Nick Wayth is ready for change.
He believes net zero and the energy transition means the ‘old’ energies of oil and gas and the ‘new’ energies of renewables, are not actually competing against each other but converging together.
“I think there’s sometimes a portrayal of a divergence in the energy sector. You’ve got old energy and new energy. In my mind we’re actually seeing energy converge. As we think of new value chains, as we think of vectors such as hydrogen, actually we’ve now got molecules of gas, going into molecules of hydrogen potentially going into power, power creating hydrogen and suddenly, value chains that up until this point, were largely separate are intergrating.
“The skills we see in the oil and gas sector have a huge amount to offer into renewables as indeed, the skills in renewables playing into oil and gas. So to me, this isn’t about divergence and separating the industry.
“It’s about convergence and bringing people together.”
The new CEO of the Energy Institute is an oil and gas man, having had a long career at BP. A mechanical engineer he spent time as researcher, then moving into commerical roles, working in the North Sea and the Middle East. Eventually becoming the strategic lead for BP’s renewables business.
So does that mean he can see both sides of the energy transition clearer than some?
“I’ve been fortunate to have a vast and diverse career in different parts of the energy industry. And understanding the scale and how the different parts of the energy industry interconnect.
“I’m passionate about renewables. I’m passionate about oil and gas. All forms of energy.
“And the Energy Insitute has it all. I also like the fact it has this unbiased, fact based approach, it’s not trying to push a particular technology. And I think that’s really important.”
I asked him if the EI, with so many members who are from the oil and gas sector, should be leading its members in the transition or remaining neutral. What will he do as leader?
“We need to be at the forefront we need to be leading this transition. I think it’s fair to say there was a bit of trepidation as the Energy Institute pivoted. And I don’t think we should be scared, or nervous about moving too fast, too soon.
“We need to do it in a systematic way. We need to bring our members, our team, our other stakeholders, with us on that journey.
“But I don’t think we should be afraid of really stepping forward and leading.”
Listen to the whole interview where we explore many other topics.