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Jon has over fifteen years experience in the decentralised energy and low carbon sectors. A founding director of Delta-ee, he leads our work with utilities, helping them develop decentralised energy and low carbon strategies and tactics. Jon’s expertise spans the decentralised energy space, with a particular interest in microgeneration, low carbon strategies and the integration of decentralised resources into energy systems. Previously Jon worked for Platts, managing E Source’s distributed energy research, and the UK’s Energy Saving Trust.

Localisation of energy is starting to transform the energy system

Don’t get caught out by thinking this is something for the future. It’s happening now. Local optimisation of supply and demand is on the rise, and will accelerate. In this blog I set out the five reasons why.  

If you agree with these, and you are in the active in the energy value chain, you need to take an active position on what this means for your business. There is a whole host of start-ups and companies from outside the traditional utility sector (as well as your traditional competitors) starting to target the opportunities arising from localisation of energy.  

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The New Energy Letter: May 2020

At the current time it’s difficult to think about the energy transition without thinking about the current COVID-19 crisis. The economic downturn affects all parts of the economy, depresses energy demand, and impacts the whole energy value chain. But what specifically does it mean for the transition from old to new energy? We’ve identified five key points

  1. Digitalisation will accelerate. Companies with digital customer channels are less affected. Automated processes, such as those used by demand side flexibility providers, are carrying on as normal. Connected home propositions built around peace of mind may get more traction. These are just three examples.
  2. ‘As a Service’ business models will gain more traction. Upfront capital will be harder to find for businesses and individuals alike. From electrification of fleets to new heating systems, propositions that remove upfront payments will be well positioned.
  3. Subsidies & incentives are under pressure, but there are opportunities for ‘green’ stimulus packages. On one hand, government spending on the energy transition will come under pressure. Business models dependent on subsidies and incentives may suffer. On the other hand, if stimulus to kick-start economic growth have a green tinge to them, this could open new opportunities. Finally, historically low oil prices may be a once in a generation opportunity to reduce the US$500 trillion global subsidies that fossil fuels receive.
  4. Innovation without a big price tag. Grand, shiny, expensive innovation projects have gradually been going out of fashion as companies focus on rapid, agile, fail-fast approaches to innovation. The crisis will accelerate this. Big new projects won’t be big priorities for most companies; but low-cost innovation will enable companies to keep pushing forward on the transition to new energy.
  5. A further boost for localisation of energy. The current crisis has highlighted the fragility of our global, just-in-time supply chains and interconnected economies. One scenario for how we come out of the crisis is an increased focus on resilience, localisation and decentralisation. This backdrop would add a further boost for the rapidly emerging community and local energy sectors.

The current crisis is affecting us all – and our thoughts go out to those directly affected by the virus. The speed of the impact has been staggering. It has meant decisions are being taken incredibly quickly, organisations and people are adapting amazingly, and innovative approaches are being developed in days rather than months.

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The New Energy Letter: January 2020

The energy system’s going to get much, much more localised. Maybe you don’t think that’s big news? With photovoltaics appearing on more and more rooftops, and storage in homes, isn’t this obvious? In my opinion what you see today is just the very tip of the iceberg.

In the past, economies of scale, dependence on bulk extraction of fossil fuel for generation, and inflexible demand dictated a paradigm of bigger is better, and optimisation of energy systems at the largest possible scale. The rationale for this paradigm no longer holds. Non-fossil fuel forms of generation and storage are deployable cost-effectively at small scale; demand is increasingly flexible; and data, software and analytics can be used for sophisticated optimisation of generation, network assets, storage and demand.

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Six takeaways from European Utility Week 2019

European Utility Week in Paris this year saw over 18,000 visitors cross its doors. We had our own stand there, where we met clients new and old, and we presented on two of the hottest topics in new energy at hub sessions: electric vehicles and demand-side flexibility.

Following the event, the team decided to summarise their key takeaways. We’d be interested to know your thoughts on what we considered the standout themes and whether you agree with us.

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Having the right approach to installation and maintenance capability will be critical to ensuring new energy success

Everyone knows that the future of energy will be much more distributed. Technologies such as EV chargers, heat pumps, batteries, solar panels, and smart controls will be installed in greater and greater numbers.

More and more customers will buy services built around these products. Building such services or subscription business, or offering bundles of products, is where many companies are rightly heading.

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The New Energy Letter: August 2019

How to avoid the fate of Kodak in the energy transition?

Kodak didn’t fail because it didn’t know about digital cameras. In fact, it developed one of the first consumer digital cameras and in 2005 was the largest seller of digital cameras in the US. But in 2011 its share price fell by 80%, and in 2012 it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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