Energy transition

All sectors towards a more sustainable energy supply

Energy transition needs a broad collaboration

The energy transition – the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable power – demands changes across all sectors of society. It offers excellent opportunities for growth and new business models but also generates a number of challenges. Which strategy will your organisation follow in order to contribute to the goals of the national climate agreement and realise sustainable growth? Which operational changes are needed to make this strategy possible? How can data analysis contribute to the transition? And how do you find the right partners and financing? PwC can support you in every step of the sustainable energy path, from strategy, policy and investments to sustainability reports, digital solutions, financing solutions, organisational culture and partnerships.

Policy and regulations

There’s no way to avoid the fact that climate change needs to be tackled. Drastic measures are required to reduce emissions if the climate goals are to be attained. Governments are also tightening up their climate policies. Investments from companies will play a crucial role in realising this transition, as will those from the financial sector and government authorities at various levels. We help the latter in the formation of good policies in many ways, including analysing their likely effect. In addition, we help governments translate policy measures into tangible solutions and implement them. Companies are also supported in understanding the influence of climate policies on their activities and how to make the most of subsidies and fiscal measures to realise the energy transition and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strategy and roadmaps

Whether the demands to improve the sustainability of the energy supply come from the government, the market or from within your own organisation, environmental goals must be given their rightful place in your corporate strategy. PwC can help you translate these goals into a concrete strategy. Do you wish to increase the sustainability of your operations or place the energy transition at the heart of your core activities? Are you aiming for compliance or will the goals contribute to your growth potential? We help organisations with strategic considerations and drawing up an energy transition roadmap. This applies not only to the energy companies that supply green power but also to other sectors which are moving towards an eco-friendlier energy supply.

Investing and divesting

Your strategy for the energy transition will undoubtedly lead to investments and disinvestments. Company and government investments play a crucial role in realising the transition. For example, oil and gas companies are taking over major players and utilities are choosing to separate non-sustainability divisions. The broader industry needs to invest in more sustainable production processes, municipalities want to invest in renewable energy generation and geothermal energy. Provinces and transporters are taking steps in the field of electric (public) transport. Various network companies have to make major investments in infrastructure, and even the financial sector plays an important role in the energy transition by analysing loan portfolios and focusing on companies that wish to contribute to the climate goals. Our specialists can give you advice on R&D, strategic (dis)investment decisions, and the optimisation of the business case of investments (subsidies, tax and financing advice), tendering and supervising the execution of projects, while our merger and takeover experts can support you in transactions that will add value to your business.

Data analysis, financial processes and reports 

Transparency in relation to climate footprints and risk is the subject of increasing interest among various stakeholders such as investors, clients and employers. Your sustainability report serves as the foundation. How do you score on key performance indicators like the CO2 footprint? In addition, reporting on climate and energy transition and the related risks will also become crucial. Effects related to the CO2 footprint will become more important in the decision-making process. Unlocking and using data is essential for the energy transition. Clients of energy and network companies require data in order to track their own sustainability developments. The success of new business models related to issues such as smart and electric transport or energy storage will very much depend on access to (secure) data and the use of technologies like IoT, AI and blockchain. 

Operating model and organisational culture

The strategic realisation of the climate goals can lead to fundamental changes in operating models. Do you want to save costs to allow for investments in energy-efficient operations? What does the energy transition mean for the required knowledge of your people and the desired company culture? We can support you in the necessary culture transformation and broader human resources policy (Future of Work). 

Cooperation in the ecosystem

The energy transition demands cooperation between parties from the public and private sector, start-ups, scale-ups and well-established names. How can you find the right partners to carry out your plans? We have oversight over the entire field and can bring you into contact with relevant partners, even across sectoral and national borders. Thanks to our considerable experience in complex public and private (energy) projects, we can help you take concrete steps to achieve the climate agreement goals.

In this context, PwC is involved in the Megamind program, a broad public-private research program that is looking for ways to prevent overloading of the network and to link up supply and demand in smart ways. PwC is contributing its knowledge of the energy sector and data analytics to this program in order to develop the necessary technology and the appropriate regulations.

Examples of how PwC is helping clients with their energy transition

Implementing the province's energy strategy

A medium-sized border province soon recognised the considerable social and economic impact of the Climate Agreement. The provincial authorities wish to remain in control of the implementation of the energy transition and have asked PwC for support in defining and prioritising the efforts relating to the various climate tables. In line with this, the authorities have also asked for our help in getting involved in the negotiations at the right time and with the right information, so that the interests of the province are optimally promoted and ultimately guaranteed too in the agreements. We also helped the province to identify the expected social impact (e.g. on employment per sector), the economic impact (e.g. on the contribution to GDP) and the environmental impact (such as the expected required CO2 reduction per sector). In addition, we provided a qualitative assessment of the main financial risks for the province.

Developing innovative Power Purchase Agreement

As of 2030, a large government organisation with a tender obligation wishes to perform its tasks in an energy-neutral manner. That is possible with a wind farm of 100 Megawatt on its own land. PwC developed an innovative Power Purchase Agreement in which the market is asked to develop and operate the wind farm and to supply green electricity to the organisation on competitive conditions for the next 25 years. In addition, due to cooperation with public stakeholders, all agreements provide extra clarity about the preconditions, with respect for everyone's role and interests. The government wants to use its position as ‘initiating client’ to set the market in motion. The project is an excellent example of how parties that are obliged to tender can also meet their own energy needs in an innovative way and for the long term.

An overview of the return on investment in energy transition

A cooperative venture consisting of provincial, municipal and industrial parties has asked us to develop their plans for the reduction of local greenhouse gas emissions. For each proposed measure, we make clear what the intended reduction is, what costs are involved and what social benefits are associated with it. Together with the public and private parties involved, we are looking for subsidies, guarantees and loans to finance the plans. By means of this approach, the province is fulfilling its responsibility to contribute to the climate objectives.

Development of off and onshore wind farms

A medium-sized municipality wishes to generate 25% of its energy needs sustainably, including by means of a new wind farm on an existing business park. The municipality is working with a development partner on a plan that will allow both residents and the local business community to participate in the project. An appropriate investment model must be put in place for this purpose. In addition, the municipality wants the electricity produced to be purchased mainly by its own citizens and businesses. And finally, the remaining financial return of the turbines must go to a local sustainability fund. The municipality has asked PwC to assess the financial aspects of the plan drawn up by the development partner. On the basis of the knowledge we have built up in the Netherlands and Germany on the development, structuring and financing of off and onshore wind farms, we have drawn up an extensive set of benchmark data. Using this benchmark set, we were able to quickly provide insight into the solidity of the development partner's business case.

Heat supply by means of geothermal heat

A large university in the Netherlands is aiming to provide its campus with sustainable heat for the next 30 years. The university therefore wants to develop a geothermal project and connect it to the heat grid. In a geothermal project, energy is obtained by using the natural heat pockets that are located several kilometres deep in the earth.

The university's ambition is to use this project for research, education and development. Real-time measurements and more advanced data analysis will provide new insight into what goes on deep underground. Consequently, the project will make a substantial contribution to the further development of knowledge regarding the application of geothermal energy in the built environment. The project is seen by the parties involved as helping to define the heat transition in the Netherlands.

The university has asked PwC to help with the business case, the financial model and the financing of the project. Thanks to the efforts of our international renewable energy team, the university will be able to compare its approach to similar projects at home and abroad.

Contact us

Jan Willem Velthuijsen

Jan Willem Velthuijsen

Chief Economist, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 248 32 93

Chris Winkelman

Chris Winkelman

Energy - Utilities - Resources Industry, Tax, Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 154 18 97

Jan-Willem Sanders

Jan-Willem Sanders

Advisory Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 064 74 50

Lennart Konijnenberg

Lennart Konijnenberg

Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)61 291 77 03

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