Q&A: Head of Geology, Stephen Aherne

A Q&A with one of our dedicated team members

Stephen Aherne Interview

To realise Corre Energy’s potential to advance innovative storage solutions, we need a brilliant team of people with industry-leading expertise, a passion for the clean energy transition and a global perspective.

For everyone to understand what it’s like be a part of our business, we talked to Stephen Aherne our Head of Geology about why he joined Corre Energy, its role in the energy transition and why being part of a global company is important.

Why did you want to work at Corre Energy?

For several years, I worked with our CEO, Keith, and with Patrick, our Chief Strategy Officer. We were in the early stages of developing compressed air energy storage projects, and it was a natural step for me to move into Corre Energy.

I knew that it was going to be an exciting place to work. Corre Energy has a real vision that I could clearly grasp, to move into this space, enabling integration of renewables and promoting the green transition.

Why does working at Corre Energy inspire you?

We’re developing a new asset class within the energy transition. It’s really exciting to be involved in something so novel and everyone's highly motivated and keen to progress this ambition.

I'm also working with a great team, with a really diverse set of skills. Everyone is keen to share their knowledge and learn from each other. It’s always enjoyable to do that with a group of people that are moving in the same direction.

I continue to be inspired from starting from such a small group, up to where we are now as a company. Our successes to date have ensured that the arc of the company's development has been really rewarding, as well as challenging.

We also work with a wide range of business partners, people involved in other aspects of the industry. To be in partnership with other companies that are sharing and exchanging knowledge and innovative ideas is all part of the excitement and continuous learning process.

What role does Corre Energy play in the green transition?

We're leading the development of hydrogen-based long duration energy storage solutions, which are essential to allow the integration of very high levels of variable renewables.

Our solution supports the physical integration of renewables, but also the business case by reducing risk. For example, our technology will help reduce curtailment of wind. This helps to make the revenue model more reliable for these variable, renewable sources.

Electricity is the only essential commodity that doesn't routinely have a storage aspect to it. Everybody else who produces something has a warehouse of some sort, so that they can balance supply to meet demand. We are essentially creating warehouses for renewable energy and green hydrogen.

What benefits does working for a company with international reach bring?

We have a wide-based team operating in the Netherlands, Denmark, UK, and Ireland. By expanding our portfolio of projects across different countries there's not only a range of technical disciplines, but people from different cultural backgrounds and nationalities, who bring different perspectives to Corre Energy. This all helps to develop a global business.

Did you make a conscious decision to work in the clean energy sector? 

My background is in mineral exploration. When I came across Corre Energy I found it fascinating on a technical basis, because there were there specific technical and geological opportunities and challenges for compressed air energy storage. Where do you do it? How do you meet that sort of technical challenge?

I knew I made the right decision in moving from mineral exploration into the green energy sector because of the challenges that we face with climate change. It’s very satisfying to know that we are helping to provide solutions to this problem.

What impact do you think Corre will have on the global shift to clean energy systems?

As a leading developer of hydrogen-based long duration energy storage projects, Corre Energy is fulfilling a market-leading role in the wider adoption of these kinds of solutions. This will be essential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and support the business case for renewable energy.

How do you sum up your colleagues at Corre Energy?

Corre has a great mix of people from different nationalities, industries, and disciplines. This provides our organisation with a wide range of skill sets, based on broad experience in developing business.

We are all really keen to find solutions, and we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and to learn from others in the organisation and with our partners.

If you’re interested in working with Corre Energy to progress the green energy transition, find out more about our company and open positions across Europe here.