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Our Expertise: Business Advice 2017-10-05T08:49:12+00:00

We have the market intelligence, technical insight and commercial knowledge to help your business succeed.

The renewable electricity industries need more innovative and experienced companies as they continue to grow and reduce costs. This includes start-up entrepreneurs with new ideas through to multinational conglomerates looking to diversify into new sectors. Many businesses have the practical and technical knowledge in their field, but lack the wider technical understanding, specific market intelligence or business insight to achieve strong commercial success.

We have supported hundreds of companies with business advice to help them understand market opportunities, identify their commercial advantages, build up robust plans, connect them to collaborators, customers and investors and deliver long-term benefit.

We deliver specific support for SMEs, companies diversifying from the oil and gas industry and university spin-outs.  With us, you get a flexible and dedicated approach with personal attention from senior staff with deep experience.

Market assessment

Market assessment

Our detailed in-house databases and industry insight provide you with a robust assessment of the future market opportunity. Our models produce forecasts split by national markets, site characteristics, technology use or by the developers or suppliers involved in the projects. These tools and business advice mean we can produce robust assessments of the commercial potential of your innovation or service, using graphics and commentary to show your target market and relevant trends, wherever you sit in the value chain. Our work with developers, suppliers and public bodies means we have an excellent insight into the factors behind industry trends, giving us a depth of understanding that goes beyond just crunching the numbers.

Competitive landscape
Strategic review of UK east coast staging and construction facilities, August 2016

Scottish Enterprise “Seize the Opportunity “guide to offshore wind, May 2016

KIC Future renewable energy costs: solar photovoltaics, January 2016

Offshore Wind Project Board The UK content of operating UK wind farms, November 2015

KIC Future renewable energy costs: solar-thermal electricity, October 2015

Approaches to cost-reduction in offshore wind, Committee on Climate Change, June 2015

Wave and Tidal Supply Chain Development Plan, February 2015

Future Renewable Energy Costs: Onshore Wind, KIC InnoEnergy, September 2014

Future Renewable Energy Costs: Offshore Wind, KIC InnoEnergy, May 2014

Generating Energy and Prosperity Economic impact of offshore renewable energy in the UK, March 2014

Northern Ireland Marine Energy Capability Directory, February 2014

UK offshore wind supply chain: capabilities and opportunities, February 2014

Offshore Wind: A 2013 supply chain health check, November 2013

Towards round 3: the offshore wind supply chain in 2012, June 2012

Pathways to Cost Reduction in Offshore Wind: Technology workstream, The Crown Estate, June 2012

Value breakdown for the offshore wind sector, February 2010

Marine Energy in the UK, March 2012

State of the Industry Report, October 2011

Offshore Wind Forecasts of future costs and benefits, June 2011

Wave and Tidal energy in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters, May 2011

Towards Round 3: Progress in building the offshore wind supply chain, February 2011

Offshore Wind Opportunities in South East England, July 2010

A Guide to an Offshore Wind Farm, February 2010

PowerPark Demand & Need Report, October 2009

UK Offshore Wind: Moving up a gear, October 2007

Doing business with wind turbine manufacturers, July 2006

Offshore Wind: At a Crossroads, April 2006

UK offshore wind Ports prospectus, September 2009

UK Ports for the Offshore Wind Industry: Time to Act, February 2009

Towards Round 3: Building the Offshore Wind Supply Chain, February 2009

Competitive landscape analysis

We review your market landscape and describe the track record, strengths, partnerships and expertise for key players and assess the threat of new players entering the market in the future. We also identify companies and research organisations for potential partnerships. Our industry leading reports for public and industry enablers have involved extensive reviews of industry capacity as we have sought to identify bottlenecks in capacity. The sector-specific experts within our team have excellent contacts with the companies operating in their area and they understand the technology and supply chain trends that will affect the supply chain in the future.

Commercialisation

Levelised cost of energy impact assessment

Levelised cost of energy (LCOE) is a good way to compare generically the costs of energy from different energy systems and the impact of different innovations. It is a key tool for decision makers in renewable energy economics. There are five main levers that determine the LCOE:

  1. Energy production. Increasing this is a powerful way to drive down LCOE.
  2. Capital cost (CAPEX). Typically, along with related finance cost, it contributes 65-85% of lifetime cost.
  3. Operating cost (OPEX). Typically in renewables, it contributes the remaining 15-35% of lifetime cost.
  4. Lifetime. A longer operating life reduces LCOE by spreading the capital cost across more years.
  5. Finance cost (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC). Reducing risk reduces the cost of finance. Removing the cost of finance (0% WACC) would halve the LCOE.

We have been at the heart of modelling levelised cost of energy for offshore wind and other energy systems for almost a decade. We deliver landmark analyses, reports and LCOE tools for governments and a wide range of enabling bodies. Much of this work stemmed from our ground-breaking “Offshore wind cost reduction pathways : Technology work stream” study for The Crown Estate, the first (and still the deepest) pan-industry exploration of future cost of energy in offshore wind.

We also deliver strategic LCOE analysis looking many years ahead for major developers and energy companies, taking into account new technologies (such as floating foundations) and supply chain effects (such as large project pipelines).
Our analysis of the spatial variation of LCOE across multiple national waters, coupled with merit order modelling addresses challenging questions, such as: where to develop projects, and the future market for new technologies.

Our analyses of the LCOE impact of specific innovations successfully guides technology suppliers and investors in areas as diverse as installation processes, offshore foundations, condition monitoring technology, advanced blade designs, new wind turbine concepts and airborne wind systems.

Our approach is now the industry standard, and is used by BEIS (formerly DECC), Energy Technologies Institute, Innovate UK, ORE Catapult, in France and USA for offshore wind, and by KIC InnoEnergy for onshore and offshore wind, solar power (PV and STEG) and other technologies.

Voice of the customer review

We use our extensive industry network to independently gather feedback from current and potential customers on your product, service or organisation and way of doing business, and gather insight into commercial and supply chain trends. This activity can be done without revealing that we are doing it on your behalf, if required. Our independence and the rapport we establish routinely generate more insight than would be available if you asked existing or potential customers yourself and has helped to unlock or refresh numerous relationships. Our purpose in delivering such work is to better inform you but just as important, to strengthen and deepen your industry relationships.

Product development plan review

Our team of sector-specific experts review your innovations, their technology readiness level (TRL) and development plans to advise how to minimise time-to-market while limiting expenditure, mitigate risks and take practical steps towards commercialisation. We have hands-on engineering experience developing renewables technology in small and large businesses, and we understand the challenges.

We can help implement tailored product and technology development processes and establish meaningful metrics to help focus attention on the most important challenges.

Customer value proposition development

A value proposition describes how your innovation benefits your customers. Our sector experts use their deep experience and a structured interview process to help build your innovation’s value proposition. This business advice is often supplemented by assessments of the potential impact on the cost of energy, market trends and the competitive landscape. When carrying out due diligence for investors, we often see that innovators are let down by not articulating the type and scale of benefits needed to impress customers or investors.

Market entry strategy development

We help develop your market entry strategy, including how to best demonstrate your innovations, identifying customers and growing your industry track record. This takes into account the cost of different activities, the availability and benefits of bench-testing, prototyping, demonstration or pre-commercial opportunities, the availability of public funding, and the likely interest of investors, collaborators and customers in supporting your activities. Frequently, routes to market can be simplified by careful steering through this challenging phase and being introduced to the right people at the right time.

Communication strategy development

We identify the most effective ways to get your key messages known to relevant stakeholders. This includes the best channel mix, segmentation strategy and tactical activity that ensures your marketing communications helps achieve your goals. We focus on identifying practical steps for your company to take, recognising you often do not have the time or money to execute an all-embracing text-book communication strategy.

Our technical and commercial knowledge of the renewable electricity industries sets us apart from normal marketing agencies. The breadth and depth of our industry network means we know the companies, and often the individuals, you are targeting. We have strong relationships with the journalists, editors and conference organisers working in this field and are routinely asked to contribute copy, provide quotes about the latest developments or speak at relevant events.

Industry and stakeholder introductions

Leveraging our extensive industry network, we provide ‘soft landings’ for companies seeking to reach out to senior staff in prospective customers, partners or public stakeholders. This can involve meeting preparation and coaching, personal introductions and smoothing early discussions. Many of our introductions have led to significant new relationships being established. Our industry contacts will be frank with us about what they are looking for. Such introductions often save months or years of knocking on doors – there remains nothing better than relationships built on trust and working together over long periods.

Mergers & acquisitions

As a rapidly growing market with a strong focus on innovation and supply chain development, the renewable electricity industries represent a significant opportunity for companies seeking to invest. We have a strong track record of helping companies make robust, evidence-based M&A decisions, seeing through the bluster of investor presentations and IMs to get to the heart of the technology, organisation and market issues.
Our detailed market forecasts, technology insights, due diligence expertise and network of industry contacts means we offer independent and unbiased advice on how to proceed, whether you want to identify investment opportunities, review target shortlists, undertake due diligence or proceed with a sale or refinancing process. When needed, we can cover a lot of ground quickly in order to help you close the deals you want.

Investor relations

We know how important it is for management teams to have the most robust evidence available when explaining their strategic decisions to their investors. We provide the independent and unbiased market intelligence, business advice and insight needed to put decisions in context. Even when our input closely matches the messages given internally, our independence adds considerable credibility and robustness. We are often approached by business development staff to review and challenge or provide parallel forecasts for this very reason.

Every situation is different, but previous work has involved providing detailed component-specific demand forecasts, competitor assessments, voice of the customer reports, strategic recommendations and educational workshops to groups involving senior executives and representatives of investors.

We also work with suppliers to prepare them for dialogue with investors, developing teaser or pitch presentations and investment memoranda before going on to prioritise target investors and make personal introductions through our wide network.

Tendering support

We have often seen companies with great technical capability struggle to make progress in the renewable electricity industries because they fail to communicate their strengths in tenders submitted to developers and tier 1 suppliers.

We have a long track record of working with procurement and commercial departments of such players and our team includes individuals with first-hand experience of working in these companies and dealing with suppliers. This experience means we understand what subjects interest different procurement teams and know the best ways to get across your capability whilst avoiding frustrating them.

Our proven ability to prepare concise, clear documents that clearly communicate complex issues as part of our business advice means that we can help you to prepare the best possible submission to maximise your chance of winning business. We can also help develop your bid strategy and provide support for any client interview.