Ian Marchant, CEO of Dunelm Energy
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

'Energy and power industry at a major tipping point', says former SSE CEO

The former CEO of SSE, Ian Marchant, believes the energy and power industry is at a major tipping point this decade and is facing one of the most significant transformations in its history.

Mr. Marchant, who will address the NOF Energy national conference, ‘Energy: A Balanced Future’ on 8th March, believes for the industry to meet future global demand companies will need to change business models and become more disruptive in their approach to developing new technologies.

Comparing the challenge facing the sector with the transformation of the IT and Telecoms industry since the 1980s, Mr. Marchant, who is now CEO at consultancy Dunelm Energy and Chairman of Wood Group, says the scale of change within the energy sector is unprecedented and needs to be addressed quickly.

Mr Marchant, who spent 10 years as CEO of energy and utilities company SSE, said: “The energy and power industry is at a major tipping point where the business models, technologies and procurement patterns of the past will not prevail in the future. Energy companies and their suppliers need to be aware of the enormous change facing the sector and face being left behind if they don’t react quickly.

“Such is the size of the energy industry the scale of change required is truly historic. However, the inertia of the sector and its attachment to traditional practices will hamper its future.

“The pace of change in the technology terms is extraordinary and akin to what happened in the IT and Telecoms sector since the 1980s. The explosion of evolving technology has changed the face of that industry and the winners are those that have embraced and led the change. The same applies to the energy sector.”

Mr. Marchant added: “I am confident there are enough disruptors in the industry to deliver the change required and ensure a positive and balanced energy future. The supply chain has a key role to play in this as they have to evolve a little quicker than the rest of the industry to anticipate and drive the evolution of how the sector operates.”

George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF Energy, said: “Ian’s challenge to the entire energy and power industry is very clear and one which the supply chain, and in particular NOF Energy members, are well-placed to deliver upon. Significant cultural change in the industry is happening and the supply chain has to be at its heart.”

George added: “‘Energy: A Balanced Future’ will provide a platform for debate and discussion that will highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the supply chain. It will also bring together high-level representatives from across the industry who are keen to engage with the proactive companies and benefit from their technology-led solutions.”

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