Chameleon Technology’s Industry Engagement team have summarised the key messages from the EUW 2019 Summit and Hub sessions following.

Smart meters are the building blocks to innovative home energy management solutions

Smart metering and smart metering data were widely accepted as the building blocks for innovative home energy products, as well as being essential to optimising the grid. Real-time energy data was seen as an enabler for consumers to digitally connect to the energy market, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Thanks to smart meters, consumers are shifting from passive to active consumers. Smart devices in homes will support and provide a platform for the innovation of new businesses

Nikolaos Chatziargyriou, VP of ETIPSNET

The digitalisation of energy must focus on consumer benefits 

The importance of Net Zero targets means that the energy market has to become digitalised, and data and technology should act as catalysts for innovation. This benefits all market participants, but crucially, the digitalisation of the energy industry must put consumer benefits at the forefront of its messaging. Smart meters were seen to be a crucial first step to engaging consumers in the energy market. 

The changing digital ecosystem

The energy market is moving towards a more data driven, digitalised industry for the benefit of all market participants and the final consumer. The consensus was that the future role of utilities across Europe needs to change to that of trusted technology company in a data driven market, creating meaningful insights and solutions for consumers. 

Key messages about the changing energy ecosystem included: 

  • The traditional model of energy suppliers will disappear in time. Suppliers need to be agile and adapt. 
  • ‘Utilities’ is a terminology of the past – traditional utilities need to transform to energy tech companies to create meaningful solutions. 
  • Smart charging flexibility is really about data and the ability to add value to data.
  • Data and technology should be seen as market drivers for innovation. 

Digital technologies solving problems

Data, technology and how they enable different services was explored, as was how data has an important role to kick-start the energy transition. 

The key points on this topic were:

  • The role of the cloud as the key to decarbonisation and decentralisation 

  • Co-operation within the market is the new key to flexibility 

  • Customers today want to be connected digitally via real-time data, in order to facilitate data- driven innovations. 
  • Real-time data is the main enabler for Smart Grid Technologies and the Management of Low Voltage Grids. 

The Cloud is the key to the strategies of decarbonisation and decentralisation, and the flexibility of distributors, suppliers and transmission

Julien Groues, General Manager, AWS France

The digital utility transformation

Digitalisation is important to balance the grid and to aid flexibility, but it also has benefits for the final consumer. Four things were highlighted as important in the digital transformation:

  • Execution – automating processes via machine learning
  • Insight an collating data
  • Collaboration to leverage cooperation with different stakeholders
  • Experience management

"The speed of change is constantly increasing in the energy market and DSOs are using more automated process to resolve problems and find solutions.”Peter Hermans, CTO of Stedin, grid operator in the Netherlands

It is essential that the benefits of digitalisation come across strongly to the consumer. 
 Consumers need to be at the heart of transformation targets, and these should be driven by the climate challenge. Utilities must ask themselves, “What does the customer want?” 

Customers today want to be digitally connected and real-time energy data will add value to the consumers' experience Robert Denda, Head of Network Technology at @EnelGroup

Robert Denda, Head of Network Technology at Enel Group

Democratising Energy

Even in Europe, consumers have the problem of accessing modern energy services and democratising energy starts from having access to energy. 

The key takeaways on democratizing energy were:       

  • Energy will become everyone’s trading good, decentralising the grids. 
  • The United Kingdom was the first country to define energy poverty in Europe. 

  • Blockchain as an enabler of machine learning transactions can facilitate a democratic and 
decentralised energy market. 
  • Blockchain can be used to verify where the energy comes from and provide major transparency.

Markets are changing – energy will become everyone’s trading good, effectively decentralizing the grids

Lorena Skiljan, CEO Hackabu

Smart meters have created a shift from passive consumers to active consumers and smart devices at home will support innovation for new business such as load shifting and storage.

Four technologies were identified which will transform energy and make it more democratic: 

  1. IoT – Connected Homes and connected devices will create communication with all parties. 
  2. Storage systems – less reliance on the networks. 
  3. AI – Using data and machine learning for predictions 
  4. Blockchain – enables machine learning transactions. 

Utilities’ business models are changing, and it is important to engage with the market. Education is important to unlock the benefits of smart metering. Technology will allow the introduction of new systems and digitalised platforms for educational purposes. However, in order to use the data and educate the system, you need to gain the trust and inform communities, so we can build the energy systems of tomorrow. 

Vision for the future

The conclusion from EUW2020 was clear: The use of energy data, digital platforms, and increased collaboration in the energy market will unlock innovation and tailor value-added energy solutions for consumers. Driven by the ambition of a net zero emissions target for 2050, digital platforms will create the solutions for the smart and connected homes, access to modern energy services and renewable energy integration for smarter grids.