Every third power supply company still without a climate target

“Energy suppliers risk losing advantage”

“Energy suppliers with their regional positioning are actually predestined to act as providers, distributors or interfaces in photovoltaic projects, decarbonization of heat or a hydrogen network – but now they risk losing this advantage due to a lack of strategy,” says study leader and energy expert Matthias Deeg from the management consultancy Horváth.

Companies that have already strategically dealt with the topic of hydrogen would see the greatest business potential in production.

Overwhelmed by market dynamics

Industry expert Deeg sees the reasons for the overall hesitant sustainability activities primarily in the uncertainty of the framework conditions, but also in home-made problems. Insufficiently tested new technologies, unclear regulatory requirements, but also an inconsistent picture between market requirements on the one hand and cost-intensive technological innovations on the other are usually the reasons why companies do not yet have any goals.

Digitization as the biggest strategic problem child

When asked about the biggest internal problems that hinder strategic progress, the majority of those surveyed answered “increasing the degree of digitization” as well as “changes in the IT landscape” and “lack of skills”.

The companies are therefore well aware that they need data-based analyzes based on modern system platforms and open interfaces to external parties in order to evaluate business potential and expand business areas.

However, this is not the only “digital construction site”. Many companies are also insufficiently prepared for online sales, which according to the majority (80 percent) will become the main sales channel by 2025. 60 percent had no concrete strategy for expanding online sales and an insufficient database.

Positive operational outlook for the industry

All in all, however, the overall operational outlook of the industry representatives surveyed was positive. Only 22 percent expect a negative earnings trend in the next five years. Almost 40 percent expected earnings from energy services to exceed those of low-margin commodities by 2030.

For the Horváth study “Strategy development of energy suppliers” published in December 2021, company managers from a total of 80 utility companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were interviewed. According to the management consultancy, the sample for Germany alone corresponds to a market coverage of 70 percent. (hoe)


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