Making the Exploration of Alternate Energy Sources more Efficient and Focused with KPIs

Development of a nation (macro phenomenon) and of an organization (micro phenomenon) largely depends upon the resources it possesses in the long term

Finding out cheap resources and techniques that can be substituted for traditional ones is often the key. All of us are aware of the fact that the age-old non-renewable sources are not going to last forever. Owing to this reality that sources of energy owned by a given entity are important factors that affect its economic state, corporate entities are increasingly getting involved in discovering "energy reservoirs" that can replace non-renewable resources to a certain extent. These sources are the ones relating to nuclear, geothermal and solar energy. However, the act requires considerable amount of expenditure in terms of R&D; thereby making a potent method "to follow the usefulness of attempts", an essential requirement.

Measurable, relevant and actionable factors in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) serve the purpose. More often, a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is prepared on which are indicators are grouped in four major categories; Financial Perspective, Customer Perspective, Internal Operations perspective and learning and Growth Perspective. However, the categories are a means to provide a "starting platform" and can be changed to suit the requirements. When the talk is of "Alternate Energy sources", these can be- "Energy switching perspective", "Collaboration and recognition perspective", "Growth Perspective" and "Management and Policy Perspective". Some of the parameters, which can be put under these categories are- Alternate Energy Index, essential Alternate Energy Index and number of sources under consideration. Collaboration and Recognition Perspective can be gauged from the "number of stakeholders who are with the organization in this attemp t of theirs", instances when the organization was awarded and num ber

of conferences and seminars attended and organized to divulge the necessity of this need. Growth can be evaluated by knowing "% increase in the R&D expenditure", "% decrease in dependence on conventional sources" and "number of processes in which energy switching has taken place". Management"s efforts can be assessed via indicators like "number of ways adopted to promote non-renewable energy sources", "degree of conformance to the Government policies in this regard" and "% of staff involved in the task".

The emphasis being laid on the significance of "alternate energy sources" arises from two realities; the unstable "energy needs" and "unstoppable rise in prices of the much prevalent energy sources like petroleum". However, the process of digging of "other option" is not a cake walk.

Apart from the much known and understood fact of "soon-to-get depleted reserves of non-renewable energy sources", there are additional factors that make it tougher to employ the non-conventional modes of "energy conversion". Some of these include "the greater investment" than the non-renewable sources that is required utilizing these resources, "availability of these sources at specific areas" so transferring these is again a tough job. Moreover, these are not available at all times. The combined effect of these constraints is to make the "whatever amounts are put in the task of exploring renewable energy sources" pay maximally to the investor. To say it all, a quantitative medium for assessing the performance of the process is a requirement. This is possible with the consistent use of a "surveillance" mechanism.

By assigning "Target Values" to these measures and taking steps to achieve them, the organization can be assured of handing over the responsibility of "Performance Measurement and Management" to the newly prepared "scorecard". This is because of this technique"s ability to give efforts a "concentrated" touch. In other words, the employees are more determined and sure of the positive results of their steps. The dilution of this "guess work" is due to the actual knowledge of "what counts and what does not", which in turn is embedded in the BSC. In all, this method helps in exploring the viability, relevance and sustenance of the nascent energy sources.

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