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People Driving Change: Nicole Gilbert

Category: People
date: 2 October 2020

Next up in our people driving change series is Nicole Gilbert, Marketing & Communications Manager at Pivot Power.

What attracted you to working in the energy sector?

I was working in financial services for a really interesting start-up company, but I knew I didn’t want to stay in the sector. I joined a small, carbon trading company that I thought sounded really interesting and like something that was going to grow in the future. That was over 10 years ago, and in the interim I’ve turned into a bit of an energy geek. I really like the fact that the more I learn the less I feel I know – it’s a really interesting sector.

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

I’m really interested in the impact that EVs are going to have on the whole sector, and in particular public engagement with energy and climate change and sustainability. I think they could be an amazing catalyst because not everyone is interested in batteries or solar panels or wind turbines but most people, even if they’re not interested in cars, are reliant on cars to some extent. It’s going to be really interesting to see how people respond when they realise that, when it’s windy they can get paid to charge their car, and there are all these other benefits that they can see by acting sustainably, and that could be really exciting.

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

Just the complete electrification of everything! Maybe that’s a bit ambitious, but the clock is ticking and the consequences of inaction are terrifying, so we really need to just push as hard and as fast as we can. I’m really encouraged by the amount of attention climate change is getting from insurers and banks and pension funds now. They’re starting to look at the risks and the costs of inaction and when you start to move those amounts of money, you can make a real difference, so hopefully that’s something we’re going to see a lot more of over the next decade.

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

Pivot Power is developing 40 sites nationwide, which will deliver up to 2GW of flexible capacity and high volume power connections for EV charging. What’s exciting about our approach is that we’re not just looking at the next two, three, four, five years, but thinking long-term, strategically and big-scale in terms of what’s needed for the next ten, twenty, thirty years. When you think about decarbonising power and transport, Pivot Power are being really ambitious and pushing to make sure we have the low carbon infrastructure we need to achieve net zero.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who have a real sense of purpose or passion – it’s super infectious, engaging and motivating. Also people who are willing to give up their time, their knowledge and their resources when there’s no benefit to them. And people who act with integrity. There are lots of ways of doing things and I think Pivot Power is a great example of how being nice can take you a long way.

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

The Queen, because I want to know what she really thinks about all the Prime Ministers she’s met over the years. David Bowie, because I think he was a creative genius and visionary, and I’d be really interested to hear what he thinks about the future and what it has in store. And Bette Midler, because I follow her on Twitter and she is hilarious – very straight talking, very smart and very opinionated, so I think she’d be a lot of fun.

Tell us something that might surprise people about you?

I don’t know about surprising other people, but I consider myself a very shy, introverted person, so it’s continually surprising to me that I’m working in comms.

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