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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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Home Energy Management in Europe: a rapidly evolving market with a growing potential

The European Home Energy Management (HEM) market has been quite slow to develop in the last decade, only reaching around 300k installations to date. But this is going to change.

By 2023, we expect the market to reach 2.3M units installed. While the overall HEM European market will grow, the highest potential for growth will continue to be in the Nordics in terms of relative penetration and Germany in terms of absolute numbers. France, the UK and Italy will remain behind even though we predict their HEM markets sizes will increase faster. With its high penetration of solar PV, one may have expected Belgium (and to a lesser extent the Netherlands) to be an interesting market, but its net metering system is clearly a barrier to HEM. Finally, Spain, and its interesting geography for sun power, could have been better placed, but there is a lack of incentives for customers to install and self-consume solar PV.

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The proposition is heating up: the heat market’s transition

The transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’ heat is disrupting the market in several ways, creating new business models, customer propositions and new technology ecosystems, as well as opening up opportunities for new market players and sales channels. In part one of this two-part blog series, we discussed  how new technology ecosystems and connectivity are shaping the market. 

For this second and final part of the heat blog series we consider customer propositions and new market entrants and how they will impact the heating market. 

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Customer preferences put energy suppliers in a strong place to deliver smart charging

As we have previously mentioned, smart charging has become a common part of everyday vocabulary if you are in any way interested in the future of the energy industry. As EV uptake rates continue to grow and the associated impact on the electricity grid becomes clearer, the conversation around smart charging has evolved from asking if smart charging is required to the more nuanced questions of how should smart charging be delivered to the customer and who should deliver it.

How should smart charging be delivered to the customer?

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For a fresh perspective on the energy transition, talk to a Fleet Hero

Tim Anderson, Head of Transport, Energy Saving Trust, closes a panel discussion on electrifying fleets

On Thursday 28 November 2019, Energy Saving Trust hosted its annual Fleet Heroes awards and conference – celebrating those leading the transition to cleaner, greener transport. As a judge for this year’s awards, it widened my eyes on the imperative for closer collaboration between energy and transport sectors to deliver net zero ambitions. This collaboration is unlocking some of the more exciting opportunities across the energy transition. In this blog, I summarise my thoughts on why fleet should be central to your New Energy strategy for the next few years.

Fleet managers are the New Energy customer

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Investors see opportunity in new energy and are hunting for the smart plays

I spent 20 years in the old energy world of oil and gas. (I know – mea culpa. On the plus side I so far have 10 years in new energy, so only another 10 years to go before I am in credit...). During the first 20 years of my career, I experienced first-hand the critical role of banks and financial investors to fund projects or invest in infrastructure. It’s hard to think of two worlds – oil and finance – that are more closely intertwined.  

However, over the last 10 years, it’s been apparent to me that investor interest in the new energy world is largely absent. Yes, there are clean tech investors, and some of these have even made decent returns, but the sector generally has not prospered. Indeed, for many people, it has a negative reputation.   

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