European Utilities Embracing the Energy Cloud

In an article for Energy Post, Navigant’s Alex Metz examines how eight European energy companies are adapting to the energy transition

As the energy sector moves toward a more intelligent, more distributed, and cleaner use of electricity, known as the Energy Cloud, the traditional utility business model is eroding. This is no exception in Europe, where more utilities are recognizing the value of integrated distributed energy resources (iDER) and other innovations expected to change the way energy companies operate.

In an article for Energy Post, Alex Metz, managing consultant at Navigant, looks at how eight European energy companies — Centrica, EDF, Enel, ENGIE, E.ON, Innogy, Total, and Vattenfall — are embracing an Energy Cloud future.

“Utilities’ traditional business models are being challenged by disruptive firms offering new services which leverage more advanced technology,” Metz said. “European utilities are increasingly aware of this and reinforcing their strategic interest in Energy Cloud platforms.”

Metz noted three trends that can be gleaned from recent activities:

  1. European utilities have reinforced their strategic interest in Energy Cloud platforms: Investments, partnerships, and acquisitions are on the rise.
  2. Regional differences in Energy Cloud platform activity persist between North America and Europe: European utilities tend to acquire or invest in North American companies whereas they are mostly partnering in Europe.
  3. Some Energy Cloud platforms have benefited from an increased focus by European utilities: The race to Energy Cloud platform services has intensified among European utilities.

"Utilities need to strategically select the players that have the most agile talent and can quickly react to market changes and evolving customer needs," Metz said. "Some of the new technologies are prone to disrupt the energy industry. Incumbent utilities should watch market signals and adjust their portfolio of partnerships, investments, and acquisitions accordingly."

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