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I attended the Fuel Cell Expo, part of Japan’s 14th World Smart Energy Week conference and exhibition in Tokyo, mainly so that I could talk about the situation here in Europe. I presented the findings of a new study led by Delta-ee on business models for the stationary fuel cell market, which was funded by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
At the same time, the Expo is the place to go for an update on what’s happening in the world’s most established market for fuel cells and micro-CHP. This post gives some of my key highlights from the fair, which centre on connectivity, competition and commercialisation.
New business models. Innovative business models. Disruptive business models… Today, these terms are used often by those referring to the energy industry and the fundamental changes it’s undergoing (i.e. becoming more distributed, more customer centric, more service orientated…). It sounds exciting, cutting edge, and – more importantly for some - investable. But what is the truth around the evolution of business models and their application in an increasingly dynamic and changing industry like ‘energy’?
The truth is that a “business model” – simply put – is just a company’s way of making money. Can you really have a “new” or “innovative” or “disruptive” business model when you are involved in the supply of very traditional commodities for heating and power?
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