Enabling the Energy Transformation Through Platforms

In an article for Renewable Energy World, Navigant explains the Energy Cloud transformation and the opportunities it brings for stakeholders

In the power and utilities industry, the Energy Cloud transformation is well underway. Evolving customer demand, accelerating technology innovation, and the rollout of progressive regulations and policies are impacting the quantity of power flowing through the bulk grid while ramping up transactions across the edge of the grid.

In an article for Renewable Energy World, Mackinnon Lawrence, director at Navigant, said key to this transformation are Energy Cloud platforms. These platforms sit at the confluence of highly disruptive technologies and enable new business models supporting multisided value exchanges:

  • Integrated DER
  • Building2Grid
  • Transportation2Grid
  • Internet of Energy
  • Transactive Energy
  • Neural Grid
  • Smart Cities

According to Lawrence, in these platforms, a combination of physical hardware and assets, software, products and services, and networked actors echo innovation occurring in other industries.

“Today’s most profitable organizations — Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple — are not just a collection of resources and capabilities, instead they are a set of platforms,” Lawrence wrote. “Value is increasingly created through the stickiness of a platform and integrated solutions rather than differentiated products. Actors may play one or several roles, but those that control or facilitate the platform have greater opportunities to scale their business rapidly.”

For stakeholders, Lawrence said the Energy Cloud transformation requires a holistic approach to strategic planning. Organizations must begin to examine all of their energy systems while also remaining nimble in the face of rapid change. Disruptors, meanwhile, should target nodes of innovation across customer-centric Energy Cloud platforms to capture a greater share of the massive revenue at stake.

“In an increasingly networked grid, market control no longer emanates from centralized generation and transmission, but the center of dynamic customer networks,” Lawrence added. “Organizations that orchestrate these networks will increasingly compete to both widen and deepen connections across platforms and the broader Energy Cloud ecosystem. In turn, orchestrators are more likely to insulate themselves from competition (and disruption).”

For more information on the Energy Cloud transformation, read the full article and download Navigant’s white paper, Energy Cloud 4.0: Capturing Business Value through Disruptive Energy Platforms.

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