The Disrupters: How fossil fuel giants are evolving to a new power generation

Play video
17 minute read 29 Mar 2018
By

Economist Films

Native news outlet

Economist Films is a video initiative launched in 2015 to truly express The Economist brand within moving image.

17 minute read 29 Mar 2018
Related topics Growth Disruption

Show resources

Pressure to reduce carbon emissions is disrupting established fossil fuel giants. Discover the challenges of going green.

About The Disrupters

The Disrupters explores the pressures of change confronting some of the world’s most established industries. How do successful businesses evolve and turn threat into opportunity? Two-thirds of what we consume today was not invented twenty-five years ago….The pace of change, obsolescence and renewal is still accelerating. And entire industries are being challenged like never before to open up, innovate and reinvent themselves. In The Disrupters we’ll meet the men and women on both sides of history - the up-starts mounting the challenge and those charged with seeing them off. We’ll offer a sense of the restless, ceaseless nature of the disruptive change they face, and glimpse both the uncertainties and the transformative possibilities this offers.

The New Power Generation

80% of the world’s energy is still provided by oil, gas and coal. As climate change becomes an increasingly urgent issue, fossil fuel giants are feeling the pressure to reduce carbon emissions and clean up their act. Thanks to new technologies, the disrupters are heating up the five trillion dollar energy industry with groundbreaking methods to generate and distribute power, in a cleaner, more sustainable way.

The first of the two disrupters featured in this film comes in the shape of an inspirational village named Wildpoldsried, Germany. Championed by their local deputy Mayor, the village believes it's found a way to produce a steady energy supply just from sources such as solar and biogas.

The second disrupter, based in the same village, has found a way to store the excess solar energy produced by the residents, for later use. This dynamic company, called Sonnen, has created the first online home solar battery system. This system allows the villagers to share power with each other in real time.

We also delve into two major players in the oil and gas industry, Statoil and E.ON and look at how they are redefining the future of their industry.

We meet Statoil's Irene Rummelhoff, Exec. VP of New Energy Solutions, and understand Statoil's ambition to become the most carbon efficient oil and gas producer in the world. E.ON's CEO, Johannes Teyssen, is focusing his attention to scale up E.ON's investment in wind and solar - after income from fossil fuels has fallen by more than a third since 2008.

Summary

Fossil fuel giants are joining the new power generation, and one thing is certain: the industry will never be the same.

About this article

By

Economist Films

Native news outlet

Economist Films is a video initiative launched in 2015 to truly express The Economist brand within moving image.

Related topics Growth Disruption