Collaboration is key for the energy transition

By Steve Swindell, Xodus

Steve Swindell, managing director of Xodus
Steve Swindell, managing director of Xodus

If this year has proved anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Twelve months ago, fresh off COP26 in Glasgow, who could have foreseen the turnaround in the energy market following the conflict in Ukraine and the surge in market prices. People are now naturally focusing on security of supply, with the world looking to oil and gas for the answer.

Net zero was going to be a challenge even before the war started, but the current energy supply crisis is adding an additional layer of complexity to this already difficult task.

We see fossil fuels as part of net zero. Even before the current crisis, the transition was always going to be reliant on hydrocarbons, for a while at least. However, the war has put into focus the need to accelerate renewables, allowing countries to become self-sufficient and exploiting their own, sustainable energy resources.

Something that we have prided ourselves on over the years is partnering with companies and sharing ideas to get to the best answers. It will come as no surprise that the relationships where we have worked as partners have proven to be our most successful and insightful.

Collaboration is a word well-worn in the industry but if we are to get out of this crisis and have any chance of meeting longer-term climate targets, we need to be more open to working together and sharing. Governments and big companies have set targets and financial institutions have quite strict rules about who they will lend money to. The ball is rolling, and we all have a goal, we all need to be working together to deliver a responsible energy future for the world.

Together is key – in our efforts to deliver a responsible energy future, we are working with a range of industry bodies, clients, and suppliers to create meaningful impact. Projects such as X-Academy; our joint efforts with NSTA to support hydrogen production at the Bacton energy hub; our collaboration with Browning the Green Space (BGS) in the US to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in the offshore wind sector; and architecting project MercurHy in Australia to decarbonise local industry – all underline the importance of industry collaboration to achieve our net-zero goals in a sustainable way.

Collaboration also applies within Xodus. Our borderless consultancy model means that we are not limited by geography. If we have a sector expert in Australia or the Middle East, there’s no reason why they can’t be part of a project team in the North Sea or the United States.

This model is proving successful for us, demonstrated by the fact that we’re increasing our revenue. This year we have grown by 27%, with further growth expected in 2023.

We invested heavily in our people over the past few years, from recruitment drives to training our existing workforce. We expect this trend to continue in the new year, hiring for roles across the energy sector, particularly in offshore wind, hydrogen, and CCUS.

We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, from supporting the new offshore wind leasing round in California and the upcoming offshore wind leasing rounds in Victoria, Northern Tasmania, and Western Australia; to our ongoing projects which aim to reduce emissions from existing operations in the North Sea and Middle East.

The challenge of achieving net zero whilst maintaining a steady energy supply requires the sector to take advantage of all available solutions and energy sources. We know how to navigate the complexities of developing infrastructure projects and our integrated approach is perfectly suited for this transitional time in the energy industry.

A founding partner of Xodus in 2005, Steve Swindell joined the energy industry in 1990 after graduating with a BSc in Chemical Engineering. With extensive sectoral knowledge and process engineering experience, Swindell is a highly respected field development specialist and has established robust, flexible and highly successful operations and delivery model at Xodus.