Three questions for Michael Wiedemann

Michael Wiedemann – President, Energy Sector, DHL

1. How is the energy sector changing as the world moves away from fossil fuels?

Every individual, every home and every business relies on energy, and the coming decades will see a complex and gradual transition as we shift to low and zero-carbon energy sources without disrupting that vital lifeline. There’s no doubt that the move to more renewable sources has created opportunities for new market entrants, but the major oil and gas companies also have a central role to play in that change. Those businesses have the technical skill, the financial strength and the customer reach to take on the challenge. We can already see how many of the big players are evolving from being primarily oil and gas companies to becoming energy providers in the broadest sense.

2. What do you see as the most important attributes for success in the energy transition?

I believe that two characteristics will be vital: diversity and purpose. Diversity, because tomorrow’s energy needs will be met by a much broader range of sources and technologies, including fossil fuels, renewables and new energy storage technologies. And purpose, because the relationship between energy and society is changing. Energy is an important part of the world’s development with respect to healthcare, education, prosperity – and particularly the battle against climate change, which affects companies and individuals alike.

3. The coronavirus crisis and the resulting economic shock has created other challenges for the sector. How are energy companies coping?

There’s no doubt that this is a very difficult year for energy companies, as it is for everybody. But these businesses have always operated in a cyclical industry. They are used to dealing with short-term problems without losing sight of their long-term strategy. The crisis is going to delay some investments, and increase the focus on cost and operational efficiency, but I believe that most of our customers have the stamina and the vision to maintain their course.

Published: October 2020

Image: DHL