The Shifting Energy Arena

Looking back to understand the future


In August 2018, in conjunction with the ONS 2018 conference, we published the report ‘The Shifting Energy Arena’. Since then, the changes we predicted across the energy landscape has only accelerated. In fact, as we write later in this report, ‘accelerating the shift’ is one of the most commonly used phrases across the energy landscape today.

In this updated report, version 2.0, we both look back at what has happened over the past 24 months, and we look forward to updating some of our projections and perspectives. Notably, while some energy companies have initiated their transformation, the fact remains that the very large majority of energy, oil, gas, and utility companies around the world are still fully stuck in a fossil-based value creation logic.

These companies, every single one of them, will need to develop their own transformation roadmap in the next decade – or expire. The changes we have seen to date, while significant, are nothing compared to the changes we will see in the coming decade. To all our readers, expect to see massive transformation in the shifting energy landscape in the decade ahead.

What you will find in this report


  • Case studies & drivers behind the shift
  • Interviews from top strategists in the oil & gas industry
  • Main big drivers for the shift
  • The 13 strategic groups that now compete in the energy arena
  • Energy arena forecast for the next 24 months
  • Next strategic steps for energy companies
  • Strategy Tool: The Transformational Company Index
  • Strategy Tool: Transformation Journey
  • Strategy Tool: Your 1-Page Minimum Innovation Strategy
  • Recommendations

"There will be no oil or gas country that is not affected by the clean energy transition."

Head of the International Energy Agency

Featured in the Report


Corporate Strategist in the Energy Arena


Corporate Strategist, Global Oil & Gas Industry


CEO, Sval Energy


Managing Director, Thinking Dimensions

Industry Battlegrounds


PV is on track to become the world’s #1 energy source. Softbank, the world’s largest venture capital firm is on track to finance the world’s largest solar energy project in the Middle East ($200BN), following their recent deal in India of up to $100BN. Softbank’s investments in Uber, Didi and Grab has reshaped the mobility space, now it’s taking on energy.

How will traditional energy companies respond?


“EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business”, BP’s Chief Executive Downstream Shell, BP, Repsol, Equinor are just some of the O&G companies investing in EV infrastructure. While amounts are still small, these early investments are all about getting a market position. Alphabet (Waymo) might surprise everyone with an aggressive EV strategy too….

How will utilities and tech firms respond?


Tomorrow’s grid will be driven by software. The concept of smart, distributed grid, and the energy cloud puts immense pressure on the talent base and technology platforms of traditional utilities. Will the big tech firms like Google, Amazon, and new scale-ups like Otovo capture the crucial customer relationship in a digital world?

Who will own the customer?

The Shifting Energy Arena

The Shifting Energy Arena is a visual representation of the new energy landscape.

It consists of 13 strategic groups, all competing and collaborating in this new landscape. While traditional industry analysis would look inside each group (box on the map); we propose to look both inside and between all players in the new energy arena. BP’s biggest competitor is no longer Exxon or Shell.

Who do you think it is?

Key Excerpts

About the Authors


Founder of Engage // Innovate, Strategy Tools and X2, Chris helps top management at global companies tackle large industry shifts. He partners with clients on strategy & transformation, innovation strategies and business model innovation. He works extensively on building new innovation superclusters around the industries of the future. He is also business school faculty and active keynote speaker at conferences and events.


Jolene Foo-Hodne runs the digital content development and marketing strategy for Engage // Innovate & Strategy Tools. She brings years of experience in producing high quality content and has tackled a wide range of digital marketing projects for both fast-moving startups and multinational corporations. Her digital and design work now drive strategy processes with clients and users worldwide.

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