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What will the energy transition see happen in 2021? Predictions from our new energy experts

2021-predictions

The New Energy Business Model team have been gazing into their crystal ball - borrowed from the Talking New Energy team - to predict what 2021 will bring for the energy transition. As ever, they don’t agree on everything. What do you think of their predictions and what do you believe 2021 has in store? Get in touch and let us know.

Andy Bradley, Director

  • The Hydrogen hype cycle goes hyperbolic. From somewhere (most likely the US NASDAQ) a stock comes from nowhere to be worth billions because it promises to deliver cheap green hydrogen technology at global scale: Tesla mark 2. Investors won’t be able to resist. 
  • Net zero - talk is cheap, doing something about it is not. This year the reality sets in and lots of companies with targets for 2030 need to start spending money. Will they? And what will they spend it on? Watch this space...
  • Big tech gets serious about the internet of energy: they will get regulated out of everything else, but in energy they can ‘do good’ and use it as a strategy to protect themselves from being taken apart like Standard Oil a century ago. Who would want to disrupt companies promising to help the world achieve Paris climate targets? Watch big tech use energy as a means to their own end. 

Neil Atterbury, New Energy Business Models Research Manager

  • More energy tech unicorns will emerge. Whilst I expect a pullback in some tech stocks in 2021, I think energy tech, hopefully spurred on by a successful COP26 in Glasgow, will outperform other tech sectors. Mobility and energy storage are where I expect the unicorns to emerge - but don’t rule out tech-enabled energy suppliers and smart home companies.
  • At least one more major European utility will sell off its retail business and retreat into its upstream and/or network businesses. Success at the customer end of the energy system will be dependent on a combination of new, tech-based and complex business models - the previous experience of incumbent utilities won’t count for much here. For this reason, we could see more of them follow SSE back upstream.

Alix Weil, Analyst

  • Hydrogen for energy remains largely utopian, despite governments push, as the industry struggles to find financially and technically viable use cases.
  • Heat pump market explodes in Europe, notably in the UK and France where efforts to decarbonise heating ramp up. Will installers and product manufacturers keep up the pace ?
  • The low-tech trend penetrates the new energy industry, with manufacturers and developers starting to offer adaptable, repairable and eco-friendly solutions.

And some predictions from the rest of the company...

  • A major European energy company establishes, acquires or invests in a bitcoin mining operation.
  • Recovery of domestic PV market is triggered by fall in product prices, the post-Covid increase in homeworking and the exponential rise of EVs (so that users desire to charge up during the day). May also include ToU tariffs that exploit domestic flexibility (e.g. Social Energy model).
  • Tesla shares will finish the year below $350, having begun it at $729.  This is still ridiculously high.

To find out more about our New Energy Business Model research, contact us or view our research highlights.

 

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Monday, 08 March 2021

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