Increasing fuel costs can have the same effect, however. “Project leaders who lock their com-
panies into fossil fuel projects may find some value in the very short run,” Mr. Rifkin says. “But
prices are going to continue to escalate.”
Portfolio managers must look beyond the constraints of past investments and toward the
competitive landscape of the future, quantifying value over the project’s entire lifespan, Dr.
“Project leaders need to think about how their project fits into the system and what that
means down the road,” he says. “In the new world, you have to think about the market dynamics
beyond the construction period.”
Expect the Unexpected
No amount of forward-thinking analysis can account for everything, of course. Some lessons can
only be learned through execution. That’s why some organizations are initiating learning portfolios with projects that test a new energy approach before they develop a new energy product.
“Sometimes you have to have a learning strategy,” Mr. Townson says. “Part of our portfolio
is to develop a new approach, rather than develop a product, because we need the approach to
develop the right product.”
SATEC, a Madrid, Spain-based IT company with an energy pipeline of projects and products,
also leverages a learning portfolio. One small-scale R&D project currently underway, Smart Home
Energy, uses smart meters and data sensors to help users “progressively reduce their electrical con-
The 285 million
installed in 2012
should balloon to
The US$2.2 billion, 392-megawatt Ivanpah solar thermal
power plant in California, USA began operating this year.