Future Grid

Renewables Make Corporates Face Transition of Everything


23 May 2018 by Solarplaza

The energy transition is more than just a shift from fossil to renewable power generation. For large global corporates it will mean a system change towards a new economy.


Tanker versus Speed boat


Deloitte: "Large global companies have to think and act like speedboats"


COPENHAGEN – The energy transition is more than just a shift from fossil to renewable power generation. For large global corporates it will mean a system change towards a new economy. A shift from global to local. A transition of everything, forcing them to collaborate with small decentralised parties, both public and private.

"Large corporates should stop behaving as oil tankers and must learn to think and act like speedboats. Business models have to become more flexible,” says Anne Huibrechtse, director strategic & reputation risk at Deloitte. She will speak at the Energy Flexibility Forum (EFF) in Copenhagen at the 11th and 12th of June. During the two day conference and exhibition, organised by Solarplaza, major stakeholders and experts from various countries will raise awareness and explore solutions for the sustainable energy transition.

A lot of global companies turn to Deloitte asking what the consequences of the energy transition will be and what strategy they need to survive. The consultancy and accountancy company conducted several surveys on disruptive innovations. This research indicates that sustainability is one of the top three risks for corporate leadership. According to Huibrechtse the energy transition will change the systems of production, ownership and value creation. "There is a shift from large companies, which have all the power, to smaller combined parties. From global to local. From centralised to decentralised. That’s where innovations take place. How can large companies join this new economic system, where being big is of lesser importance to make an impact? The key word here is business participation and collaboration, between both public and private parties. To innovate like start-ups and scale-ups,” she says.

"There is a shift from large companies, which have all the power, to smaller combined parties. From global to local. From centralised to decentralised. That’s where innovations take place."

Just like renewable energy will be flexible and generated on a local, decentralised level, so will be the production of organic food, craft beer, fashion and lots of other products. The circular economy makes ownership less important. Huibrechtse: "Companies don’t sell products anymore, but lease them and take them back to refurbish after some time. But they can also stay the owner of all the materials in an office building or all the raw materials in a laptop. You can track this through blockchain technology. This will change revenues, financial models and regulations.”

The energy transition needs large investments no single party can meet. That’s why both public and private parties have to be heavily involved, Huibrechtse states. "In the industrial areas, for instance in the port area of Rotterdam, a lot of companies have residual energy, fit for district heating or heating greenhouses. To organise the infrastructure, the financing and cooperation models is of enormous complexity. Working together to create solutions is key. Business participation in this process is not just welcomed, it is necessary.”