Clean Energy Opportunity & Risk Analysis

Explore the “CODA”* approach for business analysis within the energy sector

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Are you delivering a project or product which can survive in or adapt to a changing market?

This skills-development course draws on over 25 years experience of working in fast-moving, technology-driven industries in a variety of research, analysis and strategic planning roles. It is the result of a long process of distilling down the activities gone through during this time – and summarising the findings, patterns and activities seen time and time again. It’s designed to show you how to take a structured and systematic approach to your business and investment planning, doing so by examining both current market conditions and the questions of resilience and risk in the face of future change.

*The term CODA is derived from the consideration of the Current market environment and its future Outlook to combine both short-term project Delivery with longer-term Adaption.

As with all Grey Cells Energy training, it will provide both thought-provoking insight and quality, regularly-updated information. You’ll leave with a thorough grounding in the critical business issues (opportunities and risks) resulting from disruptive market transition. You’ll be presented with a range of principles illustrated through real examples and, to get you started on your own analysis, we’ll discuss worked examples and I’ll provide you with checklists, scorecards and other tools which you can take away and adapt for your own specific needs.

Course Summary & Key Features

Clean energy will increasingly have to build business cases with decreasing (or no) policy subsidy – which means greater market exposure. It also exists in market environments seeing rapid technological innovation and the blurring of competitive boundaries.

This course will help you to think more comprehensively about market and risk analysis, by encouraging you to do so in a structured way and with example tools that you can take away and immediately tailor to the specifics of your own business.

In particular a systematic approach will be presented and illustrated which considers not just current market conditions and project deliverability, but also business sustainability (adaptability) in the face of future market change. This is “CODA” analysis, since it combines current market conditions with the outlook for market change, helping guide you towards a project which is both deliverable and adaptable.

Specifically tailored to the clean energy sector, we’ll identify key factors in market opportunities and business risks, connect aspects of current planning with future risks and examine ways to formalise the analysis process (for example through methods such as checklists, scorecards and risk maps).

Although the course will use specific and up-to-date examples to illustrate key concepts and learning points, it’s important to note that the aim of the course is not to provide single, simple answers to every specific challenge facing every different clean energy business developer or investor. Indeed, beware of anyone who tells you such simple answers exist! Instead the course encourages you to think more comprehensively about market and risk analysis, in a structured way and with example tools that you can take away and immediately tailor to the specifics of your own business.

In addition to the presented materials, there will also be plenty of time dedicated to thinking for yourself, working on sample documents and discussing key issues and outcomes with the trainer and other attendees. As a result, this will be an intensive and highly interactive three days.

This Course Will…

  • Introduce a clean-energy-focused analysis framework which links current market conditions and market outlook, with project delivery and adaptability.
  • Provide a systematic approach to assessing market opportunities for new projects and/or products.
  • Provide a systematic approach to assessing (and planning for) key risk factors.
  • Examine opportunity and risk from both current and future perspectives, including how the two interconnect.
  • Provide an approach to market and project analysis (applicable to a wide variety of business objectives), which enables attendees to better focus their forward-planning, multi-disciplinary discussions and requirements for further data-gathering and research.

You will leave with…

  • A clearer understanding of the key business opportunity and risk influences
  • A more comprehensive view of the market and competitive context of clean energy businesses
  • Sample tools and documents to adapt to your own business needs
  • A better foundation from which to identify and bring together the key inputs both from within and external to your organisation
Who Should Attend?

The course is valuable to anyone involved in developing business strategy, assessing new market opportunities or identifying and managing the risks in new project or product business cases.

Particularly relevant roles include:

  • Energy sector finance & investment
  • Clean power project development
  • Cleantech product development
  • Energy sector professional services, including legal, insurance and consulting
The Course Trainer

Dr John Massey, Managing Director, Grey Cells Energy Ltd.

John is a respected energy business analyst & trainer with over 25 years’ commercial experience in industry research, analysis, intelligence and training; plus an outstanding academic background in both natural sciences and economics. His business experience has spanned both the energy and telecoms/IT industries, including over ten years as Research Director for Informa, a FTSE200 business information provider, plus another decade-and-a-half (and ongoing) as an independent industry/business analyst and executive trainer. Throughout this career, John’s focus has been on researching and analysing fast-changing, technology-driven markets in order to identify emerging business opportunities, along with understanding the risks that go with them.

By focusing on the interconnection of multiple business variables within energy and technology markets, he has helped senior business-people in over 25 countries across 5 continents. They have represented a wide variety of organisations from start-ups to the world’s biggest corporations. His integrated approach to market analysis highlights the requirement to understand disruptive technology change in its wider context – including regulatory environments and drivers, market structures, investment drivers and returns, socioeconomic issues & public acceptance.

Agenda details


DAY 1: Market Drivers & Market Change

  1. Introducing a Market & Business Analysis Framework
  2. Key Elements in Current Market Analysis
  3. Defining & Investigating Market Outlooks
  4. Vital Clean Energy Trends (Examples)

DAY 2: Structured Approaches to Analysis

  1. Comparing Options: Creating a Scorecard
  2. Understanding the Determinants of Technology Competition
  3. Identifying & Minimising Risks to Delivery
  4. What could go wrong? (And Does it Matter?)

DAY 3: Business Case Resilience

  1. Show Me the Money
  2. Creating Adaptable Projects
  3. Weighing Up Adaption, Outlook Opportunity & Risk
  4. Closing Discussion

In detail…

DAY 1: Market Drivers & Market Change

Introducing a Market & Business Analysis Framework

  • Welcome, introductions and the course aims & structure
  • Explaining a “CODA” analysis map (“current-outlook-delivery-adaption”), including its connections and feedbacks
  • Defining the purpose of an analysis programme, including its boundaries and inclusions
  • What are the risks of taking a narrower field of view?

Key Elements in Current Market Analysis

  • Identifying the drivers of market value (both the “what” and the “who”): examples
  • The importance of appreciating “push” and “pull” in creating demand: examples
  • Differing market opportunity and entry strategies (and why each can be right, or wrong): examples
  • Steps to assessing a competitive landscape

Defining & Investigating Market Outlooks

  • The critical need to define key timescales & milestones
  • Influences on market sustainability, including first-mover impacts and market saturation: example
  • Market fundamentals vs. other, transient opportunity drivers
  • External factors influencing the market outlook: examples

Vital Clean Energy Trends (Examples)

  • The changing policy support environment
  • Divergence and diversity of revenue streams
  • Continued technological change
  • The blurring of sectoral boundaries


DAY 2: Structured Approaches to Analysis

Comparing Options: Creating a Scorecard

  • Analysing the fundamentals in making a market selection: worked example
  • Deciding what to compare, which metrics to score & how to weight the findings
  • The scorecard as a base case: sensitivity to assumptions
  • Gap analysis: identifying what you don’t know (and how important it is)
  • Prioritising further work

Understanding the Determinants of Technology Competition

  • Why technologies succeed (& why they fail)
  • Spoiler: it’s not all about technical capability!
  • Applying a scorecard approach to technology forecasting: worked example
  • Technology & time (in the context of an analysis outlook horizon)

Identifying & Minimising Risks to Delivery

  • The key practicalities (including less glamorous planning aspects!)
  • The critical role of routes to market, particularly in a “subsidy-free” future: examples
  • Paths of least resistance: examples
  • Creating a delivery risk checklist: worked example

What could go wrong? (And Does it Matter?)

  • Timescales and risk (more on the outlook horizon)
  • Risk heat mapping: worked example
  • Looking outside the box: external risks and their relevance
  • Risks as sources of market opportunity and differentiation: examples


DAY 3: Business Case Resilience

Show Me the Money

  • A brief review: opportunity, risk, returns and the financial model
  • Analysis timescales: tying in finance with risk, delivery and outlook milestones
  • Understanding different investor strategies (and increasing investor choice)
  • Connecting the CODA framework with the cashflow sheet: worked example

Creating Adaptable projects

  • Considering the future outlook in project planning delivery
  • What are the options for value addition, modification or replacement? (Examples)
  • Comparing the adaptability of delivery options from day one
  • Identifying barriers to adaption

Weighing Up Adaption, Outlook Opportunity & Risk

  • Scenario planning & “what-if”?
  • Applying & critiquing scenarios (worked example)
  • Revisiting scorecards and risk maps
  • How desirable is adaptability? (i.e. a simple case vs. an adaptable case)

Closing Discussion

  • A summary and review of the key messages
  • Discussion: when and how to apply different elements of this analysis approach?
  • Adapting the analysis framework to different needs
Availability & inquiries

Training for your company:

  • The course can be delivered at your company premises or preferred venue, for small groups
  • Pricing is on a transparent day-rate basis, according to location (inquire below)
  • The agenda above is the recommended “off-the-shelf” agenda, but limited customisation is possible (inquire below)

Training for individuals:

  • Grey Cells Energy does not currently organise open/public courses, but does work as an “associate trainer”, via larger 3rd-party event organisers. Contact or inquire below for the latest calendar dates.
  • If you are interested in remote learning – covering some or all of the topics on a one-to-one basis via the Internet – inquire below.

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