We depend on the services energy companies provide to keep industry and society operating and our homes functioning. Rising costs and demands on infrastructure mean that energy is now a crucial issue for businesses and consumers.

At the recent Energy Markets and Security Conference in Dublin, Colm O'Neill, Head of Energy, Utilities and Telecoms, summarised the situation in 7 key points.

1. This is a temporary problem

As we face a winter of crippling energy prices driven by escalating gas prices, it is encouraging to see that all the technology we need to transition to lower cost renewable energy exists. Not only that, but investors have the capital to deploy it. There is a route to lower energy prices if we act.

2. But the solution will take time

Many speakers pointed out that any infrastructure not in delivery today, will have no impact in 2030. This illustrates the reality of large infrastructure project delivery. It takes time.

3. Gas remains central

Not only were gas prices discussed but the role of different gasses in our energy system. From green hydrogen and biomethane to fracked LNG and everything in between. Gas, its production, storage and transportation are part of the energy system current and future. This also requires investment.

4. Communication

Short-term and long-term solutions need societal buy-in. In the short term, we need to use less energy. For longer-term solutions, we need people to support the deployment of large-scale infrastructure that may impact them personally. This requires understanding and understanding requires communication.

5. Urgency (or seeming lack of it)

Everyone acknowledges there is a crisis, but the system seems unable to mobilise a crisis response. The energy system is complex with policy, regulation, laws, and public and private sector organisations all interacting and depending on each other.  Many potential solutions are met with resistance from some directions. Dogmas and ideologies abound.

6. Planning

Yes, that old chestnut. (As in planning permission and securing it to deploy infrastructure.) It came up time and time again during discussions. See point 4. 

7. There is a bright future

When I sat back to reflect on the conference over the weekend, on balance, the message from the conference was positive. Ireland is well positioned both geographically and from a capability perspective to not only achieve energy independence in the next 20 years, but Ireland could become a significant force in the future global energy system. However, we need to act.

About the conference

The Energy Markets and Security Conference, hosted by Energy Ireland and sponsored by KPMG, was held on Friday 30th September 2022 in the Marker Hotel, Dublin.

Colm O’Neill, Head of Energy, Utilities and Telecoms was delighted to chair Energy Irelands’ conference. He and other industry experts including Russell Smyth, Head of KPMG Sustainable Futures, addressed the critical issues facing our businesses and society today. 

Get in touch

Our Energy, Utilities & Telecoms practice works as an integral part of KPMG’s global technology group, helping clients take advantage of opportunities, manage risk and create value. We’d be delighted to work with you to help achieve a more profitable, efficient and focused telecoms business.

To find out more please contact Colm O'Neill. We look forward to hearing from you.

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