energy or in climate change, but they themselves have announced, we will be decarbonizing our supply chains, we will be coming net negative, by this time, we will becoming net zero by 2030 2050, whatever it may be, because for two reasons, one, they realize that the consumers that they’re trying to reach to are demanding this more and more to they realize that by doing this, they can actually become energy self sufficient. And three, the they want to be able to contribute to and benefit from this transition, you know, these technology companies who are used to being the first adopter and riding the wave, want to ride the wave of the energy transition. And financial markets are recognizing this and putting money into it as well. You know, a lot of it also has to deal with the fact of just a pure costs, right? I’ll give you an example. In Canada, in the in the Alberta Oil Sands, this is some of the hardest energy to process. oil that is literally embedded in coarse sand, need a lot of processing and a lot of cost to do this, with the sort of the invention or fracking of the shale gas piece into the Permian. In southern America, you we saw a massive shift from America being a net importer of energy to an exporter of energy. And now the most expensive oil in North America is from Alberta, and to actually to extract it produce it in the move it is not as cost effective as as as existing facilities or fracking facilities or natural gas facilities in Texas. And so from an economic perspective, you’re now seeing, you know, businesses and investors, institutional investors, just saying, Well, this is no longer a sound investment, because not only are we seeing a trend away from both consumer behavior, and in terms of just the world wide energy mix and demand for oil, but now the hardest oil to process is even on and of itself at a disadvantage from from an economic perspective. So we’re gonna continue to see this more and more as the cost of renewables and these new energy technologies continue to decrease and actually become cheaper than fossil fuel based sources. And we’re gonna see this as governments continue to put in regulation and policies that will promote energy trends.
Peter Perri 34:49
Very cool. Yeah, that’s a that’s a great answer. Phil, I wish we could talk all day that you’ve got a lot of information that I think the audience needs to hear. I’ll love to have you back on the podcast, before we go, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that the audience could learn from you that I missed?
Phil De Luna 35:09
You know, I will say, one thing that I think a lot of folks are grappling with in corporate boards, but the energy industry as a whole may not have necessarily looked at yet, is the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. And I know when people hear these sort of buzzwords, they, whether it’s gender based diversity, equity inclusion, or whether it’s race, or sexual orientation, all these things, a lot of folks, especially in traditional, well, established industries, don’t pay much attention to this. And the reason it’s important, I’m going to give again, a really broad based large view and then come down, is because if we think about the labor force, and the way that the labor force is evolving, and the markets are evolving, when we think about how in North America, our birth rate is below that every population, meaning our birth rate is less than two, or it’s around 1.9, etc. We are not making enough humans in order to, to grow the economy and grow our GDP that must and will be supplemented by immigration. And as we as immigration continues to increase, we are going to have more skilled labor and forces from various parts of the world with different perspectives. If you want to retain and attract the best talent to make the best business, you need to have diversity, equity inclusion, a strategy in in your business. And when it comes to energy, this is there’s no exception to this. In fact, you know, the idea of climate security of energy justice. Well, I understand there may be some people out there who may think of this, as you know, a little bit of a of a soft topic, it actually boils down to will your business be able to attract and retain talent, who will be able to capitalize on the labor market force that’s coming, and we’ll be able to respond to the changing demographics of your nation and of your business. In, it’s been shown time and time again, that more diverse teams end up being more profitable. McKinsey did a study that showed more diverse leadership teams with more women are more racial and visible minorities, were 36%, more profitable than homogeneous teams. The reason being is that new and diverse perspectives lead to new ideas and more collaboration, more debate, and just more conversation, you don’t know what you don’t know. And so you need to bring other people in to know things that you don’t. And if you have a lot of people that look like you and act like you and have come from the same places that you do, they’re gonna know the same things. So, you know, I kind of want to being young, being a first generation Canadian immigrants from the Philippines, being a visible minority. This is something that I find I’m very passionate about. And so I want to advocate to all your listeners out there, that if you want to survive in the 21st century, this is something you need to be thinking seriously about. And if not from, like a social perspective, think of it from a bottom line on a business perspective, because it’s important.
Peter Perri 38:25
Absolutely. I think that’s a that’s a great point to end on, certainly is an area that the energy industry can improve upon. And I do see just in the in the years I’ve been in the industry, I see a lot of changes in that regard, changes for the better. And I’m excited to be a part of the industry and see where things will go from here. So Phil, really appreciate your time today. This has been great. We’ve been with Phil DeLuna. He’s done a great job in articulating a broad vision for decarbonisation, and for the future of energy. Thanks for being with us. Phil.
Phil De Luna 39:00
Thank you so much, Peter, and everyone out. There’s this thing, add me on LinkedIn, reach out, I’m available anytime. I’d love to hear from you and carry this conversation forward.
Peter Perri 39:09
Thank you. Thanks, Phil. For more energy superheroes with Peter Perri, visit Energy.Media
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