Innovation Community

Innovation lies at the heart of the energy transition

Integrating innovators and innovative thinking with our work programmes, activities, experiences and communities is a priority on the Council’s agenda. We create platforms to accelerate and deepen capabilities that can help to drive the energy transition. We achieve impact by identifying innovators, matchmaking within our communities and developing those talented individuals who will become our future inspirational energy leaders.

Securing the sustainable supply and use of energy that meets the needs of our planet relies on the successful development and delivery of innovative solutions. This includes transformative innovation in infrastructure, decarbonisation, policy, new technologies, business models and much more.

“We need to think of innovation not as one technology choice versus another, or substituting old technologies for new, but a whole-systems transformation. To do this we need to bring together key innovation accelerators, such as technology, finance, behaviour and new business models.”

Angela Wilkinson, World Energy Council Secretary General and CEO


Hydrogen Global is another step in our agile approach to mainstreaming systems innovation and aims to promote greater awareness of the role of and need for clean molecules such as low carbon hydrogen as a compliment to accelerating electrification.

Discover Hydrogen Global


We asked the global energy leaders the following questions:

  • What will be the biggest source of tension within the energy industry in 2040?

  • What will lead to the biggest growth in energy demand by 2040?

  • Which measures/technology will have the biggest impact on how energy is consumed by 2040?

  • Which technology will have the biggest impact on how energy is produced by 2040?

  • Are energy leaders paying enough attention to the issue of affordability when thinking about energy transitions?

Discover the results here!

Innovation Focus: E-Quality – Basic Energy Access is Not Enough!

In 2018 the World Energy Council (Council) began an effort to dig deeper and try to understand why, in this day and age, so many hundreds of millions of people do not have access to meet basic needs, let alone access to energy that can transform their livelihoods and bring new opportunities to their communities.

Based on our exploratory interviews, energy access should be about more than offering basic access to achieve basic needs; energy access should be about the drive to enable the whole community to flourish and transform. Basic energy access is a first step in the journey and must be part of a holistic approach toward Quality Energy Access.

“The dominant focus on household access is too often unbalanced with the energy needed for industry and commerce. Historically, economic growth in Europe and the USA was driven by energy for industry first and households later, but we are flipping the order in Africa. Ghana is going to reach universal access by the IEA definition in the next 5 years, but it is many years away from solving its structural energy problem, which is the cost and reliability of electricity for business”

Todd Moss, Executive Director, Energy for Growth Hub

Find out more here!

Start Up Energy Transition

Supporting our innovation agenda, our annual Start Up Energy Transition (SET100) Award, in cooperation with the German Energy Agency (dena), is an international competition for start-ups and young companies worldwide who creating innovative solutions and building agile organisations to accelerate the energy transition. 

SET brings together the most outstanding international start-ups in the field of energy transition with key stakeholders in the energy sector including investors, industry leader incumbents, media and government.

“With the 100 top international start-ups in the field of energy transition and climate protection, the #SET100 list is both an encouraging and fascinating proof that energy transition and climate protection can succeed…the companies on the #SET100 list show how we can move forward with innovation and entrepreneurship. It's up to us what we make of it. With the SET initiative, we offer promising start-ups an international platform to become better known and attract investors and other supporters.”

Andreas Kuhlmann, dena Chief Executive

Check out the rest of the highlights from the World Energy Congress 2019:

SET Awards 2019

More than 450 applications from 80 countries were entered into this year’s SET Awards. After long-listing the top 100 most innovative and effective business models in the areas of energy transition and climate protection, the judges awarded five start-ups.

Find out more about the SET Award winners 

SET Awards winners are pioneering innovative transformation in energy. Listen to some of our 2019 winners.

Innovation insights

Engage in our innovation work programmes, digging deeper into the role of new resources and business models, technology, policy and social innovation. The series includes Insight Briefs, innovative collaboration and experiences and interactive workshops. 

Transition Toolkit - Innovation Insights

Innovative collaboration and experiences

We collaborate with our diverse global member communities around the world, share know-how, identify and clarify strategic choices and better options, and develop new timely and deeper insights which are essential in translating new energy visions into reality.

We connect and engage experts within our network, leverage interactive events and experiences and deliver tools and platforms to facilitate innovative collaboration to lead the energy future.

energy workshop, innovation, scribe, world energy

“As technological opportunities evolve and diversify, the energy sector needs to adjust its focus towards the right investments and innovations that accelerate from a systemic view. Operators need to discuss how they want to secure flexibility and supply; how they create suitable infrastructures; and how they want to enhance new possibilities to connect and turn consumers into dynamic actors.

The World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi gives us all an opportunity to enhance our understanding of political, economic, and technological forces and trends shaping the energy industry. That’s why we look forward to connecting with our customers and thought leaders from across the globe to discuss and collaborate on providing energy solutions for today....and tomorrow.”

Lisa Davis, CEO, Gas and Power, Siemens AG

Find out more about our experiences and events

Join the World Energy Council

Engage in strategic dialogue with the energy leaders of today and the future, build capabilities and help shape the energy future.