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Renewable Energy & New Downstream

We help clients navigate the global energy transition; plan and implement solar, wind, storage, biomass, geothermal, waste-to-energy, and hydropower systems; and optimize operations across the value chain.

As technology costs fall and environmental concerns grow, renewable-energy systems offer more and more opportunities for incumbents and new entrants alike. We work with organizations across the energy sector—utilities, developers, investors, tech companies, government bodies, and regulators—as they shape strategy, improve operations, and capture value.

We also support clients with specific challenges, ranging from capital productivity and investment to digital and analytics and from restructuring to energy policy and regulation. The deep expertise of our leadership team and practitioners is backed by an unparalleled global network of consultants and specialists with cutting-edge knowledge of industry, functional, and cross-sector topics.

Examples of our work

In the past 5 years we have supported clients with over 500 projects in renewables and new downstream, including the following:

Comprehensive Strategy for an Electric Utility

Helping a North American electric utility execute a comprehensive strategy update, grow its unregulated business, and assess the impact of distributed energy resources on businesses

Solar-Photovoltaic Development

Working with a North American hospitality company on a feasibility study and plan to develop a single solar-photovoltaic project to meet 15 percent of its total annual electricity needs

Competitive Advantage for an Offshore-wind Developer

Developing efficiency opportunities with a European offshore-wind developer and enabling 30 percent capex reduction and 10 percent timeline acceleration

Assessing Opportunities in Renewables

Assessing the opportunity for a developing country to grow its electricity supply with renewables rather than build-out of thermal generating assets, resulting in a total system cost reduction of 10 percent and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40 percent

Featured capabilities

To provide a fact base to inform clients’ business decisions, we have developed a suite of proprietary tools and methods, including the following:

  • Offshore wind operations benchmarking. We have worked with a large portion of the major offshore operators to identify best-in-class operational practices and outcomes. We have developed a benchmark to enable data-driven diagnostics on offshore windpark performance. We help our clients to maximize park uptime and minimize operation and management costs.
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation tool. Using our DER tool, we evaluate granular project economics for DER installations across technologies (storage, solar, energy efficiency, and demand response), geographies, and rate structures to identify the most attractive projects for a given customer or customer segment.
  • Electricity demand and supply forecasting tool, PowerIQ. Allows us to assess the impact of demand side macrotrends—such as, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and distributed photovoltaics—on utility-level electric loads and analyze the resulting impact to wholesale markets and power-supply dynamics.

Related insights


Lower oil prices but more renewables: What’s going on?

– Why the renewables sector is more resilient than ever.

Myths and realities of clean technologies

– Don’t be fooled by high-profile setbacks. The cleantech sector is gaining steam—with less and less regulatory assistance.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The disruptive potential of solar power

– As costs fall, the importance of solar power to senior executives is rising.

Connect with our Electric Power & Natural Gas Practice