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SGS People: Spotlight on Alan Gooding

Alan Gooding is Executive Director and one of the founders of Smarter Grid Solutions. He is educated as an electrical engineer and blends his technical background with twenty plus years of experience in consulting, advisory, business management and corporate development. Prior to Smarter Grid Solutions, Alan enjoyed a career with PwC, Qinetiq and as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Strathclyde.

Tell us a little about your background

I was educated as an Electrical Engineer but joined one of the big four accountancy firms from university. The last 20+ years have been in consulting, business development and corporate development roles.My engineering degree has never left me throughout and I have always worked in industry sectors where my engineering background has helped me. Combining those technical and analytical skills with financial and commercial experience is me in a nutshell.On a more personal note I am sport ‘daft’ and have turned my hand to just about every sport you can imagine at some point in my life!

What motivates you about your work with SGS?

At SGS we are trying to help solve one of the greatest challenges of our era, removing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity we consume and as electrifying heat and transport sectors. Being part of something, even a small part, is hugely rewarding. Our technology has already removed millions of tons of carbon from the power system and the need for flexibility can only grow as renewables become a larger part of the energy mix. This is not a short-game for SGS, it is a mission to make a difference.

What do you like best about working at SGS?

My engineering degree was twinned with business studies and I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit.I enjoy the unpredictability of what each day brings and constant change, I love working with customers and get a real sense of achievement in helping to solve problems. That sounds like the engineer again!

What has been your biggest achievement so far at SGS?

It’s a cliché I know, but it is the team I get to work with every day.We have a brilliant bunch of bright, professional and enthusiastic talent that day in and day out never fail to surprise me. To have been able to nurture that talent and help them build their careers with SGS has been a real honour for me.

What are your hopes for the clean energy sector in the coming months and years?

I hope that the post-COVID economic recovery will be a net zero one. The economy and lots of businesses have suffered because of the virus but to use it as an opportunity to roll-back rather than to accelerate net zero transition will simply become more of a tragedy for our children and our children’s children.

Looking forward, what impact are you hoping SGS will have?

In a net zero energy system the need for flexibility across all actors in the energy system (network operators, system operators, fleet operators, etc.) will become increasingly important to manage infrastructure and grid stability. With mission critical technology specifically designed for these critical national infrastructure applications I think we can have a major impact in helping the sector to meet that net zero challenge.

What inspired you to first become involved in clean energy?

I liked the idea that the academics at University of Strathclyde had come up with. It made sense to manage the infrastructure we have more efficiently which ultimately saves us all (as bill payers). Having recently joined the EV club I am more convinced than ever that clean energy and a renewable fuelled economy is the legacy we should all strive to leave.