Posted: 24 Nov. 2020 5 min. read

Energy planning: What’s that on the horizon?

No one can predict which future energy scenario will unfold, as I wrote in my last post, but getting your energy  planning right is a crucial step towards future-proofing your business and making the right capital choices.

To ensure your organisation identifies signposts and trigger points, and takes insights from scenario planning, you need to anchor your energy planning strategy around three core capabilities: horizon scanning, ecosystem alliances, and business agility. These will enable you to play to your strengths while stretching your business model more broadly.

Horizon scanning

In today’s fast-paced global environment, organisations need to be able to scan the horizon to identify future risks, trends and innovations. Early detection can help seize any opportunities hidden within, such as forming a view on which technologies are becoming more mainstream and seeing cost decreases in the next two to five years.

Digital utilities have hugely disrupted the energy landscape and forced their more traditional counterparts to reinvent themselves. Yet newer entrants also operate in an increasingly competitive space as the sector transitions, and all players will need to make the right capital choices at the right time and evolve their business models accordingly.

When formulating your energy planning strategy, horizon scanning is a core competence for traditional businesses and newer entrants alike. Developing this doesn’t mean organisations suddenly have to do their own R&D – it can be done through fostering alliances.

Ecosystem alliances

There are numerous inventive and enabling players who can increase your ability to innovate. Partnering with external organisations enables businesses to enlarge their skill set and obtain technologies, increase know-how and inject capability from a wider range of sources. It helps them come up with an integrated energy planning model that helps direct resources where they are needed most. This can help bring new products or services to market more quickly, in line with an evolving strategy and business model, whether that is ‘greening’ customers’ homes or an Energy-as-a-Service offering.

Business agility

To ensure your energy planning is future-proofed, companies need to develop business agility to respond quickly to signposts; to make the right partnerships and capital investment choices (whether big or small); and to innovate a minimal viable product and scale it at pace. To deliver value sooner, sometimes it is better to take big things, make them small and deliver them small.

Most traditional businesses have evolved from decades-old, often paper-based, processes. Traditional governance usually batches decisions into a specified cadence that can dramatically increase waiting time for projects, taking months rather than days. Compliance comes in as a final check, rather than being embedded from the start, which is like scraping the toast after you’ve burnt it. This traditional model serves predictable customer habits and known competitors. Yet these models perform poorly in today’s continually disrupted markets.

Deloitte identifies 92 high-impact forces in its “Future of Energy Scenario Planning” toolset.

Related topics

1. Power, Utilities & Renewables

2. Future of energy

3. Tech Trends 2020: Horizon next

Energy scenarios in focus

To learn more about how our approach to scenario planning creates advantage in the face of systemic uncertainty

Key contact

Mark Lillie

Mark Lillie

Partner - Global Tech Strategy & Transformation

Mark is the Global Technology Strategy & Transformation Leader and leads Deloitte’s Energy & Resources Consulting business in EMEA. With over 25 years of Consulting experience, Mark has led numerous business and digital transformation programs, most notably in the energy and utilities sectors. As a UK Consulting Technology Partner, he leads the CIO Program and Technology Research & Insights which includes The Annual CIO Survey, Tech Trends, CIO Transition Labs, and The Next Gen CIO Program. Outside of Deloitte, Mark is passionate about sport, with extensive involvement in the London 2012 Olympics and sports coaching. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of SportsAid, a charity he was a Trustee of from 2006 to 2019.