Turn & Face the Strange

“The more things change the more they stay the same.” That’s a somewhat sad sounding opening line, huh blog fans? The famous phrase pertains to the sorry belief that despite our best efforts some aspects of life cannot be altered or escaped. However, what if things are already great, then why would you want change anyway? If Statkraft is already Europe’s leading producer of renewable energy should it still want or indeed need to change? And if it does, how does it do that?

In London there has been of plenty of changes afoot. Just before Christmas last year, the Norwegian parliament surprisingly decided to limit state-owned Statkraft’s investment capacity and consequently after months of discussion and speculation it was decided that Statkraft would exit the offshore wind industry.

This had the repercussion that many Statkraft employees in the UK and Norway were either transferred to partner companies or other tasks in Statkraft while others ended up leaving the company altogether with severance packages. The situation could have been dealt with better but this is not a circumstance that Statkraft are used to, especially not after the last decade of success. At the leaving party some were moved to tears reflecting on their time here showing how much working in Statkraft meant to them. Others have decided this is a great opportunity to move on to other things.

Me clinging on for dear life during the culls/Performance Improvement Plans
Me clinging on for dear life during the culls/Performance Improvement Plans

Consequently, at the London head office the additional floor purchased in autumn to be used for Triton Knoll activities never became more than a desolate office film set before being leased out externally. Meanwhile, the floor that was already being used for other wind activities has all but emptied. I myself moved from there for my final rotation in the Markets, Trading and Origination department.

My main task here has been researching new battery storage and solar technologies and thinking of suitable markets for them. I’ve been lucky as it’s given me the freedom, flexibility and time to learn about and work on things I’m interested in. The team’s ambitious plans should be public soon and from the time I’ve spent with these talented people I know they should have the capacity and competence to pull them off.

The big battery buzz
The big battery buzz
Pokeball shaped set ups will naturally be all the rage in the future
Pokeball shaped set ups will naturally be all the rage in the future

This department wants to be market leaders in areas rather different to those the company’s construction based foundations are literally built upon. Subsequently, some in other departments have questioned such a move.

Statkraft’s slogan, as you may already know, is “Pure Energy” which is that perfect marketing blend of both defined and vague. It’s applicable to what some might think of as a hydropower producer in the mountains of Norway. It also applies to what others may know of as a German leaser of solar power or to current and future battery related projects. It could also be applied to a future range of Statkraft branded isotonic sports drinks.

“Pure Energy” a cryptic, all-encompassing and undeniably downright sexy slogan for blueberry flavoured sports drinks
“Pure Energy” a cryptic, all-encompassing and undeniably downright sexy slogan for blueberry flavoured sports drinks

This increasingly wide range of activities are guided by principles that hopefully aren’t restricting further important opportunities to grow. Spreading yourself too thin is naive, especially after your capital has been reduced, but so too can be restricting your own prospects, especially if the ideas, proficiency and opportunities are potentially already there.

In certain ways, Statkraft is an old company in a developing and changing industry and may have to adapt in order to stay relevant, especially in these currently testing times. Change, eh? It’s exciting; it’s terrifying and since we are not coding bots, built to make decisions based purely on calculated chance and numerical reasoning, emotion will generally play a part in our decision making and stance. The more things changes the more they stay the same. Therefore, in order to stay the same, in order to stay at the top, perhaps everything will have to change.

As my last rotation now comes to an end so too must my time on this blog. I will finish off next time with a QnA sesh and (appropriately) with more haphazard arguments.

See you then, blog fans!

Daniel

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