Working on a sustainable world on a massive scale

Edwin Postma, Enterprise Architect

After some time doing development work in the Philippines, Edwin Postma knew for certain: he wanted to do more with sustainability. So his job at Eneco was the perfect step. It allows him to combine his two main passions, as he explains in this blog. ‘The great thing about our data is that it has a relationship with the physical world.’

Was I always thinking about sustainability? Yes, the subject has been one of the common themes throughout my life. I studied tropical forestry and did some development work in the Philippines for a while. I installed solar panels for a mountain tribe in a small village and I connected them to an old battery. That gave the whole village light in the evenings. It was really primitive though. If the weather was nice, they could maybe watch a movie once a week.

When I got home, I started working in the telecom industry. But I missed having a purpose in my job. When the energy market was liberalized, I thought: this is my chance to make a contribution. I could’ve focused on big issues like the food crisis or loneliness, but I was more drawn to work on the energy transition. The time I spent in the Philippines really opened my eyes. 

Facilitating self-consumption

I work as an Enterprise Architect at Eneco. I convert the company’s strategy into tangible products and programs for the next few years. When we want to go international, I come up with a system that works in multiple countries. And when we launch a new product, I make it all possible.

One great example is when we helped set up a project in Belgium. The idea was to make maximum use of private solar panel generation for the smart charging of electric cars. That places less of a burden on the grid, increases self-consumption, and lowers energy bills. So it’s a project that creates a lot of satisfaction. Together with the team, I worked out the concept and created all of the technical preconditions to make the project a success.

The entire chain

A lot of architects work for banks or government agencies and focus on administrative processes. What I like most about my work is that data relates to the physical world, like windmills producing energy at sea. Something actually happens as a result of my work. I think it’s unique how Eneco is one of the few companies that produces, sells, and delivers energy itself. As an Enterprise Architect, I’m involved in all of the links in the chain. One day I’ll meet with Marketing and Sales to talk about how the customer experiences the product, and an hour later I’ll help optimize the control system for a new industrial battery. I talk about the company’s strategy and the issues affecting operations. That makes the work both abstract and concrete.

One interesting aspect of my work is the question: how can you bring about change? I don’t just mean with technology, but also with a healthy dose of realism and support from stakeholders. A good idea needs time to grow. People need to identify with it and experience it for themselves: this is what we want. It also helps that I have a good network within the company, and I can build bridges between issues that other people don’t see. I can also put things into motion. That way people don’t feel like we’re stuck spinning our tires in the sand, but that things actually happen.

The path of change

Sustainability isn’t just a marketing slogan here. We make choices that are good for the planet. And I’m proud of that. If you want to work to build a more sustainable world, then you can really make a difference at Eneco. We don’t just think about the future; we’ve actually started down the path of change. We do it today, and we do it together. I hope to be able to introduce even more great innovations over the next few years. My main motivation is to keep sustainable energy accessible for everyone. Sustainable energy shouldn’t just be environmentally friendly, but also socially just. Only then will the energy transition be truly successful.

'What I like most about my work is that data relates to the physical world, like windmills producing energy at sea.'

Edwin Postma

Enterprise Architect

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