A leading academic at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) believes that the truly radical innovation in the energy market is not renewable power, but the ability of enterprises to produce energy for themselves.

That was one of the foremost points made by Chistoph Burger, Managing Director of ESMT, when he spoke at last week’s ‘Focus on Decentralized Energy in Europe’ webinar and he reinforced those key messages when speaking to COSPP afterwards.

Christoph Burger
“The radical innovation in the energy market is not the renewable part but the possibility to produce energy for yourself, be that from prosumers, energy cooperatives and so on and also a developing market segment to reduce or optimize energy demand.”

  Mr Burger emphasized the hugely diverse range of exponents being harnessed to drive decentralized energy in the EU bloc, from users at the most micro level right up to blue chip companies like Google.

  “While other disruptive innovations were led by SMEs, this revolution is a revolution of a million bites, such as solar PV users, municipalities, regional politicians that want to enhance local value creation along with incumbents from other industries also participating, such as SAP, IBM and Google.

  In his virtual conference speech last week Burger also drew attention to the rise of grid interventions from two to about 1000, which he said could be down to the need for further regulation to ensure security of supply, or an indicator of a growing market of flexible supply/ demand/ storage solutions with many new business models developing.

Burger also pointed to the recent experience of utilities within Germany, referring in particular to E.ON and RWE and how those companies are attempting to develop their decentralized energy portfolios.

“Both companies have set up own entities to focus on these solutions,” he said. “RWE is offering a smart home solution, is involved in implementing autonomous energy regions and is also active in the roll-out of public charging stations for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile E.ON e.g. has activities in the decarbonization of transport and heat, micro CHP solutions and demand response in cooperation with Entelios.”

Christoph Burger examined Germany’s decentralized energy revolution, covering the history and drivers of the country’s Energiewende, the implications for utilities and the all-important emerging new business models at last week’s webinar produced for COSPP online.

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