Gone are the days of big corporate giants providing supply, transmission, distribution and generation all wrapped up together – this no longer exists. In my 20 years in the industry I’ve never seen change happen so quickly and it’s fascinating to watch.
Supply is no longer the role of the few – with over 70 active retail suppliers on the market, all looking to differentiate in proposition and service. The way in which we generate energy is unrecognisable from even 10 years ago – we’re seeing renewables such as solar and wind making up ever larger parts of the energy mix. All of this means that the transmission and distribution networks have to change too – it’s no longer as simple as having one end of a wire attached to a large coal-fired power station and the other to people’s home and businesses anymore. As a nation we are constantly being informed about how we are damaging our planet and consumers are now looking at how they can do their bit for our planet, to put energy back into the grid through solar generation and battery storage. So the grid is flexing to meet this demand and new technologies are being developed all the time. And it’s just not the physical infrastructure. The systems and processes that support our industry – from industry codes, policy and the technology that delivers essential services like balancing and settlement – they’re all having to change at an almost unheard of pace.
All this change means that we, the businesses that support the sector, need to evolve too, and what better reason for businesses to evolve than to support these advances that are better for our planet. We all need to advance and develop to meet the changing needs of the energy sector. Our annual skills survey has proved that the types of skills needed today are very different to those in demand several years ago. Companies are entering the market from sectors such as software, telecoms, IT and blockchain and we need to be able to support them by finding the people they need.
Over the past 12 months or so we’ve been strengthening our sector knowledge in areas such as battery storage, demand side response and grid optimisation. We’re actively working with businesses at the cutting edge of the energy revolution – helping them to find the people they need to build and grow their businesses. Utility People are welcoming this positive energy revolution– and we’re excited about what’s to come.