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Last Thursday I attended the UK’s 2018 Heat and Decentralised Energy Conference. There were several exciting sessions on policy, technology, infrastructure and customers – reflecting a market that is starting to see a lot of change and disruption. Tim Rotheray, Director of the Association for Decentralised Energy, gave what I thought was an especially interesting talk on why he believes the time for Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) has finally come.
Whether Energy-as-a-Service will lead to the death of the kilowatt-hour, as Tim suggested, has been a topic of debate within Delta-ee. We agree that customer culture is certainly changing. The trend from product and commodity towards services and outcomes is emerging across multiple industries. Customers will pay for services’ outcomes (such as comfort or mobility) rather than products and commodities (such as fuel). Just look at car leasing, music streaming and even clothing rental.
Given that European Utility Week has been held yearly for the last 20 years, it’s a testament to the innovation and ideas coming out of the energy industry, showcasing new technologies and sharing ideas and insights.
On the Delta-ee team visit to EUW in Vienna, the key themes coming out of the event were clear: Electric Vehicles – especially their interaction with the electricity system – and Demand Side Response.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and the refrigerant of the future were top of the agenda on our recent visit to Chillventa 2018 in Nuremberg.
#1: The “Internet of Things” (IoT) was a buzz phrase this year on HVAC-R company stands – was there substance behind the slogan?
Heat networks have been around a very long time – group heating systems date back to the 14th century in France. However, while the sector boomed from the 1930s and again from the 1970s, Europe has seen only very modest expansion in recent years. This is not a growth market. And yet the underlying assets, the heat generation and distribution systems, continue to be highly sought after by investors. We know this because we have helped clients seek them out.
Can this apparent contradiction tell us something about the future of this sector? Is it fated to flat-line and fade, or can it boom again and be a core part of the transition to the new energy world? Understanding the future of heating markets is a core part of Delta-ee’s research so this is an important question for us.
This biennial Dutch trade fair (6-9th February 2018 in Utrecht) highlighted a dramatic growth in interest all-electric and hybrid solutions, as big gas companies fight their corner. VSK has taken on a new importance in the Dutch heating market, as industry gathered to understand the requirements and options for a potentially all-electric future (driven by government targets and public demand for less reliance on gas). There were noticeably more attendees, and larger stands. In previous years industry appeared uncertain about the way to decarbonise the Dutch heating stock, but this year, the heating and cooling portions of this event were heavily dominated by discussion of heat pumps and hybrids. It will be interesting to see if this trend is maintained until the next event in 2020!
Last week several of the Delta-ee team attended E-World in Essen, the annual German energy industry Congress & trade fair, and we would like to share some of our takeaways from the event.
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