Green Energy: Guaranteed Results or Collaborative Approach?

Green Energy: Guaranteed Results or Collaborative Approach?

Eric Morel 20/08/2020 2
Green Energy: Guaranteed Results or Collaborative Approach?
Why try to bring together two trends that are emerging in force today in the energy world?

Both refer to the concepts of trust and benefit:

– Trust is the essential ingredient of a collaborative approach. Engaging in such an approach means giving to receive (and not vice versa, an approach that rarely pays off) and therefore trusting others and in the benefits that such an approach will bring. These foundations are frequently found in energy communities. Similarly, some collective self-consumption operations, supposed to be built on this model, went through serious difficulties as soon as the trust between participants disappeared.

– Commitment to results is a way to build or restore trust. By guaranteeing expected benefits, it can secure an investment. By showing the commitment of a service provider on a level of performance, he can give credibility to an action proposal deemed too ambitious. By guaranteeing a gain, it can reassure an energy player and allow him to overcome a first disappointment. In all cases, guaranteed results are a source of commitment, favorable to the energy transition.

But, at first glance, guaranteed results are not collaborative; on the contrary, it puts two actors face to face, one in the waiting position, the other in the obligation to deliver.

However, experience has shown that, in the context of guaranteed results, such as an energy performance contract, the development of a collaborative relationship between the parties is a source of much better results. In many cases, the complexity of energy systems and their behavior or operation cannot be predicted without risk by any player, however competent. Collaboration between parties opens the door to many possibilities for managing these risks, for the benefit of all. A contract with a commitment to results is a guarantee, a framework, a security as can be a net for trapeze artists.

It is very often observed that a contract with guaranteed results, designed strictly, is the result of distant actors, geographically or humanly, or little engaged.

Such contracts make it possible to establish trust between parties favorable to the development of a collaborative relationship.

The complexity of the emerging energy world, due to a very strong systemic dimension, requires the development of an increasingly collaborative approach between actors. Instead of opposing it, contracts with a commitment to results can be the prerequisite … if the actors wish!

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  • Sheila Barrett

    Thoughtful piece

  • Rob Cross

    Informative

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Eric Morel

Energy Expert

Eric Morel is a worldwide recognised expert of energy transition and digitalisation. In the past, he has served as VP Corporate Business Strategy and VP Global Smart Grids and Energy Efficiency at Schneider Electric as well as CEO of Ilevo, a telecommunication start-up. He is a founding member and a former Board member of the Gridwise Alliance, the main professional private/public association dedicated to Smart Energy.

   

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