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Implementing new business models enabled by technological developments for the energy transition

With diverse international experience, environmentally conscious and looking for new challenges in a rapidly changing industry, corporate strategy at ENGIE offered Nigel a unique viewpoint and opportunity to be a part of an industry undergoing rapid change and experience tackling the many challenges that are arising as ENGIE deals with an industry undergoing an energy transition.

Nigel's role comprises of working on behalf of and with ENGIE's COMEX or any of the different ENGIE Metiers & Business Units to create, challenge and support strategy as together the different parts of ENGIE adapt to the challenges they individually and collectively face. From the ENGIE HQ in La Defense, he has the opportunity to work on a variety of issues effecting different parts of the ENGIE group with a special interest in ENGIE’s international BU’s and how energy transition effects them is different ways.

Times are changing

The energy industry is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis and changing its energy generation from traditional fossil fuel power plants to generating it from renewables like wind or solar and entering into an era of clean, unlimited and cheap power. However the problem (for the developed world at least) is the way that power priced. Renewables are being imposed on a market designed for a different era, one which incentivised and rewarded handsomely the players who could generate the cheapest power based on short term marginal cost. As the marginal costs for renewables are almost zero, they take business from other types of providers, reduce power prices and revenues for those generators which are expensive and in turn reducing their profitability.

Another factor to consider is the impact of new technologies on production and energy consumption models like smart meters, batteries and increasing digitalisation (mobile apps, data analytics and IoT) of the industry meaning that the parameters of the problem are not remaining static. Technology can help power providers and customers in many ways but the main idea is that they work to enable both businesses and customers to flatten their energy demand reducing the need to design a power system to meet an extreme peak demand.

Nigel wants to be a part of this energy transition, the ability to provide energy in new ways and in creating the utility of the future through adapting and implementing these new technologies into ENGIE’s everyday business model. He is passionate about new solutions, innovations, new business models that meet the new demands of final customers whether they are cities, industries or those customers who have never had access to energy and where because of innovations in technology (microgrids, cheap battery and solar technology) access to inexpensive and regular energy supply is now becoming a reality.

« The challenges facing the industry are very real but also very exciting.».

A new era

"Energy transition has begun and it is a very important development that is radically changing the way we see and use energy. The combined effects of increased renewables, disruptive digitalisation supported by energy policy is enabling these changes". For Nigel, "the nature of energy consumption is changing. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to consume better, more environmentally-friendly by using different energy sources, and become more involved in its use through innovations such as smart homes, mobile Internet of Things ".

A global vision of the issues

When you question Nigel on his resume, he points out that "working on strategy is more about your work experience than your degrees. Diplomas are useful, but what really matters is your experience and motivation to actually understand different problems, your ability to work with new people and different teams in a collaborative way. "

Before taking up this corporate role, Nigel was a finance manager working on different projects in Africa and Brazil in different business units gaining experience along the way. However he reached a point where he wanted to experience something different and sought out a change of direction for his career because "When you work within a Business Unit, by the nature".

The value of sportsmanship

Nigel likes to play rugby. "Rugby has a unique matchday spirit where supporters enjoy a healthy but respectful rivalry, and at the end of the game come together to share a beer." Nigel loves this cohesion, this collective spirit.

« And my professional ambition? Simply, to have a varied international career in the energy industry and get involved, not sit on the sidelines.»

Nigel Purcell, senior analyst at ENGIE