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I think I’ll get broad agreement in saying most energy companies are racing to re-invent themselves from supply to service; centralised to decentralised; volume to value. As such, new and innovative business models are emerging - challenging the very way in which transactions across the space are carried out, and revolutionising customers’ access to not only information but the range of products & services available to them.
The need to provide customers with energy, reliably and economically, has not altered. But an ever-changing mix of drivers; from the rise of inexpensive, customer-facing technology, especially the internet and the smartphone, are at the beginning of transforming our industry forever.
When it comes to the energy sector, or industry in general, government and innovation are two words not often associated with one another in Europe. Regulations, security and a business as usual approach are what springs to the mind when thinking of departments of energy the world over. However, it appears that this is beginning to change, with innovation starting to rise up some governments’ check-lists.
Consulting your way to innovation
According to DECC residential PV (< 4kWp) has just had its record year, with 172,318 installations in 2015 (topping the previous one in 2012 with ~160,000 installations). This was aided by the noticeable surge of installations towards the end of the year due to expected and finally confirmed Feed-in Tariff (FiT) cuts that took place at the start of this month.
While January of this year is still expected to show some of the surge from the customers that were jumping on the last train of the old FiT rate, there is a lot of uncertainty around the future of the UK market. Are subsidy cuts the beginning of the end for residential PV? Or, will innovations in technology and finance step in to continue the market development towards bright future?
Sue Furnell and I went to the CES in sunny Las Vegas, to explore the latest innovations of the global connected home market. Since there are dozens of good reviews about the event online (example links below this blog) we thought there was no reason to re-invent the wheel. Instead, we have endeavoured to make our review as relevant as possible for your businesses. Here are our takeaways:
The event itself is without a doubt the best event of the year to find out the latest connected home trends and innovations. I would recommend it to anyone looking at this space from any angle. We would be delighted to discuss this more in depth with you individually or to exchange views if you were there as well, so please feel free to get in touch, my email is [email protected]
The West’s energy industry is coming under pressure to change and innovate at an increasingly frantic pace on account of a whole range of drivers that interact with each other in complex, unpredictable ways. Policy change, IT & technological developments, growing customer power, vertical market convergence and geopolitical factors are all playing a part. Energy companies know they have to react but, caught in the headlights of oncoming crisis, are freezing when decisive action is most needed.
However, we at Delta-ee believe that all is not lost; indeed, we believe that utilities will still have a critical role to play in the 21st Century. That is, provided they reinvent themselves now as credible energy services businesses and learn to depend less on their legacy, commodity-only business models. As part of our recent Energy Services Innovation study, Delta-ee investigated 107 global innovating energy service companies and identified 11 disruptive business models that can keep energy companies relevant in the 21st Century. We look to explore 4 of these in more detail in our upcoming Utility Week article.
Two traditionally separate markets are starting to collide. Coupled with the start of a connectivity revolution, this is opening up numerous innovation opportunities – which we think will start to disrupt both markets.
New market entrants threaten to disintermediate the utility/customer relationship
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