Wind and Solar Power Versus Gas
A World Economic Forum report at the beginning of this year announced that wind and solar generated more power than gas in 2022 for Europe. One of the key factors was Europe’s energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a swift pivot to ramp up its energy transition efforts, Europe was able to continue functioning with severely limited access to fossil fuels. Despite many experts believing this situation would revive coal power, Europe stood strong in its commitment to alternative energy instead.
If that news wasn’t enough of a surprise for the renewable energy industry, it doesn’t stop there. In June, the UK saw a record number of residential solar panel installations, and heavily populated cities with a high cost of living benefitted from a decade-long effort to invest in alternative energy sources. As well as the reduced access to gas, Greece and the Netherlands both generated more solar power than gas power for the first time, and Greece is expected to achieve its 2030 target for solar power at the end of this year. Overall the total, twenty EU countries exceeded the goals for solar capacity.
European consumers have made it clear that environmental considerations are top of mind despite the uphill battle they face in utilizing alternative energy sources.
Focusing on Energy Transitions
In recent years, energy and utility companies have made an effort to focus on energy transition. As part of their initiatives, they’ve committed to setting, tracking, and reporting their goals to reduce environmental impact. Energy transition initiatives, especially ones that focus on answering consumer preferences, are now top of mind for leading companies in the energy industry. A good example of this leadership is Shell, who champions transparency and ambitious Net Zero goals. They report that they’ve reduced their emissions by 30% from 2016 to 2022 and more than doubled their capacity for renewable energy generation in only one year.
Following Shell’s lead, companies can become trusted advisors and partner with customers in their sustainable energy goals. Priorities like renewable energy capacity, EV charging services, emissions reductions, and natural gas offerings show consumers that energy companies have a place in a brighter future and can forge their own path. Opportunities abound to partner with consumers in their goals, such as helping them to track their energy usage from their devices and educating them about improving their usage and lowering their energy bills. In one successful digital innovation project, an interactive home 3D web experience immersed customers in personalized energy-saving recommendations.
Making their Mark
Energy companies can make their mark and stand strong in the face of the changing energy landscape by playing an active role. Investing in alternative energy sources and making sustainable choices more accessible to customers is essential to staying valuable and relevant in the market.
It is especially important to pay attention to other companies in the space that present partnership opportunities, such as solar panel companies or EV manufacturers. New programs and incentives in conjunction with rising demand for solar and EV – right when Europe is about to overcome China to become a global leader in EV penetration – can improve customer experience and loyalty.
Customer Programs and Education
A digital solutions partner, like Perficient, should be able to further assist with the energy transition by providing customer education, emissions management, renewable energy integration, and charging programs.
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