Energy Risk Awards 2022: The winners

Winners steer energy industry through geopolitical crisis and decarbonisation

Trophies

At the start of 2021, it seemed the energy industry might enjoy a period of consolidation and reflection after the turmoil of the global pandemic. With the exception of Storm Uri, which wrought havoc in February for power and gas firms operating in Texas, the commodities industry experienced relatively benign conditions, with post-Covid demand leading to a commodities boom.

However, if risk managers saw a chance to switch from tactical fire-fighting to more strategic goals, it was short-lived. By the fourth quarter of 2021, as tensions between Russia and Ukraine began rising, commodities prices became volatile once more.

Natural gas prices at Europe’s largest TTF hub, which started 2021 at just under €18 per megawatt hour (/MWh), rose to nearly €147/MWh in December. At the start of March 2022, they spiked to €227/MWh.

European electricity prices also skyrocketed. Calendar 2023 German baseload prices rose from €51.25/MWh at the start of 2021 to a high of €144/MWh in December, reaching a record €189/MWh in early April.

Once again it became vital for firms to have clear visibility into intraday positions and risk exposures, with accurate risk reporting and actionable analytics in order to make timely decisions. However, perhaps unlike the global pandemic, the Russia energy crisis has not caused firms to put climate change on the back burner. In fact, a raft of environmental regulations, on top of a groundswell of shareholder activism and public concern has kept it front of mind for most organisations.

For many firms, decarbonising and addressing climate risk isn’t only a long-term goal but something that needs to be addressed today, with urgency.

“We’ve had over 250 years of incredible industrial evolution without appropriately pricing in climate impacts,” comments Angela Schwarz, chief executive of Element Markets, the winner of this year’s Environmental products house of the year award. “Now we’ve woken up and realised we have to price carbon into every aspect of our human existence, and we have a very short window to facilitate meaningful change. It’s an incredible undertaking that we need to do globally, and with speed and efficiency.”

This sentiment can certainly be seen in the voluntary carbon markets where a shift is taking place in corporate perception, according to David Nussbaum, head of North American carbon markets at Marex, the winner of this year’s Emissions house of the year award.

Demand for carbon offsets used to be dependent on a strong economy providing corporate buyers with cash to spare. Now, “Carbon exposure is a line item in these corporate balance sheets”, Nussbaum says.

All the winners of this year’s Energy Risk awards have worked hard to steer their clients through both the immediate tumult of volatile markets and the longer term demands of the energy transition.

The articles below on each of the winning firms showcase innovative thinking and pioneering action throughout the commodities complex, some of it well outside firms’ expected remit.

For example, Marex is sponsoring a research programme to apply cutting-edge satellite technology to help estimate carbon sequestration in mangrove restoration projects in South-east Asia, something that goes beyond normal expectations of a brokerage.

Others are applying new strategies and approaches to market challenges. For example, this year’s Deal of the year award was won by Intersect Power for bringing new thinking and methods of financing to the renewable energy space. The Commodity finance house of the year award went once again to Societe Generale. While the bank has worked on an enormous pipeline of innovative projects over the past 18 months, perhaps some of its most valuable work has been in emerging markets, creating blueprints for renewables financing in those countries.

The winners of our technology categories have also excelled in helping clients manage climate risk. Last year, Ion Commodities, winner of the 2022 CTRM software house of the year award, introduced 15 major new product offerings for businesses navigating both the energy transition and evolving markets. These include predictive pathing using machine learning for natural gas, tools for managing power purchase agreements, and trade and risk management for carbon credits, emissions offsets and renewable certificates.

See the winners below:

Derivatives house of the year: Macquarie

Oil and products house of the year: Macquarie

Natural gas/LNG house of the year: Macquarie

Electricity house of the year: Engie

Base metals house of the year: BNP Paribas

Precious metals house of the year: Credit Suisse

Emissions house of the year: Marex

Environmental products house of the year: Element Markets

Climate risk manager of the year: Engie

Commodity and energy finance house of the year: Societe Generale

Trade finance house of the year: Tramontana Asset Management

Deal of the year: Intersect Power’s US renewables financing deal

Commodity brokerage of the year: OTC Global Holdings

Commodity exchange of the year: CME Group

OTC trading platform of the year: Engie Egma

Hedging advisory of the year: Aegis Hedging Solutions

Technology advisory of the year: Accenture

Climate risk advisory firm of the year: Planetrics (McKinsey)

Commodities research house of the year: Mobius Risk Group

Data and analytics house of the year: Refinitiv

CTRM software house of the year: Ion Commodities

Technology house of the year: CubeLogic

Innovation of the year: Lacima

Newcomer of the year: LiveDiligence

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