2050 Network Vision

  • 2020

  • Design Strategy

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


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The way we access electricity is changing. CSIRO predicts that homes and businesses could be powered by over 20 different energy sources and technologies by 2050. Using its Design to innovate tools, Aurecon co-created a vision Queensland electricity transmission provider, Powerlink, to help guide it into the next 30 years.

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  • Queensland-based Powerlink operates a 1,700 kilometre electricity transmission network that supplies more than four million Queenslanders and directly connects to large-scale generators and major industrial customers including rail systems, mines and mineral processing facilities. In an environment demanding lower carbon emissions and with customers increasingly seeking and adopting alternative sources of energy, the design challenge was to: - Co-create a vision to help Powerlink manage through market disruption and uncertainty into the future, and - Ensure that Powerlink continues, in the next 30 years, to provide an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity service to all its customers.

  • Aurecon explored the possibilities for Powerlink’s future services and sustainability of their business including its role in the industry for the next 30 years. Aurecon brought together all its resources - technical, digital and design - to engage over 200 Powerlink stakeholders through Design Wave exploration workshops utilising flexible, human-centred design to co-create their future. The 2050 Network Vision roadmap has provided confidence to Powerlink and their stakeholders, customers and employees to confront their rapidly changing future. While the process helped Aurecon develop a deeper empathy with Powerlink’s people, their purpose and what is possible in shaping the energy transition.

  • 2050 Network Vision sets out Powerlink’s role within various future scenarios, If we continue shifting towards a low carbon economy the vision portrays a sustainable future for Powerlink, as part of the energy industry that drives the Queensland economy and serves its communities.The design process enabled Powerlink to grasp the sustainable energy export opportunity within reach. The design strategy delivered a roadmap for Powerlink to lead energy sector discourse on managing future uncertainty.

  • A strategy owned by the people Aurecon used a flexible, human-centred approach in its Design Wave workshops to seed the visioning and idea exploration of more than 200 stakeholders. In designing the workshops, strategic foresight methodology and Design to innovate tools were employed to explore uncertainty through scenarios and identify strategic decisions. Future scenarios were brought to life by Aurecon's Digital Futures and Future Energy teams. Scenario participants could literally see, touch, smell, taste, and hear the human experience of each future decade. Design Wave workshops identified three uncertainties, held in common by participants, in the future of electricity transmission. Placing these uncertainties in the context of political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental trends, Aurecon defined four key scenarios for the energy industry. Each scenario highlights key insights about the market drivers Powerlink can monitor and the strategic opportunities that arise when they materialise. Aurecon's design strategy approach placed people at the centre of the design, innovation and implementation process. Aurecon believes strategy should be owned, rather than imposed. This approach enabled Powerlink employees to make their own choices, empowering them to define the future, and champion the strategy, its roll out and the organisation's transformation.