Energy Central Power Perspectives: Welcome New Expert Interview Series: Gerard Reid, New Expert in The Energy CollectivePosted to Energy Central in the The Energy Collective Group
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- Jan 8, 2020 3:15 pm GMTDec 3, 2019 3:47 pm GMT
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The utility sector and global efforts towards sustainability and climate action often go hand-in-hand, which is why the activity and discussions that go on in Energy Central’s The Energy Collective community is so critical. Bringing together the best thinkers on energy and climate is a recipe for building up leadership towards the type of evolution that is needed across the utility industry.
As we continue to focus on these important topics and the questions within that we can’t ignore, Energy Central is thrilled to be able to continue to bring thought leaders in these areas to our community. The latest addition to this network of experts is Gerard Reid.
Gerard brings to the Energy Central community much experience and knowledge in areas like mobility, climate action, sustainability-focused investments, and more. He was also kind enough to be the latest participant in Energy Central’s ‘Welcome New Expert Interview Series’ that will allow you, our readers, to get to know him better:
Matt Chester: We’re excited to have you aboard as our newest Energy Central Expert, Gerard. Can you give our readers an overview of who you are and what your interest and experience are in the utility sector?
Gerard Reid: I am an Irishman, living in Germany and working in London in corporate finance for Alexa Capital, a business I co-founded seven years ago. I assist people and organizations in energy who are struggling to come to terms with the increasingly unpredictable and rapid change going on around. I have deep experience in global energy and, in particular, the utility sector having spent over 15 years working in investment banking-- equity research, fund management, and corporate finance-- with a focus on both the energy transition and the digital energy revolution the sector is currently going through. Currently, much of what I am doing is advising new players, such as oil and gas companies, on how to develop sustainable business models in the utility world and to help with M&A. I am also advising energy technology companies on raising capital and sometimes even selling their businesses.
MC: You’ve taken a serious interest in cleantech and the energy transition. Were these always areas that were important to you or was there an a-ha moment that made you decide to really start to focus on them?
GR: The ‘aha’ moment happened back in 2003. I was working as a technology analyst at the time and had a client of mine back who wanted to invest into a solar company. He asked me to do some due diligence for him before he invested. Initially, I thought it was a waste of time but I was so taken back by the vision of the founder of that business who felt that solar was going to revolutionize the world of energy that I advised my client to invest. He made a lot of money from the investment and that was the start of it. I ended up being one of the first renewable analysts out there and then slowly but surely became an expert in the space and the rest is history!
MC: Within the energy world, you’re approaching from the financing and banking perspective. How do you think that frames your perspective compared with someone who’s working hands-on with the technology or in the management of utilities?
GR: My focus, first and foremost is on economics. Can we make money with the investment decision? Is the particular investment the best use of resources? Who should we raise capital from? Does it make economic sense or not? They are the type of questions I ask and to answer them you need to have a good understanding of the technology and whether you can make money at it! But I don’t need to understand how to install it or run it! That is the job of someone else.
MC: What has you most excited in the world of energy in the coming years? What headline do you hope to read in the not-too-distant future?
GR: The most exciting thing for me is that the world of energy is going to go through massive change over the next decade and I feel I am at the center of this change, which is highly complex and critical to our world.
As to headline, I think the key thing we need to do is take collective responsibility for the damage we are doing to our planet and what I would like to read about is leadership rather than talk from politicians, business executives, and the man on the street.
MC: What brought you to the Energy Central community, both as a reader and now as an expert? What value do you think the platform affords the industry?
GR: I started writing a blog on LinkedIn many years ago and developed a very strong following of about 150,000 within my industry, but LinkedIn has been very crowded and noisy and the comments and discussions have become superficial and almost worthless.
What I like about Energy Central is that it reminds me of LinkedIn five years ago except the comments and discussions are better!
MC: What’s the final, lasting point you’d want to leave the Energy Central readers with about you?
GR: I am a passionate believer that we need to clean up our energy world while making money at the same time!
Please join me in thanking Gerard Reid for sharing his experience with the community in this interview and for bringing his expertise to The Energy Collective. Now that you know him a little better, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask Gerard questions in the comments sections or just say hi