Isabelle Kocher: “Towards a new energy mix”
At the Smart Energies Summit that took place over 31 May and 1 June at La Défense, Paris, Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, gave a presentation entitled “The transition to clean energy: what will be the new energy mix?”
An energy revolution
Today’s energy sector is undergoing dramatic changes. Changes so fundamental that Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE’s CEO, describes them as an “energy revolution”. What was the catalyst for the revolution? “Climate change that changes everything, not just the climate”.
The first thing that changed was our mentality. Climate change “led to a kind of open invitation to reinvent the way we live, to take a fresh look at the development model for Western societies over the past 200 years”.
A human and technological transition...
With a clear conviction, ENGIE is developing a strategy based on two pillars: restructuring of the Group and investment in the technologies of the future.
To implement the energy transition, “the first order of the day is to consolidate our local roots, meaning to maximize the points of contact between the company and its customers”. As part of this strategy, the Group was restructured in 2016, moving “from a structure based on industries with an international network for each of them, to a regional structure, (...) where the priority of each of these regional organizations (...) is to expand its range of contacts with local stakeholders”
...and an energy transition!
The Group is fully invested in this turning point. It has launched a €15bn fossil fuel divestment strategy, accompanied by an investment of €22bn in renewable energies. This strategy has already brought tangible results with acquisition of Solairedirect and the Terrawatt Initiative.
Nor has clean gas been overlooked. The Group has invested in hydrogen, and energy storage in general, continuing with the recent acquisition of California’s Green Change Networks in May 2016. ENGIE has always had a strong presence in the digital sector and is about to take another step forwards by creating its own platform to “centralize innovation, disseminating it as quickly as possible”.
All of this in the service of a clear vision for the future: a world in which energy “will probably be far more geopolitically balanced; that will (...) be able to switch to zero CO² emissions (...); and that will be greatly decentralized, online, with a customer relationship that will radically change its very nature as our customers, in the world that I am describing to you, will be as much producers as they are consumers”, Isabelle Kocher concluded.
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Extract on changing mindsets and the need for local presence.