Energy Infrastructure Plan for the North Sea

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Energy Infrastructure Plan for the North Sea

Deloitte team works with the government to help convert its sustainable energy vision into a viable plan

The energy transition

The challenges facing all societies in their transition to a greener economy – and specifically more sustainable means of generating and distributing energy – are well known. Focusing on the period from 2030 to 2050, the ambitious Energy Infrastructure Plan for the North Sea (EIPN) aims to create a future-proof energy system powered by the North Sea, addressing the Netherlands’ challenging ambitions for a sustainable energy transition.

This initiative is not just about achieving the goals set out in the National Energy System Plan (NPE). It’s also about finding a way to turn these goals into a practical reality that excites both energy professionals and consumers.

Our role is to advise the government on how the EIPN can result in tangible change for the energy sector. The report we’re writing, focused on the plan’s implementation period of 2030-2050, will be the visible output from an extensive project involving a team drawn from our many disciplines within the firm, and in partnership with other technical consultancies. The report will showcase the practical steps necessary for the Netherlands to meet its renewable energy targets, and serve as a blueprint for other nations to follow suit.

Key activities and conclusions

This project has many angles to it, and a host of contributing parties. One of our main jobs was to devise a way to orchestrate their contribution, working across many government departments to create a cohesive action plan. From the outset, our people demonstrated that we would act as an integrator across the many stakeholders and their diverse interests, by offering a comprehensive overview for all involved – including electricity and new hydrogen transmission operators. This approach was crucial, as all parties were committed to the energy transition, but could easily have lacked clarity on their specific roles and the urgency of various actions.

From theory to practical action

We made best use of hundreds of pages of existing knowledge, summarising the key elements of what had been planned and tested previously, and then translated what was essentially theoretical advice into actionable steps. Having focused on the leap from knowledge to implementation, we have taken a different path from that followed by previous studies. The project exemplifies the power of our MDM model, with the service lines involved spanning strategy consulting, financial advisory and legal services, plus we partnered with external technical and legal advisors for specialised knowledge in the energy transition.

Approach

In drafting the report’s recommendations, we tackled the complex calculations necessary to understand the ultimate contribution to the national energy supply – and therefore its impact on the energy economy.

Our team organised the work into four main streams, supported by process and stakeholder management teams. This helped everyone remain engaged with the project issues in hand and make efficient progress; two of the potential obstacles to this project were getting the critical information for the project’s success, and navigating the cultural and operational differences across stakeholders.

Lessons learned

With this project moving beyond the theoretical to deliver a practical, actionable, timely set of recommendations, we set a welcome precedent for future projects. The collaboration process we’ve experienced offers valuable lessons, too, in integrating diverse perspectives into a single point of view.

The project also very much aligns with Deloitte’s purpose, by bringing the best of our business together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy. The report methodology also sets a benchmark for future studies, highlighting the importance of adaptable, informed planning in the face of the evolving energy landscape.

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