Smart Energy Voices - Episode 14

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 14

COVID19's Impact on Deployment of Distributed Energy Resources with Matthew Walters

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How do you quantify the value of a microgrid, which in some cases can be thought of as an insurance policy? You're ensuring that your facility doesn't go down or have an outage. How much is an outage really worth and how do you value that?

In this age of Covid19, the pressure to fulfill commitments still remains high. Investor pressure remains high. Project goals remain in place. But the financing is no longer available. What should customers be looking at and exploring in the interest of managing this dilemma? Listen to the episode to hear how Matthew Walters, Head of Distributed Energy Systems, Americas at SIEMENS tackles it from a holistic approach.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Matt and his role at Siemens [1:35]
  • How are customers reacting to the current Covid 19 environment? [3:07]
  • Managing the high pressure and big goals— no budget— dilemma [4:52]
  • What are the key elements in a holistic approach and what do they involve? [6:29]
  • Having a full programmatic approach for an organization's energy strategy [7:15]
  • The largest renewable energy project in Manhattan [9:40]
  • Nirvana for most energy managers today [12:09]
  • Using a phased approach [13:50]
  • Traditional grid supplies [15:22]
  • Exploring creative off-balance-sheet financing programs [18:43]

When energy isn’t the core business

In the midst of the Covid crisis, more than ever, we're seeing customers that are focused on their core business and just dealing with making the changes that they need to operate their businesses effectively. When we're looking at the distributed energy sector, we're looking at a lot of behind-the-meter projects where energy is not the core business of the customer groups. As they're looking for ways to navigate a changing environment, energy can fall and be deprioritized in the budgeting process. That's going to require this industry to push forward with more innovative solutions, specifically when it comes to financing and energy-as-a-service. Look at functions like resiliency and sustainability: even if budgets have gone down, the pressure to become more sustainable and to become more resilient has increased. The demand is still very strong, the budget situation and the economic environment that we're in is very challenging. And so that's where innovation has to happen. Check out the full episode today for more details.

Using a phased approach

In this episode, Matthew talks about using an approach that takes a project step-by-step in terms of what needs to go first, second, and third sequentially to get the best outcomes for their customers. What is the low-hanging fruit that you can work on today? Then start including energy supply strategies and onsite investments to complement that as a part of a phased approach. Once those opportunities are identified, a consultative mindset helps to work with customers to meet the budgets and to plan timelines. Listen in to learn more.

It’s not about who offers what, it’s about what serves who

It's not about what Siemens can offer or what others can offer in the market, it’s what is the right financial offering that serves what the customer needs. Whether it's off-balance-sheet solutions or creative on-balance-sheet financing solutions, it's important not to be pigeonholed into an approach that may not be supported once it gets to the finance department. These financial structures take support across the C-suite and it's going to require that level of buy-in and a partnership with your energy solution provider to help navigate and succeed.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Matthew

Matthew Walters, Head of Distributed Energy Systems, Americas at SIEMENS

Matthew leads the Distributed Energy Systems (DES), Center of Competence, which is dedicated to helping public and private sector companies make smart, sustainable investments in distributed energy systems. Matthew has over 15 years of industry experience and has spent the last ten years with Siemens. Matthew’s career has been focused on energy project development, commercial advisory, structured finance, and strategic planning. Matthew was appointed to Head the Center of Competence in 2015, driving the growth of Siemens’ broad DES portfolio including power generation, controls, technology/engineering expertise, financial offerings, new business models, and establishing Siemens as a leader in DES. Since this time, DES has become a considerable growth sector for Siemens.

Matthew has extensive domestic and international experience, specializing in power plant development, cogeneration, renewable energy, project finance, and commercial structuring. His experience ranges across both public and private sectors, including commercial, industrial, institutional, and utility sectors.

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