The Energy Trilemma: A Balancing Act Between Reliability, Affordability, and Sustainability 

by Thomas Biddinger

As a society, we are facing an energy trilemma. To make energy transition strategies successful, we need to foster energy solutions that are reliable, affordable, and sustainable. Balancing reliability, affordability, and sustainability, however, is a complex challenge that does not have a one-size-fits-all solution.    

Addressing this trilemma will require creative strategies that use innovative technologies, strategic investments, and partnerships between corporations and governments. Corporate leaders will need to leverage the industry expertise of partners like Calibrant that can lend out-of-the-box thinking, new technology solutions, and flexible financing to reach their energy goals and stay on track to achieve net zero.  

Calibrant’s Four-Step Approach 

Calibrant’s mission centers around helping clients navigate this energy trilemma, developing a methodology that aims to eliminate the issue. To inform our strategy, we combine unparalleled expertise with innovative financing solutions and technologies, enabling organizations to reach their long-term decarbonization and energy goals.    

Our four-step approach addresses performance goals, sustainability advancements, flexibility, and value: 

  • Step 1 – Initial site analysis creates tailored, multi-phased solutions, as each organization has unique needs and goals. 
  • Step 2 – Calibrant’s large-scale capabilities leverage expansive technologies through a holistic approach. This helps organizations adopt energy-saving solutions while avoiding the stressors around affordability.     
  • Step 3 – Our technical and financing expertise spans a diverse set of fields to determine the most cost-effective integration of clean energy solutions to meet individual needs.  
  • Step 4 – Our ability to scale over time is crucial. It helps organizations endure inevitable challenges, such as legislation, supply chain inconsistencies, energy prices, and technology fluctuations.  

Meaningful energy goals cannot be achieved overnight. Calibrant’s approach highlights the importance of selecting and fostering a long-term partnership with experts to engineer and execute a successful strategy. Our method balances a company’s unique needs while achieving reliability of energy, affordability through unique financing options, and sustainability with cutting-edge technologies. Calibrant’s four-step approach is designed to produce enduring partnerships, establishing us as a longstanding and trusted advisor for companies and organizations across America. 

Calibrant’s Approach in Focus: NYC Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 

Our partnership with the Javits Center in New York City–America’s busiest convention center—provides a great example of Calibrant’s approach to tackling the energy trilemma in practice—and at a large scale.  

At 3.3M square feet, the center has been a major power consumer. Calibrant is helping the Javits Center deploy smart building energy infrastructure (such as solar panels, microgrids, and energy storage) with no upfront capital allocation required. The infrastructure is owned and operated by Calibrant, in an Energy as a Service (EaaS) arrangement. The project is an excellent example of how existing buildings and civic spaces can be transformed into smart, sustainable infrastructure, and the benefits resulting from this partnership are impressive.  

As the Javits Center continues reducing energy consumption, it stands out as a leader in helping to achieve the state and city’s clean energy and sustainability objectives.   

If you’re interested in identifying a solution to your energy trilemma, contact us. We’d love to hear from you and share more about how we can partner to meet your needs.   

Thomas Biddinger is the Director of Business Development & Partnerships at Calibrant Energy.