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At the current time it’s difficult to think about the energy transition without thinking about the current COVID-19 crisis. The economic downturn affects all parts of the economy, depresses energy demand, and impacts the whole energy value chain. But what specifically does it mean for the transition from old to new energy? We’ve identified five key points
The current crisis is affecting us all – and our thoughts go out to those directly affected by the virus. The speed of the impact has been staggering. It has meant decisions are being taken incredibly quickly, organisations and people are adapting amazingly, and innovative approaches are being developed in days rather than months.
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.
The smart meter rollout in GB has been besieged with problems, so the smart meter consultation currently underway in GB is necessary. However, completing a market-wide rollout programme is just one area to address. Stimulating innovation to unlock the longer-term benefits that smart meters undoubtedly enable and communicating these benefits and the transformational potential for customer relationships is also key to a successful future energy eco-system.
A fresh injection to the GB smart meter rollout
Poor customer service is one of the big drivers of churn in energy retail. It’s not difficult to recall a time when you’ve felt underwhelmed when querying an inaccurate electricity bill, when trying to understand a change in payment plan or when changing account after moving home.
But under the surface, there’s a fair amount of innovation happening to address customer pain points, particularly in the digital space. Our research points to a transition away from the traditional approach centred around operational efficiency towards a customer-first approach.
We recently held our first New Energy Summit, in Amsterdam, on the 28-29th of May 2019.
The event brought together over 100 industry stakeholders ranging from energy suppliers, hardware manufacturers, data specialists, retailers, to insurance providers across Europe and beyond.
Following the success of last year’s event in Berlin, we hosted another European Digital Energy Summit to continue the discussions we had twelve months ago. The Edinburgh event brought together a record-breaking number of attendees and we even saw a bit of sunshine in the Scottish capital! Most importantly, we saw a breadth and depth of insightful, intriguing and inspiring discussion from a wide range of stakeholders.
If you didn’t manage to come to the event, don’t worry – there’s always next year! Plus, we’ve brought together the key messages from the two days, which focused on Customer Data Value and the Connected Home.
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