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Elon Musk hit the stage at SXSW this week to talk Mars, Tesla and Artificial Intelligence. I don't know about you, but the informative interview left me with way more questions than answers, particularity when it comes to the subject of AI. The Government commissioned an independent review into the development of AI in the UK last year. The findings were that AI shouldn't be subject to direct regulation, but an AI council should oversea the industry. Are the suggestions of Wendy Hall and BenevolentTech CEO Jérôme Pesenti enough to keep us safe? Should we not demand regulation and controls over the development of AI? As Elon says, you wouldn't let just anyone build a nuke! (Cheery stuff ay?!!!). According to Elon, it is inevitable the world will slip into a dark age... he should try being a Spurs fan, like me! Here are the recommendations following the Government review, which to me feels insufficient. What do you think? Read the original article here.
My colleague and I were invited to the WRISE event celebrating Women’s Leadership in Renewables, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Storage held in Bloomberg’s building in Manhattan and I felt it important to share my thoughts on a, perhaps incorrectly, highly politicized subject. Before I go ahead, at this stage, I think it’s important to tell you that a) I am a man and b) I am a feminist. What does being a feminist mean to me? It means equality without question. That women and men, in education and the workplace, deserve equal rights, equal opportunity and should be treated with equal amounts of respect. As a leader of Piper Maddox, a recruitment business that focuses exclusively in placing professionals in one of the most progressive industries out there – Renewable Energy & Cleantech, it was important for me to learn about equality and inequality in the workplace in our industry. Perhaps more importantly, I wanted to learn how we could help the businesses in our sector to improve their diversity and why they should be putting this at the forefront of their hiring strategies. This is why I was honored to have been invited to this event and have the opportunity to learn from impactful women such as Kristen Graf, Executive Director of WRISE. Here were some of the key takeaways I gained from Kristen Graf’s presentation: The renewable energy industry is projected to employ 24 million people globally by 2030, up from 9.8 million today – we’re going to need to mobilize a diverse workforce! According to a major MIT study, group decision-making was improved by 3 major factors, with the 3rd being the proportion of women in the group. Where there are 3 or more women on the board, they outperformed businesses with zero women on the board by 84% for ROS (return on sales), by 60% for ROIC (return on investment capital) and by 46% for ROE (return on equity) in four of five years where data was recorded. Although it did increase year on year, by 2013 the Energy industry was behind most major industries in the percentage of women on boards of businesses, with just less than 10%. In a famous study, where identical resumes were assigned 4 different names “Jamal”, “Greg”, “Jennifer” and “John” there were some interesting results: “Jamal” needed 8 additional years’ experience to be considered as qualified as “Greg”; “Jennifer” was offered $4,000 less in starting salary than “John”. There is inherent unconscious bias built into the interview process of most companies that make it more difficult for women (and minorities) to succeed. There is also bias built into most other areas of talent engagement including how adverts are written. During the networking event, we also discussed some of the solutions to increase the diversity of the workforce in Renewable Energy. What is clear is that we need to: Increase the recruitment of women into our sector and the businesses within it. We need to develop the women in our businesses, through training and mentoring programs. We need to retain the women in our businesses and in our industry. We need to promote the women in our businesses and give them tools to progress. Speaking to the different attendees, and even members of the Board of WRISE, some trends became clear that I noticed. Firstly, all of these women are passionate about Renewable Energy and they have been for a long time. So, it’s disheartening to hear how most of the people I spoke to had felt like a minority in their business and felt marginalized both socially and professionally. Some of the people went so far as to admit they considered leaving their businesses and the industry itself because of the “boys club”. It was interesting and heartening to hear about how mentoring from both men and women had played an important role in their careers, and also how this offered a support network that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. There were great stories of progression in the industry, the different female advocacy groups that have since sprung up, and the strides some businesses have made – for example; we talked about how BP has appointed their first black female CEO! Great to hear about positive change. What was really exciting was talking to the different members of WRISE and sharing how, Piper Maddox, as a recruitment partner can help educate and facilitate diversity in the workplace. We’ve experienced such positive reactions from the market and our clients about the different diversity initiatives that we can run. I have sparked an internal debate about how best to formalize these programs and aggressively take them to the market to offer the options that our clients want to see. While we’re discussing this internally, I’d greatly appreciate any input, either privately or in the comments section to hear your challenges around diversity, possible solutions or anything else regarding hiring in the Cleantech sector. I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress! Finally, I wanted to send a big thank you to WRISE – it was an honor to be invited, we had a great time and look forward to the next event!
Last year, I was finishing up my undergrad degree getting ready to graduate, having decided I didn’t want to get my Masters but instead wanted to hop right into the workforce and pursue my dreams of living and working in New York City. I was applying to a lot of jobs, therefore doing quite a few phone interviews. Back then, my idea of interview prep was simply scanning the website for 5 minutes. Fast forward a year and I have secured a job at Piper Maddox as a Renewable Energy Recruitment Consultant, and already supported many people through the interview process that ended in a new job - I now realize what a disservice I did myself when preparing for an interview. Today, interview preparation is one my favorite parts of my job as I see it as something that truly has a huge impact when trying to secure your next role. Here I’m going to walk you through what I usually discuss with people, and why it’s important: The key questions to think about before the interview. With each of these questions it’s important to remember you’ll learn much more about the company, and your fit, throughout the process, but it’s so important to make sure you are as well-armed as possible prior to the call. What do you know about the Company? Before I give any advice, I ask what they’ve done to prepare for the interview. The typical response I get is “I took a look at the website and read the job description”. This is good, but we live in a world where we’ve got access to a ton of knowledge right at our finger tips, so we should be using it to secure our dream jobs! Other sources I suggest using are Google News and LinkedIn, each of these sources pull up information that may not be easily accessible or even on the website. This is important for a few reasons, the first being that for an employer it’s a good gauge of commitment. Having someone that walks into an interview already having a good bit of knowledge on the company is appealing to an interviewer as it shows interest. For the interviewee it’s important as it’s one of the first steps in figuring out if a company matches what they want in a culture and if it would be a place they’d like to work. It's also worth noting that an interview can essentially be boiled down to two key questions: Why would you be a good fit for this role? This part of the interview prep takes a good chunk of time, as I find there are a lot of small reminders that don’t necessarily come to the forefront of people’s mind. The tips I usually recommend range from having your resume in front of you (only if it’s a phone interview), being more specific and highlighting key projects. For most people this is the self-explanatory portion of the interview - of course it's important as companies want well qualified people to work for them that can walk in and do the job, but it goes beyond this. It’s important that we’re able to articulate our workplace successes and failures as it shows capacity to learn and grow on the job. We have a habit of shying away from our failures, but by highlighting them and explaining how you learned from it can set you apart from other interviewees. Being specific is hugely important because it highlights exactly what you did in situations. Why are you interested? There is a big misconception that being a good technical fit for the role is the be all end all for an interview. This is one of the most important parts of the interview. I work with a lot of passive candidates that aren’t necessarily scouring LinkedIn for their next job, but are open to opportunities that present more growth and allow them to take the next step in their career. It’s SO important to convey why you’re interested and how this makes sense as the next step in your career. I think playing your cards too close to your chests is one of the biggest mistakes you could make, as employers want to hire people who are motivated to accept and succeed in the role. Ask questions. Perhaps the most obvious one - when going through an interview process it’s so important to ask questions throughout. For a lot of people they think an interview is a one-way street where the candidate gets peppered with questions and then the company decides if they’re a fit. This isn’t the case - it’s as much about you feeling it is a fit for you, so ask questions that will help you make a well-informed decision about whether this role and company are where you want to work. You’re often judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give. I recommend questions be in a few key areas as well as the ones that are important to you. I’d say it helps to categorize your questions into three areas: The Company: These questions help you understand the longevity of the business and the plans for an advancement. What are the company’s plans for growth? How does this business unit play into those plans? The Role: Questions in this area can help give more of an insight into the breadth of the role and possible career growth in the business. What do the first 6 months of this role look like versus the long term? What is the long-term growth trajectory for a person in this position? Your Interviewer: These questions serve a purpose when it comes to building rapport with your interviewer. Why did you join this business? What’s the most challenging part of your job/ what’s your favorite part of your job? Enjoy. Interviewing can be a stressful time for many people and it shouldn’t be. This is an exciting moment and a possible new journey for you, so it’s important to take a deep breath and enjoy it, as it could be the next adventure in your career!
S1 Ep1: Exploring the true scope of the clean fuels economy Welcome to the first episode of the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In our inaugural episode, we sit down with our guest Naomi Boness, PhD to discuss a holistic overview of the Clean Fuels & Hydrogen markets. We break down the reasons for the current push for clean fuels, the industry applications, as well as the challenges to deploy clean fuels en mass. Naomi Boness, PhD currently serves as Co-Managing Director for the Stanford Hydrogen Initiative at Stanford University and is an advisor, and board member for various Hydrogen, and Clean Fuels businesses. She has a PhD in Geophysics from Stanford University, a Masters of Science in Geological Sciences from Indiana University, and a Bachelors of Science in Geophysics and Seismology from the University of Leeds. She is passionate about clean energy, and her work at Stanford is aimed to foster new tech innovations in the clean fuels and hydrogen spaces. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
S1 Ep2: The ways we can use clean fuels & hydrogen to decarbonize the grid Welcome to the first episode of the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In Episode 2 of the Clean Fuels Podcast we sit down with our guest Mary Usovicz to discuss the applications and ways we can use clean fuels & hydrogen to decarbonize the grid. We break down the history of the hydrogen market, the reasons it has gained traction of the past few years, and the challenges we will face with fostering a cleaner, more sustainable grid. Mary Usovicz is an independent consultant with a primary focus on the hydrogen and fuels markets. She’s worked with a number of high profile clients such as Avangrid, and First Light Power- she also serves as the Director of Business Development for the UMASS Lowell Emerging Energy Institute. She formerly served as Senior Vice President of Business Development for TRC Companies, and Vice President of External Affairs for Repsol. She is passionate about clean energy, and also hosts her own Podcast with a focus on green hydrogen. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
S1 Ep 3: Decarbonizing heavy industry & manufacturing using clean fuels Welcome to the Clean Fuels Podcast hosted by Ben Greenfield of Piper Maddox, the aim of this four-part series is to shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon alternative fuel sources. We’ll be exploring innovations in Hydrogen, BioFuels, Novel Nuclear technologies and other potential forms of alternative energy and storage. We’ll be speaking with in-industry experts to discuss their various applications, benefits and potential challenges in bringing these products to market. In Episode 3 of the Clean Fuels Podcast we sit down with our guest Chris Shugart to discuss the topic of decarbonizing heavy industry & manufacturing by using green hydrogen and clean fuels. We break down the reasons hydrogen can be a major solution to decarbonizing heavy industry, collaboration and competition in the hydrogen and clean fuels market, and a holistic overview of the clean fuels & hydrogen market. Chris Shugart serves as Senior Vice President of Operations, and Interim Head of Development at Ambient Fuels. Over the years he has also worked for big industry names such as Rev Renewables and Pattern Energy where he served most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations & Construction. You can also listen to the Clean Fuels podcast on the below platforms:Apple > https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clean-fuels-podcast/id1649553222Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/show/69TS4ekYNMyYh32JmGxwPVAnchor > https://anchor.fm/piper-maddox
Founded in 2014, NIO have quickly positioned themselves as a market leader within the new automotive era by designing not only the latest in premium electric vehicles, but also redesigning the market for how those vehicles are charged with the rollout of their Battery Swap Stations. This is where Piper Maddox come in – at the start of 2022 NIO approached Piper Maddox we agreed to a partnership with NIO to build their Power Teams across Europe. These are the teams who will design, build and operate their battery swap stations, making sure the necessary charging infrastructure is in place ready for the rollout of NIO’s EV’s across Europe. All the roles can be found on our website and cover everything from Construction design and project rollout right through to helping NIO devise and execute their rollout strategy across Europe. By the end of 2022 they aim to have 1000 stations built across the Netherlands, Germany and the Nordics – if you would like to play a part in helping them achieve these goals, and everything they have planned for after, reach out to the team here at Piper Maddox via email, phone or application on our website to discuss which role suits you best.
Piper Maddox are proud to announce its partnership with TSG UK (part of TSG Group) to help the growth of its TSG Charge, DRB and UCP Choice divisions. Established in 2016, TSG Group is a global energy and retail solutions provider that has grown to employ over 3,500 employees, spanning over 30 different countries, while continuing to reach new heights at rapid rates. With the remarkable €650million worth of annual sales in 2020, the Group was able to retain its market position as world-leading equipment & services provider, leading the group to now invest heavily in renewables to build a more sustainable world. Where does our brand; Piper Maddox come in? Piper Maddox are playing an influential role in the positive change in the way we power the world. And so, TSG UK has partnered with Piper Maddox exclusively for their recruitment needs in their TSG Charge, DRB and UCP brands. TSG Charge provides multi-technology EV charge solutions, enabling its customers to better manage and maintain their networks. DRB represents over 40 years of experience in the installation of electrical products and services. UCP Choice is a leading national provider of high-voltage connections, helping to accelerate the move to electric vehicles and renewable energy. These divisions are rapidly growing and are looking for the best talented individuals to join their respective teams. Piper Maddox are Renewable Energy recruitment specialists covering the E-Mobility, Energy Storage, Sustainability, Solar, Grid Edge, Wind, Energy Efficiency, and Hydrogen markets. Founded In 2015, Piper Maddox now has five offices spread across the USA and Europe, dedicated to supporting companies that will be the biggest disruptors in the future state of our planet, through the sourcing and introduction of talent.
After the past few years of not being able to attend in-person events, some of our US Piper Maddox team enjoyed attending the largest and most comprehensive event in North America for the clean energy industry. The event; RE+ brings together the modern energy industry to embrace a cleaner future for all. RE+ reflects an ongoing entrepreneurial approach to renewing best practices across the clean energy landscape as the marketplace evolves. It is comprised of Solar Power International, Energy Storage International, RE+ Power (including wind, and hydrogen and fuel cells), and RE+ Infrastructure (electric vehicles and microgrids). With some of our US consultants attending the RE+ event, it offered them the chance to have various networking opportunities whilst bringing them together with a vast alliance of renewable energy leaders. Lauren Jones; Senior Client Partnerships Manager at Piper Maddox comments: “After not seeing people face-to-face for so long, it was great to see the industry get together and get to rekindle those in-person relationships. Seeing how many people were in attendance just shows how big of an impact the renewable space is making! I had the best time seeing new technologies, meeting new/old faces and learning about all the projects in the works. Cheers to this next year, it’s sure to be an exciting one!” As a brand, we see it as an ideal opportunity to attend events such as RE+ as it brings together the best minds and technology under one roof to both transform the biggest energy, environmental, and economic challenges into opportunities that will ensure a prosperous, clean, and productive future, and gives the opportunity to access resources for growing our brand further in line with industry changes. Our consultants enjoyed every minute at the RE+ Event and look forward to continuing to grow our brand and network, and they are excited for the next year to come!
A microgrid is a group of distributed energy resources and interconnected loads that act as a self-sufficient energy system. Microgrids operate autonomously and can connect and disconnect from the main grid; they provide resilience to grid disturbances and promote energy efficiency. Microgrids have been proven to promote infrastructure reliably in real-world situations. What is a microgrid? A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and DERs (distributed energy resources) that behaves as an autonomous system. Individually, microgrids can power houses, hospitals, facilities, universities, etc. However, individual microgrids can be linked together to power larger regions. (1) The U.S. Office of Electricity defines a microgrid as “… localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously. Because they are able to operate while the main grid is down, microgrids can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances as well as function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery. Microgrids support a flexible and efficient electric grid by enabling the integration of growing deployments of distributed energy resources such as renewables like solar. In addition, the use of local sources of energy to serve local loads helps reduce energy losses in transmission and distribution, further increasing the efficiency of the electric delivery system.”(2) Some examples of DERs that comprise these grids are generators, wind, storage, and solar. Since microgrids are not a new concept, they have historically been run using 'dirty energy'. However, in the movement towards a clean future, microgrids that run primarily on renewable energy can provide a beneficial alternative. Currently, microgrids are important to critical services such as hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, and communication towers. However, climate change will pose a major threat to the main grid. Extreme temperature anomalies (cold or heat) and natural disasters can cause the grid to malfunction – both predicted facets of a warmer world. In the present time, blackouts are growing more and more frequent.(3) Microgrids will play a big role in allowing the world to stay on during major extreme weather events. How do they promote energy efficiency and clean energy? In order to understand how microgrids promote energy efficiency, we need to understand the qualms of the main power grid. Currently, electricity production in the main power system is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.(4) Along with fossil fuel production, there are some other major environmental risks that the traditional grid produces: Vegetation and natural habitat loss from power lines Downstream water and land pollution by-products Over-consumption of water from cooling/steam methods Solid waste production Microgrids could be the clean answer to distributing energy more efficiently. For starters, it is important to note that 5-6% of energy is lost through transmission lines in the U.S. Since microgrids produce energy near where it is consumed, there would be little to no energy lost in the system and there would be less energy produced for the same energy needed. The use of transmission lines also can destroy vegetation and natural habitats. Thus, the use of fewer transmission lines in this system could encourage the regeneration of biodiversity. Furthermore, when electricity is generated, it produces heat. In a microgrid scenario, this heat would be unused. However, microgrids can utilize this heat energy in a variety of ways. For example, the heat can be used to power homes or warm up water. (5) When microgrids disconnect from the main grid (islanding), they can provide resilience to end users during natural disasters or extreme weather events. Microgrids can also help “reboot” the main grid in the event of outages or malfunctions. (6) One of the main ways a microgrid can promote clean energy to users is by utilizing methods of renewable energy production. A microgrid can deploy a large range of clean energy production technologies such as wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel. Coupled with traditional energy production, a microgrid can switch between various energy production methods to be the most efficient. Smart microgrids can be programmed to hit different carbon emission and energy efficiency goals. When have the capabilities of microgrids been tested in real-world scenarios? There have been numerous examples of microgrids saving communities from blackouts to natural disasters. The most recent example was during the Rio Dell, California earthquake that occurred on December 24th, 2022. This 6.4 magnitude earthquake created massive havoc with 72,000 businesses and homes estimated to have lost power. During the incident, the Blue Lake Rancheria – a Native American reservation – remained an emergency resource service due to its microgrid. During the outage, the microgrid served 8% of the region’s population and provided aid to 10,000 people. (7) The microgrid was powered by solar panels and batteries. This is not the first time that the Blue Lake Rancheria has been credited with aiding the community during a grid outage. In 2019, California was taken over by wildfires and many residents were faced with extended outages and a lack of medical equipment. The microgrid at the rancheria remained fully functioning and around 10,000 people were served with medical and electrical needs. It is estimated that four lives were saved by the microgrid and the assistance from the native people.(8) The Blue Lake Rancheria is not the only microgrid that has withstood natural disasters. Some other notable examples include the numerous microgrids in Puerto Rico that helped the community stay on the grid during Hurricane Fiona, a solar microgrid in Malawi that helps children receive life-changing education, and the solar and natural gas microgrid at Pittsburgh International Airport that saved $1 million dollars in energy costs.