Three major European utilities are to collaborate with London-based consultancy Xyntéo on a strategic development project focusing on the use of digital technologies in the energy sector.

Xyntéo said the project aims to identify digitally-enabled new business or service models for utilities, as well as exploring the future role of utilities in a changing power market.

Over the course of the project, Portugal’s EDP, the Czech Republic’s ČEZ and Norway’s Statkraft are to consult with major digital technology companies such as Amazon, Telenor, BT and IBM. Also included will be UK-based startup Open Utility, which is set to launch Piclo, an online renewable power market, with power provider Good Energy in October.

Among the questions asked, Xyntéo said, will be: “What will be the new Uber or Airbnb of the energy sector? How can businesses organize themselves so they can meet the evolving needs of their customers and society? What opportunities can ‘digital disruption’ bring businesses?”

It said the group “will work together to explore the future role of the utility, collaborative ideas for the digital future of energy – and identify how incumbents could reorganize to innovate and scale rapidly.”

Xyntéo said the group’s first meeting will take place on 10 September, hosted by Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen (pictured, third from left, with Geert-Jan van der Zanden, managing director, Xyntéo; Pavel Cyrani, chief commercial and strategy officer, ČEZ; and António Mexia, CEO, EDP) and featuring digital companies such as Amazon, IBM and online marketplace Epteca.