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People Driving Change: Tim Rose

Category: People
date: 28 August 2020

Next up in our people driving change series is Tim Rose, Programme Manager-extraordinaire for Energy Superhub Oxford. Tim hasn’t looked back since joining the energy sector mid-career. His advice? “Be bold…and don’t stick with something you don’t enjoy.”

Tell us more about Energy Superhub Oxford

Energy Superhub Oxford – or ESO – is a fantastic showcase looking at the electrification of power, transport and heat to accelerate Oxford City Council’s plans for a zero carbon city. It’s very exciting and we have great support from the Council and from Innovate UK under the Industrial Strategy.

What we aim to do is create a template that we can rollout to other cities to give them something to work towards in their decarbonisation plans and more broadly across the country. We have six partners involved from various different backgrounds and we’re also working to engage with schools in the region. My role is to coordinate the activities of all the partners to make sure we’re meeting the plan we set out to Innovate UK so we can deliver the project over its 3-year timespan.

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

I would like to see widespread electrification of transport, complete decarbonisation of power and major moves to decarbonise heating. We need to solve the problem of old UK housing stock like mine. I think the next ten years will make a huge difference. It will take a big longer but we’ll be well on the way.

What role would you like to see Pivot Power play in making this a reality?

We have a really big opportunity with our pipeline of potentially GWs of energy storage that will really open up the grid to more renewables. That’s wonderful. But it’s not just storage it’s electric vehicles as well, and that’s the nice thing about Pivot Power, we have this twin-pronged approach. Installing high powered EV networks for rapid charging we know is a massive part of supporting the EV revolution so I think we can make a big difference.

What attracted you to working in the energy sector?

I spent 15 years in the aerospace and defence sector but I decided to leave that sector at the age of about 39 and I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do. What interested me was future technologies and the impact they could have on the environment and climate change. When I started to build an interest in the climate, it seemed, through renewables, a very tangible way to actually make an impact.

I spent a decade or so in the renewables industry, agreeing deals for well over half a GW of solar in the UK and being part of the team that installed it. But what Pivot Power and our partners are doing with ESO, pulling together multiple threads which point towards a lower carbon future for the UK, that probably excites me more!

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

Firstly, follow what interests you. If you don’t know then don’t stick with something that you don’t enjoy. So if you’re not sure, try something else, and be bold. And that’s advice coming from someone who fell into all of those traps somewhere along the way.

Who inspires you?

For sheer scale of ambition is has to be Elon Musk. I know he has his foibles and he’s an interesting character to follow in the press but what he is trying to do in terms of changing the world, both from an electrification and decarbonisation point of view but also AI and going to Mars, it’s just unbelievable really. I think he will have a massive impact on the world, so I follow him with a lot of interest.

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

I think having Barack and Michelle Obama as a couple to a dinner party would be absolutely fantastic. And because I’m a big music fan and he’s one of my heroes I would add David Bowie to the mix, to shake things up a bit. But right now, post-lockdown, I’m very happy to share a curry with a few friends.

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

The best thing about working at Pivot Power is definitely the people. We’re a really mission-driven bunch and everyone seems to share a genuine passion to make good things happen. I consider the team to be friends rather than just colleagues.

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