The energy grid is in crisis, but we can fix it
"It's not that we don't invest enough, it's that an awful lot of people would say we don't get enough value for the money we spend. That's where our team and our opportunity comes to do more, better, faster to drive better resiliency in the system and to ultimately keep costs low so everybody benefits from a more resilient, clean energy." - Josh Wepman
The world relies on energy. It's integral to our way of life, and that reliance is only growing. But while the technology we use has advanced at a rapid pace, throwing us into the future, our energy grid supplying that power hasn't. It's full of outdated infrastructure, in need of desperate repair, and there just simply isn't enough human power to get it done. That's why Josh Wepman is finding solutions elsewhere like in automation and modern technologies. Josh Wepman is the Technology Officer for Energy, Infrastructure, and Automation Solutions at Leidos. He joins the show to explain some of the major issues our energy grid faces, and the solutions he and his team are working on keep America running.
On today's podcast:
- What energy automation offers to our way of life
- How climate change is increasing the need to an update to our energy grid
- The strategies we're working on right now to fix our system
The Office Clip: There's gotta be a better way to do this.
Shaunté Newby: Civilization has changed a lot in the past century or so, we've grown rapidly and have advanced our technology at a pace never seen before in history, but that growth and advancement has continued to add stress to our energy grid. With infrastructure maintenance, upgrades and emergencies, the workers in our energy industry have their hands full.
Josh Wepman: So much of what we're replacing was built 70 years ago, intended to last 30 years, but it's still standing there. So we're out doing that work and just through our own efforts, we can't hire enough people to get all the work done.
Shaunté Newby: As the increase in weather catastrophes and reliance on the grid continues, we're at a point where we have no choice but to work smarter, that's where energy automation comes in.
Josh Wepman: That's where our team and our opportunity comes to do more, better, faster, to drive better resiliency in the system and to ultimately keep costs low so everybody benefits from a more resilient clean energy system.
Shaunté Newby: The voice you've been hearing is Josh Wepman, Chief Technology Officer for Commercial Energy Solutions at Leidos. Today he joins to talk about the various issues affecting our grid system, from massive storm damage to labor shortages. He'll also walk us through how we can solve these problems for a cleaner, more cost-effective grid in the future.
Shaunté Newby: My name is Shaunté Newby, this is MindSET, a podcast by Leidos. In this series, our goal is to have you walk away from every episode with a new understanding of the complex and fascinating technological advancement going on at Leidos, from space IT, to trusted AI, to threat-informed cybersecurity, we've got a lot going on and we're excited to share it with you.
Josh Wepman: I'm the CTO for our commercial energy business. Our customers are the US energy vertical, think of independent power producers, power plants, transmission distribution grids and utilities, and ultimately the large commercial and industrial sector where energy is a meaningful part of their business. As the CTO, I run our innovation portfolio. So we're always looking for our customers' hardest problems, what is difficult about being in the energy business, what is difficult about how they use energy, and ultimately how we can be more valuable to helping them solve those problems and make it better, faster, cheaper.
Shaunté Newby: So can you share why you're passionate about this sector, this energy sector?
Josh Wepman: Two reasons, one, I'm an intellectually curious fellow and energy is a big, complicated thing, it's been called the world's biggest machine, the US power grid. It's made of countless little parts, they all have an important role to play in the system working as it does, much like the internet in my earlier career. It's a little bit of a shock once you learn what it's made of and how it all works, that it works at all. But it does, and that's sort of the crazy thing about it. So I have a real passion just for learning the who, what, why, when, how. Learning all about it and trying to understand how we can make it better, that intersects nicely with a sense of personal accountability around climate change and energy resiliency. I wanna feel like I'm doing something about these challenges for future generations as well, so my personal curiosity and passion with my sense of responsibility makes it a thing that's easy to get out of bed in the morning and give it a shot.
Shaunté Newby: Alright. It's about making that impact, right? Before we get into the major problems energy automation is solving, let's learn a bit about what energy automation actually is. Is it as simple as it sounds, like just automating the energy sector?
Josh Wepman: Well, I mean, I'm sure you won't be shocked to find out the answer is probably no, it's not quite that easy. But the thing is, we've had an energy grid for 100 years, and the way in which we design it, the way in which we build it hasn't changed all that much. It takes people with skills and degrees to go do all that stuff. What's changed over the last five, seven, 10 years is we have more data, more measurements about the system than we ever have and we have more computing and horsepower to look at that data then we ever have. So I think energy automation is really about automating some of the math, automating some of the fundamental observations so that we define problems more clearly and we can spend more time solving those problems directly instead of rules of thumb or just the olden ways of doing it, if you will.
Shaunté Newby: And so when I think about energy automation as you described it, and I guess with the sign of the times, it's more attention, like, you don't have to physically check things out anymore either, right? Like at one time with energy, any kind of issues, a person would have to go out and physically look at something. And now with all this data and IT, they don't even have to do that anymore, right?
Josh Wepman: Well, it's better, but it's not as better as it ought to be. We still send people out in trucks driving around trying to figure out what thing went wrong, but not as much as we used to, we're getting better. And as I think this is all indicative of big problems get solved a little bit at a time, we're solving those problems a little bit at a time.
Shaunté Newby: And so along those lines, when thinking about the word automation, I imagine there are mixed emotions and opinions that come with it. Because automation, usually people think about job losses. But in this situation, it sounds like that really isn't the case. Is that true?
Josh Wepman: That is true. You think about the scale of the challenge that we're taking on, our industry spends $80 billion a year plus on capital projects to go improve the grid, a professional engineer has to go design every portion of that investment. There simply aren't enough engineers to go do the job, it's very similar to coding. For all the software that the world wants to create, there aren't near enough software developers to build all that code, to build all those tools. And the power sector, same thing. The problem has grown bigger than the number of people we have to throw at it. So think of automation not as replacing people, but making the people that we have impactful enough to rise to the challenge that we face.
Shaunté Newby: What role do you and your team at Leidos play in this?
Josh Wepman: As CTO for our organization, I work with well over a thousand power systems engineers that go to work every day to solve these problems for our utility customers and for our commercial and industrial customers. And we're constantly looking for ways to acquire data, and automate the acquisition of that data, whether it be images or LiDAR or remote sensing. And how do we interpret all that data so that when an engineer shows up to do a power systems engineering job, all of the data is at their fingertips and it's a lot easier and a lot quicker to do whatever task they need to go do. I'm sure you can think of a thousand different jobs you have to go do where if it was all on the table right in front of you, organized and well put together, you could bang out that job pretty quickly. We're constantly trying to find the tools and the techniques and the methods that allow our people to just get in there and be productive from minute one, instead of chasing down things and trying to find the information and interpret that information.
Shaunté Newby: So we've only briefly talked about why this is such an important thing to be focusing on, let's dig a little deeper into that if you don't mind. Can you start us off by talking about the current grid system and what problems exist that energy automation would solve?
Josh Wepman: There's a lot of opportunity to solve challenges in the grid. Like I highlighted before, one is power engineers, there's more work and there's more backlog of work and there's a growing backlog of work, we just don't have enough people to go do it all. So when we don't have to send engineers out into the field to look at things, when we can just hand them all the data, when we can organize everything the utility needs to tell us with everything we have to go observe from the system and we can pre-process all of that, we can make our power systems engineers design the grid more efficiently. That gets more done, more cost-effectively for our customers, which ultimately gets a more reliable grid at a lower cost, which translates into lower rates for consumers. It all flows downhill. The better we get at it, the better our customers and their customers will realize the savings and the benefits of a reliable grid. Skywire is one of the projects that we've worked on that allows our distribution system engineers to automate the workflows of doing pole hardening and storm hardening and system redesign so that they can get in and turn out work in a much, much faster manner and save a lot of time and energy in executing that work.
Josh Wepman: Another example is vegetation management. We spend almost $7 billion a year as a country removing trees from overhead power lines. When trees hit lines, it causes a ground fault and things burn down. We spend a huge amount of money doing that, and we still have a lot of reliability problems that come from that. One of the big challenges is trees outside of the right-of-way, things you wouldn't normally cut back falling in and intersecting with a line and creating damage. We've built automation projects where we take satellite imagery and try and train machine learning classifiers to recognize dead and dying trees and species of trees that are prone to falling into the line. And when we can find examples close enough to the line, we can send out vegetation managers to solve those problems in advance. We did a study out in East Texas, in a couple of square miles there were a million trees. And we found a quarter of 1% of them were the real culprits, the likely reasons for issues. And the utility was able to go out and figure out, should we take those down in advance or not? Those are the kinds of areas where it's not that we don't invest enough, it's that an awful lot of people would say, "We don't get enough value for the money we spend." That's where our team and our opportunity comes to do more, better, faster. To drive better resiliency in the system and to ultimately keep costs low, so everybody benefits from a more resilient clean energy system.
Shaunté Newby: I heard a virtual risk assessment, I love this. [chuckle] That's pretty cool, through satellites, hmm.
Josh Wepman: Through satellites. Satellites, they used to be the size of a school bus, now they're the size of a loaf of bread. It's amazing what's happened, orbiting around our planet.
Shaunté Newby: This really sounds like it comes down to us having a job that's so massive, we simply can't meet the labor requirements if we follow the status quo.
Josh Wepman: That is right, our CEO has talked about this in the past, it is an amazing thing to go work on a problem that there simply aren't enough people to go solve, right? We're not taking jobs; we're not taking opportunity from anyone. We are trying to rise to the moment for the nation and for our neighbors in ways that can't be solved any other way.
NBC News Clip: From horrific tornado damage. “It just looked like a battle zone.” To historic flooding. “You couldn't see anything but water, nothing but water.” And raging wildfires. “Got everybody out, but it's heartbreaking.” The UN's latest most in-depth scientific report on climate change warns, "The dangers are immediate and growing more acute." With millions of people...
Shaunté Newby: It's hard to talk about the energy industry without talking about climate change. Aside from the global situation demanding cleaner and more efficient energy, the threats of increasing storms are causing more damage on our existing grid than we have the ability to deal with. I asked Josh how climate change intersects with energy automation and how he and his team approached things, here's what he said.
Josh Wepman: I think it's two-fold. I think the first intersection is really about that people dimension, we're trying to build more, faster, better by building the tools that allow every hour of every engineer's time to be more impactful, and that's keeping the costs down. I think the second big piece of automation, where it intersects with climate change is our fuel mix. We're more and more converting, not because of policy, not because of something else, but because of economics. We're choosing wind and solar over coal and gas, but those clean resources are also intermittent. So we need more things like batteries, we need more storage and dispatchable resources to balance that so we're able to continue to supply the load even when the sun stops shining. There's a great opportunity for automation there to recognize when does solar slow down, when does wind get curtailed, how do we respond to it automatically. Instead of having people at the helm, we can have machines at the helm automatically balancing all of those things, making the least cost, most reliable choices along the way.
Josh Wepman: So part of it, if you separate it into an operational time horizon and a planning and construction time horizon, there's a huge role for automation in the energy industry, in the real-time operations and dispatch of different energy sources and maintaining reliability and there's a huge opportunity for energy automation in the planning and design and construction phase and the storm response phase that takes weeks and months and years instead of microseconds and picoseconds.
Shaunté Newby: It often seems like the major pivots we need to make for the sake of climate change mitigation are just so big that it's difficult to do in practice. When you're working with your partners, what kinds of conversations are you having around this?
Josh Wepman: So I think the thing that doesn't even need to be stated, climate change is a big challenge, amongst the biggest things we've faced. And if I look to history, if I look to the ozone hole or going to the moon or any of the other big challenges we faced, nobody said, "Let's solve the going to the Moon problem," they broke it down into thousands of little problems that were all solvable in some way. And I think figuring out how to address climate change isn't different, right? It's not go do a thing, it's go do the thousands of little things that will add up to decarbonized fuels for electric production, and decarbonized transportation systems. And there's no giant leap, it's lots and lots and lots of little things. And we and our partners and honestly, a good chunk of the world are all working on those little things that will add up to responding to the challenge and frankly, the opportunity of climate change. Energy automation and infrastructure automation and the tools and the data processing we're trying to build to get more value for the money we spend so we don't have to spend more money to solve these kinds of problems, we're solving some of those little problems and we're working together with our partners, we'll stitch all those things together and little impacts will start to have bigger and bigger impacts.
Josh Wepman: And we continue to look for opportunities to build more automation, to measure more things, to model more things, to create the tools that make the people who will fight climate change more impactful for every hour they get to spend. But it's solving lots of little problems along the way, and we're trying to do our part.
Brooklyn 99 Clip: It's okay, we can fix this.
Shaunté Newby: The American energy grid is massive, and the issues we face can be really overwhelming, which is why people like Josh, and his team at Leidos are working to make things better and more manageable for an entire industry, and really the whole country. We've spent a lot of times so far talking about why energy automation is so crucial, but I was curious to hear some of the practical solutions that Josh and his team are already doing to fix these problems. One of the projects he's close with is called Skywire. I asked him to give us details about what that is, the problem it is solving and the opportunities it brings.
Josh Wepman: Skywire is a platform that our team here at Leidos set out to build. We do the distribution engineering work for utilities across the United States, if you look at a map of the United States, we're doing distribution design work. The part of the power system that takes electricity from substations to homes and businesses. We do design work across the country, we field hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of engineers who go out and survey and do the professional engineered stamped designs that become what construction companies will go build, and it's time-consuming. It takes a while for people to go out, look at things, take the as-is state, build a model of it, figure out how to recreate it in a new standard, something that's hurricane-proof or wildfire-proof or simply will stand up to the test of time. So much of what we're replacing was built 70 years ago, intended to last 30 years, but is still standing there. So we're out doing that work and just through our own efforts, we can't hire enough people to get all the work done, we can't rise to the scale of the challenge. And you think about everywhere you go in America, there's a pole and a wire delivering power. We have universal service; we bring power to almost everywhere. There are poles and wires and assets and infrastructure that need to get upgraded and replaced, and there's simply more work than people can do.
Josh Wepman: And we hire, we recruit, we bring people in, there simply aren't enough people. So the challenge came to us, what is it that we can do to rise to our customers' challenges, to the nation's challenge to do more of the work that needs to get done? And when we couldn't find more people, we had to make the people we have more impactful with the amount of time that they can commit to this. So that meant tools, that meant automation, that meant streamlining the way we get projects from our customers, streamlining the way we do surveys of infrastructure out in the field, streamlining the way we put all that data together, doing all the necessary calculations and modelling of that data and ultimately deciding what is the problem, what is the requisite solution, and how do we build a design that solves for the problem at hand? We're taking projects that used to take a dozen hours each, of which we have to do thousands and thousands and thousands, and we're making them take four or five hours.
Josh Wepman: That means, one person can do two or three of them in the time it used to take one, which means we can do three times the work, which is starting to fill that vacuum of an unmet market need and an unmet opportunity to accelerate how we build resiliency into our power grid. All of that is squeezing more juice from the fruit, we're trying to find a way to get more out of what we've done, and Skywire represents our investment into just making our people more impactful in responding to the scale of the challenge.
Shaunté Newby: Doing a lot with a little bit, right?
Josh Wepman: A lot more with as much as we can bring to it.
Shaunté Newby: As much as you can bring to it. So are there any other examples of ways that it could be used that it isn't already?
Josh Wepman: We're using Skywire and all kinds of distribution engineering domains like 5G attachments. Carriers are trying to build out the future communication systems, they wanna put 5G radios on utility infrastructure, we have to go do all the design work to make sure those utility poles can handle all that extra infrastructure. We're doing that work faster, we're doing line rebuilds, design work faster, we're doing storm hardening faster, we're doing wildfire preparedness faster. Can we use this in transmission networks? Sure, we can. There are all kinds of areas where going out and figuring out what is the state of things in the world and how do we understand their current state so that we can correctly design for their future state and accelerate the improvements, we can be using it across all of those domains to do more with less.
ABC News Clip: We do begin tonight with this category four hurricane slamming into the US this Sunday, making landfall just before 1:00 PM Eastern this afternoon. As an extremely dangerous cap 4 storm, winds reaching 150 miles an hour, unleashing damaging winds, torrential rains and a life-threatening storm surge.
Shaunté Newby: On August 29th, 2021, Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana. It was the second most damaging storm to land in the state since Katrina in 2005, along with a deadly and life-changing devastation it left on the community, its intensity also led to immense destruction to power infrastructure. Because of climate change, storms like this are becoming increasingly common. It's something that our energy grid has no choice but to adapt to. The cost of being reactive instead of proactive are only getting worse. That's why Josh and his team are working to bring technology into the industry that will mitigate the impact these storms had on the energy grid. He told us more about that.
Josh Wepman: Some of our biggest customers are on the Gulf Coast, and you don't need to be in the power industry to know that hurricanes are becoming much more severe, much more impactful. I think some people will know Hurricane Ida was actually more destructive to the power infrastructure in Louisiana than Hurricane Katrina was 20 years ago, the only reason you don't hear about it is 'cause the levees in Louisiana held, so the city didn't flood, but from a power infrastructure, it was ruinous. So one of the challenges our customers have is that these more impactful, more frequent storms are exhausting. Our people who are the primary way of going and doing storm damage assessment and construction and repairing infrastructure is happening more and more and more, people are spending more and more time on storm duty, and they still have this big challenge of when a huge category 4 storm comes through, the job they have to go do is go inspect 750,000 poles to go figure out which 35,000 or so are broken in 36 hours, that equates to about 21,000 line miles of infrastructure, which is almost the same distance as flying around the earth. So they're being asked to do a superhuman task with a small army of people who are exhausted from doing this task.
Josh Wepman: So we've really challenged ourselves, in the same way as Skywire, in the same way as vegetation management, what could we as a firm bring forward to solve this problem more effectively, and the answer is sort of a funny science fiction idea. When we all get together at conferences, we all talk about, "You know what would be great? Let's just have a fleet of drones that fly around autonomously and go look around and see where is the damage, and they'll just tell us and we'll go and fix it, and it'll take all the overhead out of the system," and then we all laugh 'cause that's probably impossible. But maybe it's not. So we actually took on a project inside of Leidos, we partnered with Intel Corporation and one of our customers to see, Is something like that possible? And we spent the better part of 2021 just doing research and proof of concept to see what we could reduce to practice, and in October of last year, we filled it and mobilized the first collaborative autonomous real-time drone inspection program that takes one pilot, allows them to fly N number of drones and have them go figure out on their own, where is the damage, report it back and allow us to plan resources all the way down to how many crews do we call in from other states, and how many hotel rooms do we need and how much gas do we need to buy and how many sandwiches do we need to plan for.
Josh Wepman: Storms are a big deal, if we can right-size all the resources to the problem and understand that more quickly, we'll, again, solve it faster and save millions. We'll save a million dollars a day, being better at it. So are all those things gonna happen in the blink of an eye? No. Some of these are short-term impacts and some of these are longer-term impacts, but we are, again, looking for the opportunities to bring science and technology and energy automation forward to make what is becoming an unsolvable problem from the person perspective, to augment it with technologies that make people ever more impactful to the job we need to solve.
Shaunté Newby: What's interesting is that you're so calm talking about this, and before this conversation, I didn't think about the magnitude of this, thinking about an energy grid across the whole country, let alone, for me, I'm thinking of a city. So it's overwhelming. I'm a little, I'm like, "Oh, this is a lot, and they don't have enough people to do it." How do you think about this work in a way that feels effective and manageable?
Josh Wepman: There are times when I look at the big picture and I think, how are we ever gonna get this done? And then I remember that solving big problems starts by solving little problems, building a collaborative autonomous drone fleet won't solve climate change by itself, but it'll help. Solving collaborative autonomous drone fleets in one big bite is hard to do, but there are a thousand little things we can do to work towards it. Every single day, we as an organization, we as a team, we as a group of people, make a little bit of progress on it. While the world is still debating what to do about climate change, I'm very proud to say we get up every morning and do things that are gonna have a positive impact independent of what the policies become, we're doing little things along the way that will be accretive to solving that problem, and honestly, the alternative to that, just to throw your hands up and say, "It's too big to do." Or, "I'm not empowered to make enough of an impact," I would say all of us are empowered to make some kind of an impact, and there are the people who choose to do it, and the people who choose not to.
Shaunté Newby: So we talked about the fact that there are not as many resources as there are opportunities, and I'm always on the firm belief that sometimes it's awareness, right? So energy may just seem like it's just kind of like, "Okay, that's out there," but what are some roles that are involved or skills and competencies, if you will, in doing this work in energy that aren't so obvious to everyone else?
Josh Wepman: Well, a lot of it is born out of the STEM programs. Just Science and technology awareness, right? Electrical Engineering probably isn't a big sexy role for people to go and study, but can you think of anything in your modern life that isn't dependent on electrical engineering? I mean, you wanna have a fun experiment, if you have kids, right before they get home from school one day, throw the main breaker in your service panel and kill the power to the house and watch their heads explode. I've done this a couple of times with my nieces and nephews, it's wild. Everything they do from, I need to charge my iPad or iPhone or device or whatever. "Well, that doesn't work. Well, I'll go play video games. Nope, I can't do that. Well, I'll go stream something. Nope, I can't do that. Well, I guess I'll go stare into the fridge and see if I'm hungry. Nope, can't do that." You watch their heads go through the progression of all the things that are underpinned by something they give zero thought to, and it's a way to start making them think about, "Well, you know what? You know what I never noticed? The lights are on, the house is reasonably temperate, and I do nothing and know nothing about it, but it all seems to work." Once you go without it for a hot second, you start to recognize all the ways that it's part of that.
Josh Wepman: If we could give more people an honest, personal attachment to those things that they take for granted, they might wanna be more a part of ensuring that they stick around. At the end of the day, there is room for forecasters who wanna try and imagine how do we model the future load of electric vehicles. If we're gonna solve the largest climate contributing Greenhouse Gas Emitters, that's transportation in the United States, that means electric vehicles, which means shifting liquid fuel power supply into electric fuel power supply, which means a huge impact on the grid, that's gonna happen very asymmetrically over the grid. People who wanna think about the future and build models, there's tons of room for that. There's tons of room for people that just understand how to put the grid together in a safe and reliable way, there's tons of room for people who wanna understand how to integrate batteries, and honestly, we need project managers, we need financial controllers, there is probably not a job that isn't in this world, right?
Josh Wepman: I think a lot of people think about working in utilities and they think about linemen and line women, right? It's hot, it's cold, it's heavy. You gotta go out there no matter what, right? It's like, you gotta be a bodybuilder plus a mailman, you gotta go everywhere and carry everything. It all seems kind of hard, and some of it's on us as an industry. I don't know that we've made the training for that job reflect the generation that we need to attract to it, but honestly, I think nothing drives a connectivity to this domain more than recognizing what happens when you go without it. Now, all of a sudden it's important, it's not just something that occurs. You ask most people, where does electricity come from? You know what the answer is? The hole in the wall, that's where electricity comes from, the plug, who's ever had to do anything more, but there's a big, amazing system behind it, and it's actually more intriguing than I ever would have imagined. I'm glad I got the opportunity to learn about it, and I certainly put my fair share of energy into evangelizing other people following in that path.
Shaunté Newby: And so, you made me think of a term I learned, and I know it deals with power and technology, UPS, and I was like, Oh, you're talking about the delivery? No. What? Uninterrupted power supply, right? Is that what it is?
Josh Wepman: Supply. Yeah.
Shaunté Newby: Yeah. I'm sure the kids would have loved that when you shut the electricity off. [chuckle]
Josh Wepman: So the future homes will have electric vehicles that can back feed houses, that keep critical services online, like your refrigerator and your air conditioner, your heater, wherever you may live. The future homes are gonna look very different than they do now, and every home and business now is basically a consumer of energy. In the future, they'll be producers, there'll be consumers, and there'll be people who participate in markets and decide, "Do I turn on a light? Do I store it in a battery? Do I sell it back to the grid?" Whatever it might be, the future will be fairly different, right? And that's only complicating the power system, which is only complicating what we need to do to make it more resilient, which is only gonna drive the need for more automation and more smart, clever people to come do more with less, so we can achieve clean, reliable, low-cost power, something that we all want, but just like home renovation projects, good, fast and cheap, it's hard to get. An electric power, clean, reliable and cheap, pretty hard. We're building and building and building towards green and reliable, and through energy automation, we're trying to constrain the cost, so we get green and reliable without having to pay through the nose for it.
Shaunté Newby: The work that Josh and his team at Leidos do to support our energy grid for the future is something that he can hang his head high about, but his motivations have expanded. While a lot of his work involves using automation to find deficiencies and reduce costs, he also feels a sense of responsibility to the younger generation to get things right. He shared that with us.
Josh Wepman: I have a large extended family, and a lot of the folks in that family are in their 20s and 30s, and they're starting to ask some pretty curt questions about the planet, about climate change. A popular question Is, "Uncle Josh, are you or are you not a member of Generation X?" Yes, I am. "Good. Explain to me what you're doing to protect the planet for us?" That's a big question to get from a 22-year-old in the family, and you know what they find as a wildly unacceptable answer? The business case isn't great, the financial return for solving climate change is a little challenged, we're struggling to get our financial models to support it. Do you know how unsatisfying the next generations find our view of the financial viability of their well-being to be? And I gotta say, I kinda had to take that to heart. What am I doing? What are we doing to respond to that kind of challenge where it's not about the dollars for them, it's about the quality of their life, they're not putting a price on that, I wanna be on the right side of the ledger when they ask me later, "What are you doing? What did you do?" that makes it personal for me, that takes my passion for this and my accountability for this and sort of close it right together.
Shaunté Newby: Again, that was Josh Wepman, Chief Technology Officer for commercial energy solutions at Leidos. If you still want to learn even more about automation and efficiencies in our energy grid, you can visit Leidos.com/Energy Solutions. Thanks again for joining this episode of MindSET, a podcast by Leidos. If you like this and want to learn even more about the incredible tech sector work going on to push humanity forward, make sure you subscribe to the show. New episodes will be live every two weeks. Also, feel free to rate and review. We're always excited to hear your thoughts on the show. My name is Shaunté Newby, I'll talk to you next time.