Why Magnus Energy draws an international mix of consultants

11 December 2023 Consultancy.eu 6 min. read

From its base in the Netherlands, Magnus Energy works on energy projects all over Europe, drawing on an international team of experts. Consultancy.org spoke to three young professionals at the firm to find out what draws such a mix of talent to the Netherlands-headquartered consultancy.

With the continent’s efforts to meet net zero pledges already falling behind, Europe needs to ramp up its shift to sustainable energy infrastructure. Such a huge undertaking needs collaboration across the public and private sectors, and multiple industries.

To help find common ground and align objectives between these players, the support of energy consultants has arguably never been more important. This positions Magnus Energy – a management consultancy which specialises in the energy landscape – at a vital intersection.

Why Magnus Energy draws an international mix of consultants

Since its inception 15+ years ago, Magnus Energy has been involved in numerous major projects in the landscape, including being the lead consultancy on several strategic programmes in Europe’s electricity market integration.

Such important work has made the firm an attractive destination for young professionals, looking to learn in a fast-paced environment while making an impact early in their careers.

After picking up a Master's degree in Environment & Research Management from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Jochem van de Groep joined Magnus in early 2023. According to him, highlights so far have included “great colleagues”, who he can often pick up tricks and tips from, and the opportunity to “learn quickly while getting plenty of responsibility and freedom early on.”

Van de Groep expanded, “I joined Magnus Energy because I was looking to start a career in the energy sector. The firm gave me an unparalleled chance to do that, while working on large scale international projects, with experts from all over Europe. Despite the scale of these projects, Magnus Energy is still a relatively small company, with a flat structure, so it also gives me easy access to senior members of our international team, who I can learn a great deal about the challenges of the energy transition from – while contributing to it!”

Meanwhile, Tobias Lehle arrived at Magnus Energy’s Naarden office in the Netherlands from an engineering angle. A double-degree Master’s in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology and Aalto University had equipped him with the skills required to be part of the European energy transition, and he was keen to put them to use as soon as possible.

According to him, relocating from the Nordics to the “international, friendly and welcoming” atmosphere of Magnus Energy, and its colleagues who made the process of becoming a team member “very fast and fun”, played a key role in making that a reality.

“During my master's studies in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering in Finland and Sweden I had the opportunity to gain insights into most parts of the energy system,” Lehle noted. “Every part and cog of the machine is interesting, but most fascinating to me was to understand and think about the overarching context of the climate crisis, as well as the current ways to assess and address it. This shifted my focus away from technical limitations towards market design regulation and their implementation.”

“At Magnus Energy we support grid operators and power exchanges to effectively implement new regulations in complex, multi-year projects, thereby making the grid ready for an increasing share of renewable electricity.”

Different backgrounds

Not all of Magnus Energy’s graduate recruits come from an energy background. Liza Zhytkova completed her Master in Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, specializing in global environmental governance, sustainability, and climate change.

Raised in North Carolina, Zhytkova relocated to The Netherlands to cultivate a career that will make a significant positive, impact on the environment. She has also made the most of meeting clients and facilitating stakeholder cooperation to move projects forward, helping her to become “fully immersed in energy and electricity topics, and to rapidly develop knowledge of the field” – all proving her hopes of “serving a greater good” with the firm correct.

Zhytkova explained, “I chose to apply to Magnus Energy because I was excited at the prospect of working on projects with energy operators to facilitate the realisation of the European Energy Market and integration of renewables into power grids. With my background in politics and environmental governance, I wanted to be a part of the mission to the accelerate the energy transition, increase sustainability, and leave the world better than I found it.”

“The mission of Magnus Energy aligns with my own, which piqued my interest and encouraged me to apply.”

Pan-European projects

As well as the chance to onboard a steep learning curve, many graduates turn to the consulting industry for a chance to quickly see the impact their work has on the world. To that end, all three consultants are currently taking on important work across the continent with Magnus Energy.

Zhytkova, for example, currently manages the development and implementation of IT systems within the Core Capacity Calculation Region (Core CCR). She explains, “The Core CCR involves 16 Transmission System Operators (TSOs) across Central West and Eastern Europe and focuses on implementing the European Commission’s Electricity Network Codes. In my role, I apply business diplomacy and advance decision making with a consortium of European countries to accelerate IT system development critical for improving data transmission and capacity calculation for electricity grids.”

Relatedly, Lehle is currently working on two projects for the four German TSOs. He successfully facilitated the annual planning and execution of the German Market Forum, where the TSOs invite actors of the German electricity market to discuss the future design of the electricity market – both at European and national level.

In his words, “This provided a great opportunity to learn about the various stakeholders and hear the latest news of the ongoing topics. My other project is more on the technical sight and focuses on new innovative approaches to the operation of the transmission network.”

Elsewhere, Van de Group is currently working on a diversity of projects relating to SEM-GB – an energy auction which links the UK to the Single Electricity Market of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Related to that is guiding the implementation for a new high-voltage interconnector that connects the Irish grid to Wales, which involves legal, operational, and technical aspects. He was also involved in a study into cybersecurity, following the new Network Code on Cyber Security (NCCS).

Last week, Magnus Energy was named one of the leading energy consultancies in Netherlands by Consultancy.org.