“Flexibility as a business model” – Where are lucrative business opportunities for energy companies?


Energy & Environment

Our lattest issue of our industry trend report “blue oceans” provides answers

The current issue of our industry trend report “blue oceans”, produced together with energate, deals with the question of how “flexibility as a business model” in the energy sector can be used. The third issue on this topic was published in February 2020. In addition to a comprehensive market analysis using the Innoloft database and insights from our partner energate, we present concrete flexibility solutions by using examples. In the report, you will find news, interviews with startups, requests for cooperation in the form of calls and a detailed business case. With this case, we present you with a business model for flexibility marketing that is little known but already profitable.

Flexibility in the energy sector is a broad topic. Its importance is growing because of new technological developments and the increasing spread of renewable energies, energy storage, and electromobility while at the same time reducing conventional energy production. Thus flexibility affects the areas of generation and consumption as well as the areas of trade or cross-sectoral use of energy.


Six startup use-cases with “flexibility as a business model”

Using six examples from our trend report, we would like to present to you in excerpts the flexibility solutions that young companies and startups are offering and the business approaches they are pursuing. In interviews, their CEOs share their views on the development of the topic. Our trend report, as well as our Innoloft database, provides you with more details and startups.

blue oceans trendreport

 

Sympower – flexibility for networks with the help of Demand-Side-Management

The Dutch startup Sympower was founded in 2015. Their product opens up flexibility based on flexible consumers, such as intelligent heating and cooling systems for households and companies for energy supply. With their demand-side management (DSM) solution, they offer the energy supply system an alternative to fossil fuels as flexibility reserves. Instead of coal and gas power plants, they integrate heating and cooling systems, energy storage, ventilation systems, water boilers and other devices located in the vicinity. They pool these sources of flexibility on one platform. With their DSM solution, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and fluctuations in the supply of renewable energy can be balanced. Transmission system operators, as their main customers, can derive added value from their offer. Thus they are able to react to increasing demands on the energy market.

In his interview in the blue oceans trend report, Simon Bushell, Founder and CEO of Sympower B.V. tells you more about their Demand Response Solution for energy grids.


View Sympower Profile

 

Bl!xt – Analog circuit-breakers converted into digital multifunction switches

The startup Blixt has its focus on circuit breakers. It was founded 2018 in Sweden. While conventional circuit breakers are used to switch off the power, Blixt has developed a digital alternative. With their multifunctional switch, they can not only control energy flows but also monitor them. Their circuit breakers enable real-time remote control of the household’s energy supply. This provides consumers and energy service providers a new tool. They combine different functions of a breaker, remote control, and smart meter – all in one single device. Thus they create the prerequisites for intelligent demand-side management. As a B2B company, Blixt has set itself the task of bringing a new digital circuit breaker infrastructure to the market. But they are not doing this on their own. They want to cooperate together with existing suppliers and face the demands of a future energy market.

Why Bl!xt is focussing on digital circuit breakers and how their technology can contribute to flexibility Charlotta Holmquist, Co-Founder and CFO, explains in her interview in the blue oceans trend report.


View Blixt Profile

 

Urban Energy – Controlling charging points with the help of smart grid technologies

With its Energy Data Hub, urban ENERGY connects consumers and producers in an intelligent way. The startup from Berlin has created a B2B software IoT platform that uses intelligent algorithms to collect all data in urban districts in real-time. In order to manage plants, buildings and charging points in a way that relieves the strain on the grid, AI models create forecasts. For example, it calculates when the best time is to charge an electric vehicle. With its smart grid solution, urban Energy is initially focusing on municipal utilities and housing associations. The solution may also be of interest to logistics and commercial customers who are converting to an electric fleet.

David Stolz, the CEO, talks in his interview in the blue oceans trend report amongst others, how their solution prevents the grid becoming a bottleneck for e-mobility and how they are going to use flexibility marketing to grow.


View Urban Energy Profile

 

EnergyCortex – Creating transparency in energy data

High energy consumption generates high energy costs. Both are directly connected with each other and play a significant role, especially for commercial and industrial customers. The company EnergyCortex, founded in Aachen in 2018, pursues the goal of reducing energy costs and energy consumption for end consumers by using AI-based data analysis. EnergyCortex has developed intelligent cloud solutions. Their software provides an interface to the data of its customers and its own services. It can be used to prepare and visualize data. Currently, they serve the B2B segment in Germany with their cross-sector, intelligent services. At the same time, there is the possibility of a worldwide roll-out.

Bastian Baumgart, the CEO, talks in his interview in the blue oceans trend report, how they ensure transparency for commercial and industrial customers and what kind of added value their solution provides.


View EnergyCortex Profile

 

Senfal – Generating economic added value for customers on the basis of AI

Senfal, founded in the Netherlands in 2014, has developed a demand-response platform using a self-learning algorithm. Their AI-based solution regulates electricity purchases based on energy consumption data from plants and companies whose market prices are forecast for intra-day electricity trading. This enables them to control the consumption of the plants and to optimize the purchase of electricity. In this way, the startup can generate economic added value for its customers. At the same time, customers have transparent access to the information. Senfal was purchased by Vattenfall in 2019.

Bart de Vries, Business Owner, Vattenfall Flexibility Services gives more insights to Senfal’s solution in his blue oceans trend report interview. He answers in detail the question of what the advantage is to be part of a big energy supplier.


View Senfal Profile

 

gridX – Strengthening customer benefits with the help of flexible platform solutions

Founded in Aachen in 2016, the startup has developed a platform in conjunction with a holistic energy-IoT solution. It connects end devices independently of manufacturers and manages their energy consumption. Their Independent Homes, Smart Charging, Microgrids, and Smart Commercial solutions provide connectivity and communication of a bunch of devices. In doing so, they connect a wide variety of manufacturers and devices. In the long term, the platform will integrate not only energy consumers and storage devices but also producers such as virtual power plants. For the marketing of its solutions, gridX is already relying on strong partnerships to achieve win-win situations and create customer benefits.

How gridX is going to achieve its goal to become the central platform for energy producers and consumers and why the customer can participate in their business model, David Balensiefen, Co-Founder and CEO is explaining in his blue ocean trend report interview.


View gridX Profile

Conclusion

There are plenty of flexibility solutions for the energy market. Using these in a targeted manner by using new intelligent technologies is a task that startups and young companies have taken on. The global energy turnaround and the worldwide transformation of energy systems the topic of “flexibility as a business model” is gaining importance. Our trend analysis shows this, as do the examples and the survey of market players in the energy industry conducted by energate.

blue oceans offers all innovative market players who are dealing with new business fields in the energy market in general and promising business models in the field of flexibility in particular relevant information on the flexibility trend as a future topic of the energy industry.

Do you like to take a short look? Here you will find a reading sample as well as the whole report.


Go to Reading Example