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People Driving Change: Nathan Murray

NEWS AND EVENTS
Category: People
date: 26 February 2021

Starting at a new company during Covid-19 can’t have been easy, but Nathan Murray, Engineering Manager at Pivot Power, is most definitely amongst friends. We love his philosophy on FOMO, but what would he be doing if he wasn’t at Pivot Power? We caught up with him for the latest in our People Driving Change series to find out.

 

What does your role at Pivot Power involve?

I’m leading our technical procurement for new batteries that we plan to deploy for our future projects. I help select the vendors that we hope to work with, and I negotiate our contract with them. I also work very closely with our team to ensure that our investment proposals reflect the rapidly improving nature of battery technology.

What’s the best thing about working at Pivot Power?

Everyone at Pivot is very driven to perform in their roles, and everyone is deeply passionate about why they’re here, working at Pivot Power and EDF Renewables. The company has a rare chemistry. You feel like you’re working amongst friends, which is a great thing.

What attracted you to working in the energy sector?

The energy sector is undergoing a rapid transformation that requires the deployment of new technologies, and I wanted to play a role in that transition to drive towards net zero. I’m an electrical engineer, and I felt it was a natural sector to apply myself.

What excites you most about what is happening in the sector right now?

It feels to me that renewable energy is at the same point that IT was in the late 90s. Everyone knew costs were coming down, like the Moore’s Law curve for computers. It’s the same now in renewables. Costs are coming down, new business models are becoming viable and the market is huge, we’re only just scratching the surface.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career?

I’d advise them to think about what motivates them, be active, and seek out communities of people that interest you. Not just within your own school or company – go out there and explore the community at large. Meet new people, be enthusiastic about what drives you in your career and remember, it can take one small, brief encounter to create a huge opportunity. So try and give yourself an opportunity to be lucky.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by Michael Liebreich, who founded Bloomberg New Energy Finance. He saw the trends dictating renewable energy costs and uptake early. He started a business, he put his money where his mouth was, and he fought hard for many years and changed a lot of people’s opinions. And probably shifted the force of global capitalism to fight for a clean energy future.

If you weren’t at Pivot Power, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t at Pivot Power, I would still be working in the renewable energy space. I’m driven to play my small role in achieving net zero. An interesting new field, to me, is the concept of large-scale recycling of batteries. If you think about deployment of batteries for cars and energy storage, it’s exponential, and those batteries have a long lifetime. They will need to be recycled. And there’s value in those batteries, even when they’re completely used. So, it’ll be very economical, it’ll be very ethical, and it’ll be a really exciting industry moving forward.

What change do you hope to see in the energy sector over the next decade?

Rapid decarbonisation. We need it now. We can do it with the technology we have. It saves costs, creates jobs, and will improve the lives and health of millions of people.

How do you think Pivot Power can help make this change a reality?

Pivot Power can help rapid decarbonisation because energy storage enables a higher mix of renewable energy on the electricity grid. It doesn’t just shift energy from times when it’s generated to times when it’s needed, it also provides really essential grid support services that we’ll need as we retire assets that can only be powered by fossil fuels.

Tell us something that might surprise people about you.

I’ve really gotten into breadmaking over the lockdown. I’m having a lot of fun making sourdough loaves, baguettes, and also amateur espresso.

If you could have a meal with three people, who would it be?

I have dinner with my wife every evening. I think that makes me the luckiest man in the world. I don’t have FOMO over who I’m not eating with…my philosophy is that I am living my best life, you know?

 

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