Navigating the Path Forward
Wytse Kaastra is a managing director, European lead for the Utilities business and global lead for the Energy Retail practice at Accenture. Wytse has twenty-six years of experience in the energy and utilities industry, including leading on projects ranging from strategic growth and transformation to large-scale execution and implementation programs, with a focus on business and the intersection with digital, AI, and cloud technologies.
Recently he focused on the customer side of energy transition-related services including EV services, green hydrogen, energy management, digital decentralized and decarbonized energy solutions, and flexibility services.
In early 2020, the energy ecosystem found itself on the brink of rapid change. New entrants had entered the fray, and new rules, as well as new consumer and investor concerns, were top of mind for energy retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to accelerate many of these changes, pushing these service providers into a new and uncertain future.
The pandemic has significantly disrupted demand and slowed traditional energy sales, but also changed consumer behavior — and some of these changes are likely to remain long after the pandemic is resigned to the history books. Our research shows, for example, that sixty percent of consumers have become more aware of climate change and its environmental impact since it began, and that more than half of consumers are likely to invest more in energy efficiency today than pre-COVID-19.
Over the past ten years, our New Energy Consumer research program has examined the emerging trends, opportunities, and decision points energy companies and their customers are facing. This year, such insights are more crucial than ever with the industry at a significant inflection point due to the convergence of several powerful forces — sluggish demand growth, the push for renewable energy sources, continued climate commitments from business and increased investor interest in sustainable businesses, new value potential from digital technologies, and new entrants.
Four Strategic Plays