How The Drive Towards Decarbonisation is Changing Business Models
with Anne-Laure de Chammard, Group Chief Strategy Officer, ENGIE
At our Energy Capital Leaders Assembly in Paris last November, we heard from a range of leading energy providers including ENGIE, Equinor, Orsted and E.ON. These energy companies are pioneering in the renewables market right now and their senior executives discussed a variety of topical issues including the best strategies used by energy companies as they position their businesses in the context of changing industry and consumer trends.
During the Assembly we caught up with Anne-Laure de Chammard, Group Chief Strategy Officer at ENGIE to discuss how ENGIE have had to adapt and change their business model in response to an increased public awareness around carbon emissions and growing push for decarbonisation. As the energy industry develops in line with environmental trends, energy providers are becoming more sustainable and transforming their strategies.
In this way, ENGIE have shifted from being an IPP with coal assets to being a renewables and energy efficiency focused business. In order to make this transition, ENGIE divested €16b of assets (including coal) and reinvested this into renewables and energy efficiency solutions. So far this strategy has been a success.
In November 2019 Engie had successfully installed 24GW of renewable energy capacity and they plan to install 3GW per year of additional capacity.
In parallel, given that the energy agenda is being increasingly set by local authorities and big corporates, rather than nation states, ENGIE is developing its client solutions business in line with these consumer trends. It endeavours to be more than just a power producer but an energy company that supports clients to consume energy more efficiently, consume less energy and consume greener energy. Client solutions now accounts for 25% of net results of the Group.
A major challenge for both corporate and individual consumers is the complexity and expense of transitioning to renewables. Anne-Laure emphasised that addressing this issue must be the responsibility of big corporates, suggesting that ENGIE and similar companies must help both individual and corporate customers in the transition to greener energy. ENGIE are currently doing this through tailor made solutions where they design, build and convert their clients’ assets, maintain, operate and finance them and the customer pays as they use. The objectives of this innovative business model is not just the consumption of greener energy but savings too.
In addition to this, Engie are using corporate PPAs to support their customers consume less and greener energy. Anne-Laure described how ENGIE are partnering with customers through cooperate PPA’s, which whilst they tend to be more and more complex, are tailored to the consumer’s consumption. As a result of investment into renewables including renewable farms and storage, Engie are able to provide a 24/7 green energy supply to their clients.
ENGIE, amongst others including E.ON and Equinor, are demonstrating sufficient robustness in current and future business models, taking into account zero-carbon, subsidy-free and decentralised energy trends. Energy companies must follow suit and transform their strategies in the light of the energy transition, taking into account pricing structures, uncertain finance and regulation and the result of this on future capex and investment strategies.
Clearly traditional energy companies are increasingly strategizing for managing current operational demands with future sustainability aspirations and this is vital for businesses to be part of the drive towards decarbonisation, rather than being left behind.
Anne-Laure De Chammard, Group Chief Strategy Officer, ENGIE
With ENGIE since 2019, Anne-Laure de Chammard previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bureau Veritas Construction, a subsidiary of the Bureau Veritas group, and was a member of the French Government’s High Council on Construction and Energy Efficiency. Anne-Laure de Chammard graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (corps des Ponts). She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Anne-Laure started her career in the USA in 2008, as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She then joined the French Ministry of Sustainable Development and Energy in 2010, where she was leading major infrastructure Public Private Partnership contracts (motorways, high-speed railways, etc.). She joined the Bureau Veritas Group in 2014 as Regional Managing Director for the French East Region, before being appointed President and CEO of Bureau Veritas Construction in 2016. Anne-Laure also sits on the Supervisory Board of GRDF and of Marseille – Provence Airport.