Looking for the keys to long-term sustainable energy with Christophe Williams
Anyline attended E-World 2022 from June 21st through the 23rd. During the event, we had the opportunity to sit down with industry experts and thought leaders, talking about challenges and opportunities within the utility sector in a time of crisis, focusing both on energy and climate topics.
Christophe Williams, CEO of Naked Energy, joined the discussion as an expert in the sustainable energy industry, bringing extensive experience earned by working with companies that include BMW, Microsoft, Toshiba, Sony, and Ferrari. In this blog, we will look back at our podcast episode and see how utility providers can accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon with a focus on heating, which is responsible for over half of all energy demands globally.
Businesses are reacting to the energy and supply chain crisis
Sustainable energy got its start around the 1973 oil crisis. What started as a knee-jerk reaction to that crisis has since spurred industry-wide change.The situation we’re facing today is very similar, but with much wider ramifications, and people take the issue more seriously. Businesses and communities are working harder to make real and deep changes happen this time.
Sustainability has been associated with greenwashing for quite some time, with every company wanting to be able to say that they were taking steps to be “green” and environmentally friendly, even when it was just a PR strategy. But the massive difference today is that sustainable energy isn’t just a nice thing to have, it has become a competitive advantage.
“I think the landscape has changed massively and businesses now are looking at their own operating margins and they’re seeing them disappear or get very, very thin.” told us Christophe Williams. “Energy is the second biggest cost for most businesses, so it becomes a focal point for them.”
With the costs of energy rising and what seems like long-lasting supply chain issues, both utility providers and customers are looking for solutions that are less reliant on fossil energy and on the global energy market. Sustainable energy checks all the boxes.
The cold elephant in the room
The discussion around sustainable energy and decarbonization generally revolves around the production and storage of renewable energy, but too often leaves out the question of heat efficiency. “We need to keep in mind that 51% of energy consumed on the planet is dedicated to heating systems”, said Christophe, “and 90% of that energy is coming from fossil resources”.
What’s worrisome is that the immediate reaction to the energy crisis is answered by diversification in fossil energy products rather than looking for long-lasting solutions. There’s a significant need for energy education to change the conversation toward heat and energy efficiency. It plays too big of a part in decarbonization to be ignored. But even the most educated customers cannot make the shift towards net-zero energy and heating without a strong impulse from policy makers. “We cannot expect everything to happen from the bottom – we need strong inputs from policy makers and governments,” argued Christophe Williams. “The lowest cost of carbon for energy should be the goal, and that needs to come from improving infrastructure efficiency as well.”
With operating margins disappearing and customers more conscientious about the issue, it is cost effective today to be sustainable and run a sustainable business. “Customers know that the company is taking responsibility, and they’ll be more profitable. You know, it’s a complete win-win.” concluded Christophe.