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Andy is a director of Delta-EE, responsible for business development.  Since joining Delta-EE in 2010, Andy has helped define and develop Delta-EE’s portfolio of Research Services covering all the key areas of the new energy market: electrification of transport, heat, distributed power, flexibility, energy storage, connected home and alternative business models for the energy transition. He works closely a diverse range of companies in Europe, Japan and elsewhere that are seeking to navigate the energy transition.

Andy has over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry, predominantly with Wood Mackenzie where he held a number of roles in research, consulting and business development. He has extensive consulting experience, gained from managing market studies, strategy advice and transaction support projects for industrial and financial clients.  Prior to Wood Mackenzie, Andy worked in the downstream oil business for BP Oil International, in both the UK and Germany, and has a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge University.

Does the spike in energy prices mean anything for the energy transition?

Energy prices would have moved higher this year due to strongly recovering demand and constrained global supply, but the recent speed and extent of the price increase in gas and electricity prices in Europe has caught everyone by surprise.

I had a look at the statistics made available by the UK’s National Grid and this shows in the UK context at least the energy transition is a factor (see chart). The price spike has happened as electricity demand (A) has sharply increased in 2021 while generation by renewables (B) and nuclear/biomass (C) has decreased. As a result, the UK has needed significantly more generation from fossil (D) and imports (E). It’s a classic case of two big numbers moving in opposite directions at the same time, creating a gap that is large. 

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Shell’s dividend cut could be a seminal moment for the energy transition

I’ve always argued that the acid test for Big Oil and their commitment to active, positive participation in the energy transition will come when the oil price crashes. When that happens, will they revert to their core businesses of fossil fuel extraction and processing, while cutting back on less profitable and non-core activities such as new energy? 

That moment has arrived. Oil prices have crashed to multi-decade lows as demand has plummeted following the stalling of the world economy, while oil supply has been much slower to respond. 

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Covid-19: implications for new energy

Why Covid-19 might not be all bad news for the energy transition

The global pandemic is truly an ugly black swan event for the world, disrupting all areas of our society and economy.  At face value, the new energy sector is no exception to this. But we argue here that there are reasons for optimism: history tells us that times of emergency enable rapid change in ways that cannot be anticipated, and it’s possible that these may play out in ways that will support an accelerated energy transition.  So, can the industry start thinking ahead now, to what a post Covid-19 ‘new normal’ could look like?

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Investors see opportunity in new energy and are hunting for the smart plays

I spent 20 years in the old energy world of oil and gas. (I know – mea culpa. On the plus side I so far have 10 years in new energy, so only another 10 years to go before I am in credit...). During the first 20 years of my career, I experienced first-hand the critical role of banks and financial investors to fund projects or invest in infrastructure. It’s hard to think of two worlds – oil and finance – that are more closely intertwined.  

However, over the last 10 years, it’s been apparent to me that investor interest in the new energy world is largely absent. Yes, there are clean tech investors, and some of these have even made decent returns, but the sector generally has not prospered. Indeed, for many people, it has a negative reputation.   

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OVO's Plan Zero: transforming the energy system

OVO’s ‘Future of Energy’ event at the Tate Modern on the South Bank in London was ostensibly about celebrating the company’s 10 year anniversary – in which the company, founded by CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, has grown to around 1.5 million. 

With the announced acquisition of the SSE retail customer base of 3.5 million pending – subject to regulatory approval as Fitzpatrick was at pains to point out – OVO will become the second largest energy supplier in the UK with circa 5 million customers - quite a journey and something to be celebrated for sure.  The company has relentlessly focused on customer service and experience, and its success in doing so shines through in its customer growth and the numerous customer service or industry awards it was won over the years.  

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What’s hot from Mostra MCE?

Mostra MCE is a biennial trade fair in Milan covering heating, cooling, water and energy – while having a strong focus on the Italian market, it’s a major international event.  Maria Synodi from our Connected Home team and I had the opportunity to visit and we enjoyed meeting many of our subscribers and industry contacts there (and also escaping from the snow in Edinburgh!).

In this short blog we share some of the things we learnt, and hope you find it useful. As always, we welcome your feedback and questions so please feel free to contact us directly.

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