Blockchain in the energy sector is moving forward - Key takeaways from the EventHorizon 2018

The EventHorizon 2018 was a spectacular show but at the same time a worthwhile information session on the status quo of blockchain applications for the energy sector. Although there are no solutions market-ready yet, the different initiatives have taken first crucial steps to come closer to real applications. Especially the pitches from more than 40 startups provided some nice examples of what could become possible with the Energy Web Chain. The EWF itself provided first examples of dApps (like Origin and D3A) for the energy sector. The progress that the ecosystem of blockchain in the energy sector has made within the last 12 months is remarkable and makes us confident that we will see more applications than concepts at the next EventHorizon 2019!  

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What Energy Utilities can learn from Kodak when it comes to digitalization

Will digitalization help utilities sustain the core business model of selling electricity or will digitalization result in more approaches like FreshEnergy that use electricity consumption as a vehicle to access new revenue streams, which might ultimately result in zero costs for energy consumption? If the latter is the case, then utilities should take a closer look at Kodak and secure to not make the same mistakes. Kodak had the chance to lead the digital camera market, but did refuse to do so to protect its established products. Will utilities make the same mistake? 

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Digital Transformation of Energy Utilities – Shifting Gears?  

Utilities’ investment in digitalization is increasing but still follows an asset-based approach. Investment in software, however, seems to be lagging behind with no increase in budget over the last three years. With respect to new software solutions, like AI, the energy sector currently comes in last compared to other sectors and will do so in the future according to the survey by BCG quoted in this post. Nevertheless, there are currently many solutions based on AI, machine learning or other digital approaches available to the utilities. Which leaves us with the question whether utilities will pick up the challenge to adopt these new technologies like AI and apply them to their core-business?

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European utilities focus on regulated business models – a good strategy?

The sudden decision that Peter Terium, the CEO of Innogy, will leave the company points at an ongoing struggle in the utility sector: The shift to regulated business models that are combined with retail businesses requires high capital investments and increases the vulnerability of the company against increasing competition and dropping margins in the retail sector. How will utilities adapt to this challenge? Will they make use of digitalization to increase their earnings from retail business? We discuss data from the IEA and results of a recent survey among European retailers to find some answers to these questions. 

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The German energy sector in 2016 – Competition gains, but digitalization…

How did the German electricity sector develop in 2016? This question is answered by the annual monitoring report by the Federal Network Agency in Germany (BNetzA). In this post we summarize the key findings of this report: Competition in generation and retail still on the rise, gas power plants the big winner 2016, renewable capacity increased, but production remained stable and wholesale prices dropped again. 

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Blockchain in the energy sector – three takeaways from the EUW2017

At the European Utility Week 2017 and the side event EMART2017 blockchain was among the most discussed topics. For us, three events at the EUW2017 & EMART 2017 were especially remarkable: enerchains first live-trade of electricity and gas, the launch of the test network of the Energy Web Foundation & Grid Singularity as well as the initiate! Startup Award for electron. In this post we discuss the steps taken at the EUW17 by these projects. 

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Where do the DSOs in Europe see their future? Survey results discussed

Last year the Vlerick Business School published a survey among 108 executives from DSOs that represent the majority of all customers in Europe. In the survey, 72% of the DSOs mentioned that they are planning to transform their business to a service-based company. But what does that mean? Three services are discussed in this blog post: Data Hubs, active control of decentralized generation/demand response and balancing responsibility

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Asset- vs. Service-based Business Models – Where Lies The Future For Utilities?

In Germany, E.on and RWE (innogy) separated their core business units into two different companies and it became inherent that utilities have to change their business strategy to survive in a future distributed energy system. Now, what do the two strategies of Innogy and E.on tell us about the future of the utility business in general? In the following we will present to you different business models that have been introduced by PWC (2014). We will try to show how the current strategies of E.on and Innogy fit into this framework.

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The Future Business Model for Energy Utilities in the US: Quo vadis?

Decentralization, decarbonization and digitalization drive incumbent utilities to change their strategies and business models. But how could the future business model of a utility in the US look like? In this post we pick up this question and dive deeper into the current discussion in the US. 

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