How can businesses respond to rapid changes in the energy market?
The modern energy professional must deal with a significantly changed landscape to that of only a few years ago. The sector is so specialised and nuanced, with increasing legislative and compliance demands allied to constrained or expensive supply, that a new type of professional is emerging within the industry.
During the past couple of years of editing The Energyst, it has become evident that it is increasingly difficult to place articles in distinct sections. We have CHP articles about selling into the capacity market, batteries aiding renewable energy or providing power for demand-side response schemes. Lighting stories that are about finance, procurement articles that look at energy efficiency and behavioural change leading to flexibility wins.
Blockchain and AI may be future enablers unlocking peer-to-peer trading and data that optimises efficiency and time of use. Decentralisation is gaining momentum and is being aided by progressively cheaper renewables and affordable storage. Flexibility is being rewarded more than ever through DSR schemes from National Grid and more recently DNOs. The whole picture as well as changing is converging. Gone are the simple supply and demand-only silos. Both must be balanced to take benefits in a truly integrated energy management system.
Teams or individuals looking to achieve best in sector results must now integrate onsite generation, procurement, energy efficiency projects and the find the ability to be flexible.
What others say.
Energy firms are seeing the market heading towards greater integration. Annalisa Bell, Eon sales and origination manager virtual power plant and flexibility unit, said: “I’d say it is probably moving in a direction where procurement, management and flexibility are starting to converge. I wouldn’t say it has necessarily converged completely but it seems like a natural direction to head in; there are synergies.”
British Gas’s Dylan Crompton thinks things are moving towards convergence: “Are procurement, management starting to converge? There is certainly a strong correlation between those data sets.”
And it is not just energy suppliers saying it, end-users are too. When Maria Spyrou was at M&S, she commented: “Is there recognition within the business that procurement and flexibility are on the path to convergence? Yes. Our energy buyers are aware of it and are now looking at how to combine everything together.”
Making the most of energy convergence.
To effect change across an organisation, energy professionals must be experts in science, engineering, economics, finance, psychology, data analysis and marketing and almost certainly many more that I’ve missed. As if this isn’t enough the whole playing field is changing through policy and legislation, new technology and business models.
With so much change afoot, how can a business realistically manage its energy effectively when it’s secondary to the organisation’s reason for existence? It is difficult, and nobody has all the answers. However, by sharing best practice, meeting technology and services providers and dissecting methodologies that could fit into your energy strategy may unlock benefits that are appearing from the changing energy landscape. At the very least it’s a start.
The Energyst Event ‘where convergence meets’.
The Energyst Event has launched to further the discussion on effective energy management in the modern world and reflects the profound changes that are happening. Its core areas of procurement, efficiency and flexibility linked by data analytics are the crux of the event with the myriad of specific technologies, case studies and legislation underpinned by this integrated approach.
The Energyst Event brings a much-needed focus on practical and cost-effective energy management, spanning efficiency, cost avoidance, revenue opportunities, onsite generation and effective procurement strategies. At a time when there is so much happening in the energy market, the event’s focus on the interrelationship between various energy disciplines aims to make plain the opportunities and equip energy professionals with the right tools to combat rising costs.
Register today to stay informed about the conference programme as it develops and to make sure you receive your ticket to attend The Energyst Event 2019, 1st & 2nd May, Birmingham.