Japan’s newly deregulated energy market is presenting opportunities for UK businesses, with Edinburgh-based Delta-ee presenting the results of recent studies on the subject.
Delta-ee presented its findings for the British Embassy in Tokyo and Osaka at The Embassy in Tokyo last week.
The specialist distributed energy and heat research and consulting company completed the project, a detailed examination of the market opportunities in energy system flexibility; the digitalisation of energy; new energy business models; and renewable energy generation. It also shortlisted a number of UK companies to take part in a trade mission to Tokyo.
Japan’s process of liberalising its energy market culminated in the full deregulation of the electricity and gas markets in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This has driven a huge change in the number of companies & customer offerings in the energy sector, and creates the opportunity for new market entrants, new business models & services and new approaches to enter and possibly disrupt the energy sector in Japan. With the Japanese market still at an early stage, imported expertise could be an effective way to help the sector.
The British Embassy recognised that the UK was a natural fit to provide this expertise, having been the first country to privatise its electricity market and with more than 20 years’ experience of liberalisation. The embassy tendered for a partner to deliver expert insight into where UK companies could best find opportunities and to create a shortlist of businesses to participate in a trade mission.
Delta-ee identified five areas of opportunity where the Japanese energy market was set for rapid change: electricity system flexibility, digitalisation of energy, renewable energy generation, new energy business models and natural gas alternatives. Of these, electricity system flexibility, digitalisation of energy, renewable energy generation and new energy business models were identified as areas where the UK has a strong lead that Japan can benefit from.
“Technologically, Japan is a powerhouse,” says Stephen Harkin, Principal Analyst at Delta-ee. “It is already building a leadership position in natural gas alternatives, and anyone trying to sell technology into this market will have a hard time. But what it needs is experience in how flexibility services such as demand response can support the energy market change, or how digital technologies – like the smart grid – work in practice, or how best to engage with customers around energy. These, along with new ideas about what an energy company is in a liberalised market and what the business model can look like, are where UK companies have a real opportunity.”
From a long list of close to UK 100 companies, five companies will fly to Tokyo next week for a 1-week trade mission organised by British Embassy in Tokyo. The Mission will take in 2-stops in Tokyo and Osaka, where companies will be introduced to potential local partners. Each will benefit from the research compiled by Delta-ee, which will also be presented by Leon Gielen, Head of Business Development for Japan and Asia-Pacific in, Osaka and Tokyo.