Corporate Prosumers taking control of their Destiny
Commercial and Industrial energy users currently consume 26% of Europe’s energy annually.
The importance of the energy intensive sector within the energy value chain has grown significantly over the past few years and the sector is slowly changing from being energy consumers to being energy prosumers. The sector has also shown steady progress in improving energy efficiency and therefore plays a vital role in the energy transition which is driving energy generation, trading and consumption to new levels of interaction.
To support this progress in the energy transition, European Utility Week will again invite Commercial and Industrial Energy users to play an active role in the program at the event.
I spoke to Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities at Liberty Global, the world’s largest international Cable TV operator, about the changing role of Commercial and Industrial Energy users and the challenges and opportunities arising from this. Jason was one of the speakers in a dedicated session for energy intensive users during last years’ conference and will join us again in Vienna 2018.
- Changes in the energy supplier value chain
To the question what the main changes are in the energy supplier value chain for C&I energy users, Jason replies: “As a pan-European corporate energy offtaker we are in the middle of a revolution of the energy value chain driven by regulation, technology, sustainability etc. We see both opportunities and challenges within this fast moving landscape. Overall I see this as a positive development allowing corporate prosumers to take a more active role in finding solutions that best fit our needs and becoming involved in more elements of the value chain. We have also seen a significant change of perspective from our energy suppliers who are actively engaging with us in more of a partnership model and taking a more holistic approach to meeting our needs, solving our issues and proposing more innovative solutions and energy services.”
- What opportunities arise from these changes for Commercial & Industrial energy users?
“A good example of an opportunity that we are actively exploring is the ability to be in more direct control of our energy sources through increasingly attractive and flexible PPA structures and direct investment in renewable energy generation. These can support our sustainability goals, provide long term hedges on energy pricing and be structured in ways that better suit our financial objectives.
At the same time de-regulation and unbundling of energy markets provides greater transparency of our energy costs which are increasingly driven by grid charges and taxes rather than underlying commodity costs. This gives us greater momentum and justification for energy efficiency initiatives that streamline our operations, reduce our carbon footprint whilst at the same time help reduce the pressure on national grids, increase the amount of consumption data available to the market and better match generation and consumption profiles.”
- What challenges need to be overcome first?
“Greater transparency and consistency of market regulation is an essential foundation upon which we can develop our investment plans and build our corporate energy strategy. The most obvious example is clearer visibility of market incentives and the direction of travel for grid charges and taxes. Investments in generation assets and energy efficiency initiatives need to be based on a concrete understanding of how these initiatives and non-commodity costs will evolve not just over the next year or two but over the next five to ten years. This will lead to greater innovation in Demand Side Response, distributed generation, storage and improved control over energy assets and consumption using IoT and other technology.”
- How do you see the role of energy intensive users in energy markets develop in the coming years?
“Energy intensive corporate users will need to open their doors to creativity, innovation and new approaches leveraging new technologies and services from across the energy marketplace. It will require taking a leap of faith to a certain extent and a deep belief that increased control of our energy supply and consumption will pay dividends in both the short and long term for everyone’s benefit. We will need to support the market evolution through ongoing dialogue with stakeholders at all levels, making our requirements clear and pushing our suppliers to be even more creative in meeting those needs as a partner in our journey, not just supplier.”
Want to hear more from Jason Simpson, join him and other speakers on the 7th November, from 14:00hrs for the Commercial & Industrial Energy users session, Energy Markets Hub Sessions Programme.
Commercial and industrial energy user Days
Especially for commercial and industrial energy users, European Utility Week offers various sessions and presentations throughout the 3 days of the event that focus on future energy markets, the future market design, a low carbon energy system and the role of energy intensive users and prosumers in this. These sessions combined with a networking moment on 7 November form the “Commercial and Industrial Energy user days” (CIED) and are free to attend for Energy managers from the energy intensive sector.
Interested in attending CIED - Commercial and Industrial Energy user Days?
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