The energy sector is in the midst of a major global transformation, fueled by efforts to decarbonize the economy and address climate change, and a broad shift toward an increasingly clean, distributed, intelligent, and mobile energy ecosystem.
According to the white paper, central to this transformation is the Energy Cloud, a network of networks that leverages emerging technologies and innovative business models to provide new customer value in the form of energy and non-energy products and services.
“Energy Cloud platforms sit at the confluence of rapidly changing customer demands and highly disruptive technology,” says Jan Vrins, managing director and leader of Navigant’s global Energy practice. “These emerging Energy Cloud platforms have the potential to scale faster and yield greater profit margins than the traditional asset-focused and supply models that dominate the industry today, and offer the potential to offset flat or declining load growth.”
According to the white paper, seven key Energy Cloud platforms can help today’s industry leaders capture customer and shareholder value and accelerate the energy transformation: integrated distributed energy resources (iDER), Transportation2Grid, Building2Grid, Internet of Energy, Transactive Energy, Smart Cities, and the Neural Grid.
Unlocking value beyond the electron, these Energy Cloud platforms are expected to divert a growing share of revenue and power flow away from centralized energy production and bulk transmission. By leveraging innovative technologies, an increased demand for new energy products and services, and viable business models, these platforms will support a more sustainable, highly digitized, and dynamic energy system, impacting all aspects of the energy value chain.
To succeed in tomorrow’s Energy Cloud environment, the white paper recommends energy companies and utilities prioritize these objectives in the short term:
- Move rapidly to the energy systems of the future — the time is now.
- Grasp market opportunities derived from increasing consumer demand for new energy products and services.
- Maximize the business benefits offered by Energy Cloud platforms and the digitization of the energy system.
“Energy companies and utilities need to be proactive in responding to changing market pressures and increasingly agile in adopting innovative new business models,” says Mackinnon Lawrence, director at Navigant. “Although policy and regulatory reform is an important driver of transformation, customer choice and technology innovation are relentless instigators of disruption. These forces are critical in understanding the Energy Cloud transformation.”