ENGIE and Humanising the energy transition

October 2, 2019

Too often, energy seems divorced from our day to day lives: energy production and management is something that happens far away, in the corridors of power: in power stations, oil fields and coal mines. With the energy transition in full swing we are seeing that perception shift. Read what ENGIE’s views on this topic are in this blog.

During the event, for which ENGIE is a diamond partner, we will be discussing how people, cities and companies are leading the way in the energy transition. For example, how the energy transition has brought a massive decentralisation as we see businesses and local authorities taking over energy production, management and setting of sustainability targets from states and federal institutions. More than 200 global companies signed up to the RE100 initiative – including IKEA, Swiss Re, Adobe and PwC – and made commitments to go 100% renewable in their energy use

But delivering reliable sustainable energy solutions at a small scale can be difficult and costly, making it hard for smaller organisations, companies and institutions. The zero-carbon transition requires complex solutions to be implemented, and investments to retrofit legacy assets.

As ENGIE CEO Isabelle Kocher points out, less than half of businesses and local authorities are in a position to provide the level of funding required to further the energy transition.

ENGIE offers an innovative solution: Energy “as a service” is a customer-focused model, creating value and positive impact through guaranteed performance outcomes such as energy savings. These future savings can provide the means for upfront financing of the new equipment and facilities.

This model is inspired by the world of IT, offering integrated, tailored and co-financed solutions,  it aims to accelerate the zero-carbon transition with “ turnkey, or “as a service”  offers.

So just what does energy “as a service” mean? At ENGIE, it means combining integrated capacities with the very latest in green technology. It’s also commitments to results, which are indexed not only on energy saving but also quality of life criteria and sustainability metrics for the long-term: many of our contracts will run for three to 50 years. This can also include arrangement of financing solutions through partnerships in order to take advantage of ENGIE’s lower equity cost.

As an example, ENGIE and Axium Infrastructure US have just won a 50-year concession to address Ohio State University’s energy sustainability goals for its 485-building campus in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest university campuses in the United States.

Apart from taking over the operation and optimisation of the university’s utility systems to improve the university’s energy efficiency by 25% within 10 years, a new Energy Advancement and Innovation Center for energy research will also  be constructed. It will be a living laboratory where faculty, students, alumni, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and ENGIE researchers can collaborate on next-generation technologies and services in areas such as smart energy systems, renewable energy, and green mobility.

This first-of-its-kind public private partnership is perfectly in line with ENGIE’s strategy to drive a specific customer-centric approach in territories, says Kocher. “District energy networks are among the most efficient and cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint. Within ENGIE, it is our conviction that district heating and cooling networks can be the backbone of better, more sustainable campuses and cities.”

To make projects such as Ohio State University successful, ENGIE also supports the integration of new technologies to accelerate human-centred energy transition. ENGIE Fab New Business Factory screens new ideas and develops new business concepts, organised in thematic programmes that leverage the largest growth trends in “living-working-moving” spaces.

One such technology innovation is the newly announced The Energy Origin – TEO App. It’s the world’s first enterprise-grade, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs.

The app uses blockchain to bring the traceability and transparency of green energy, while also expanding the capabilities of supply-demand matching between renewable generators and corporate buyers – for example, by choosing green energy on the basis of type, geographic distance from a given facility, and amount of carbon offsets.

This innovative model uses the very latest in what tech can offer is just the beginning of how energy can move towards a more human-centred approach. Energy companies are now moving beyond traditional offerings to adjacent areas such as mobility. Aurélie Balcon, Director of Electric Mobility at ENGIE, will be discussing their mobility “as a service” offers at TBB. Join her to find out more about ENGIE’s offerings, and how  you can take part in the energy transition.

Aurélie Balcon, Director Electric Mobility ENGIE will participate in the Parallel session: Sustainable Mobility: Market & Human Challenges during The Business Booster on 3 October from 17:30-18:30 in breakout room 3.