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LCP Delta’s reflections on Enlit Europe 2023

Summary

LCP Delta was out in force at Enlit Europe this week. Here are our key takeaways...

After a week at Enlit, we’re more convinced than ever that the future of energy is all about…

 

Flexibility: We’re seeing more and more new entrants, hailing from all over the world, seeking to launch in the European markets. Energy suppliers are looking at how to launch an offer including flexibility and are learning how to educate their customers about these more complex solutions. People were talking about how a wide range of stakeholders – regulators, system operators, aggregators, policymakers – need to lower market barriers for entry into flexibility markets. What’s really exciting is seeing both industry giants and innovative start-ups presenting creative solutions to digitalisation and flexibility challenges. 

 

Digitalisation: AI (Artificial Intelligence), smarter controls and monitoring equipment, ‘digital twins’ for energy networks – these were all around us in the exhibition halls and on the conference agenda. The infrastructure which underpins the digitalisation of energy is maturing. This is allowing the broad range of market entrants with propositions using digitalisation to create new marketplaces and business models. The rapid rise of digitalisation is proof that interoperability and standards should be front of mind – something we are talking about at LCP Delta, but it wasn’t something we heard a lot of talk about at Enlit. 

 

Delivering a great experience for customers: The household-facing companies within the energy sector still have an imperative to improve customer experience. Within the conference talks, we heard opinion that the bar has been set really high by other services like Uber and Netflix. However, this doesn’t mean that energy should strive to be the next ‘social media’. Energy instead needs to move towards being so simple that people don’t have to worry about their energy use, but still have the tools to feel in control. For example, through the right visualisations of consumption and spend. We’ve seen a growing interest in the rise of dynamic tariffs and type-of-use tariffs. But ultimately, the most successful suppliers will offer bill reduction for the customer through these alternative tariffs. Who wouldn’t want a ‘zero bill home’? 

 

Collaboration: Many companies are looking for partnerships in order to offer more complete solutions to customers. For example, we see energy suppliers partnering with companies providing smart thermostats. Or energy suppliers that would like to offer a flexibility service or energy management solution are needing to evaluate what to do in-house and what to outsource. Should they be working with installers or start-ups that already have a solution? In the cases of Kaluza and Kraken, energy companies have developed a great software solution and have spun this off as a separate company to enable other energy companies to use that same software; collaboration can even come through competitors. Overall, from the players we spoke to there is an understanding that there isn’t a single player that can do it all. Instead, there is an importance for collaboration to ensure a transition for all. Some bigger incumbents are perhaps not yet truly convinced but are testing the waters to find how collaboration can foster their platform to be the “one-stop-shop”. 

 

Having the right policy drivers: There were many companies offering solutions and services for energy management. This is in part driven by the upcoming regulations at an EU level requiring commercial buildings to have an energy management system to optimise their energy consumption. Here again, many of the solutions are linked to flexibility. But this particular rise of energy management solutions shows how this market will be tailored based on regulations.  

 

We loved meeting up with people

For most of us, the great value came from meeting people. The Enlit app was really well set up for pre-arranging meetings. As a company we’re still not back to our pre-Covid levels of travel. It’s better for our carbon footprint, but we’re striving to find a balance as video calls really can’t replace the benefit of meeting face-to-face. This week at Enlit, we particularly benefitted from meeting with new contacts from within the larger, more complex enterprises we work with. It helps us to understand the many different perspectives and needs within each company, and to work out how we can better help them. 

 

Who was there and who wasn’t?

Looking back 5 years ago, energy suppliers were a huge presence at Enlit. This year there were very few energy suppliers on stands. They were in attendance, but perhaps not seeing the need for a big presence at an event like this. Also, there were few stands hosted by companies working in heat and eMobility. Perhaps with the rise of dedicated events in these areas, they are seeing less need to be present at Enlit. As the new energy industry grows, these areas continue to grow as their own industries. 

 

In their place, we saw a lot of companies with a focus on electricity flexibility. There was also a larger presence than in previous years of Chinese players, predominantly exhibiting their monitoring technologies. This suggests more choice of technology partners, presumably cheaper products bringing down the cost of the digital infrastructure transition. 

 

The value of Enlit

For many of us, it was a first time at an event like this, or the first time in a long time, and it was great to see so much of the energy industry in one place. Those of us in the Paris office made the most of the event being on our door step! 

Mladena Pavlova joined LCP Delta’s Consulting team this year after 15 years working for the French Energy regulator. Her reflections on her first industry exhibition were:

I was impressed by all that exists out there. I valued the possibility to chat in person, and to gain a deeper understanding of the topics I work on which comes from discussions with experts. I enjoyed talking in person with old contacts, and the opportunity to discuss with new contacts as I try to understand their challenges and how we can help them overcome these challenges and move the energy transition forwards. I enjoyed the possibility also to listen to inspiring conferences and learn more on certain topics.” 

As our research routinely shows, market intelligence is key when making critical business decisions, as each market is nuanced with its own policies, regulations, addressable market saturation and trajectories – the devil is in the detail! Keeping on top of that detail is what we do at LCP Delta (so you don’t have to)!

Check out how we could help your business play its part in the energy transition through our Research Services, Consulting, Training or Tech and Data tools. 

 

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