You are here

Digital Transformation: the Electricity Sector in France and Germany

Research: Digital Transformation of the Electricity Sector in France and Germany
Published on
18 October 2016

The digitalization of the energy sector translates to the use of ICT technology throughout the value chain. Everything from smart networks to cloud computing, mobile applications or management services is finding its way into the energy sector.

To understand the challenges of this evolution, Grenoble Ecole de Management collaborates with ZEW, a European center for research in Germany. The two organizations carry out a study of French and German energy market experts who work in industry, science and government. Here we provide you with selected excerpts from the 2016 second semester study carried out from May to June.

The digital transformation of the electricity sector

In France, 58 percent of experts believe that the country’s digital transition in the electricity sector is similar to other Western countries. In Germany, the level of digitalization is considered to be adequate or high. Both French and German experts agree that the digital transformation is happening too slowly.

An unfavorable cost-benefit ratio

The study highlights several factors that are slowing the digital transformation in the electricity sector. The primary obstacle cited was an unfavorable cost-benefit ratio. For example, smart grids have been deployed in Issy, Nice, Lyon and Grenoble. Whereas the technology behind these grids is seen favorably, they are generally tested on a small scale and therefore their value is not guaranteed when deployed on a large scale.

Strict regulations

In France, regulatory measures are considered to be the second most important obstacle to the digitalization of the electricity sector. Feedback from technology demonstrators highlights that regulatory measures prevent them from easily turning such technologies into profitable operations.

Cybersecurity: a fundamental issue

Cybersecurity is considered a crucial issue. German experts believe that cyber-threats are a greater obstacle than regulatory measures in terms of the digitalization of the German electricity sector. Cybersecurity and the protection of personal data is a challenge faced by all sectors undergoing a digital transformation. For example, 97% of Fortune 500 companies have been victims of a successful cyber attack.

Embracing change

French experts underlined two more factors that slow down the digital transformation in the electricity sector. First, the semi-competitive nature of the network lessens each company's desire for change. Second, there are issues to overcome surrounding the social acceptation of digital changes such as smart meters. As in other countries, French consumers are worried about the protection of their personal data and the danger of electromagnetic emissions.  

Improving efficiency

While the digital transformation is full of challenges, it also has the potential to optimize our electrical networks. French and German experts agree that gains can be made in several areas, such as: predictions to manage network load, sharing of electricity production and  customer billing.

A positive impact for consumers

French and German experts agree that the digital transformation should benefit consumers. They believe that digitalization will allow the industry to be more flexible (18% of French experts, 19% of German experts). However, less than 11% of French and German experts believe that households will benefit from greater flexibility. This is one of the interesting paradoxes of the digital transformation in the electricity sector.

On one hand, consumer expectations are cited as a motivating factor for the digital transformation. They are asking for more information and control over their energy consumption in order to lower costs and reduce their impact on the environment. On the other hand, there are doubts as to the fact consumers will be able to fully benefit from this digital transformation.

Cela pourrait vous intéresser

  • Xerfi Canal a reçu Yannick Chatelain, professeur associé à Grenoble Ecole de Management, dans le cadre de son livre "Le Strat'Ego : Les meilleures et les pires pratiques de marketing personnel".
    Published on 18 June 2019

    Video: Ridicule never killed anyone…but still watch out!

    Xerfi Canal interviewed Yannick Chatelain, Associate Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, to talk about his book : Le Strat'Ego : Les meilleures et les pires pratiques de marketing personnel.

  • Communautés énergétiques : vraie ou fausse révolution ?
    Published on 24 May 2019

    Energy communities: a real or imagined revolution?

    Energy cooperatives are making headway as new business models for the energy transition. Despite the promise of these citizen initiatives, their future growth and success is still up for grabs.

  • Published on 22 May 2019

    How come memories that people used to cherish can be fast forgotten?

    How is collective remembering inhibited by organizational changes which were not intended to manipulate it? And how does collective forgetting affect workers’ power and sense of identity? We rely on an ethnographic study of a charitable organization...

  • Published on 14 May 2019

    How can we explain the increase in coal consumption in this context of climate change?

    Published in December 2018, the recent report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that global coal consumption is on the rise again (+1% compared to 2017). This is an alarming trend, because despite increasing international...

  • Published on 07 May 2019

    Which future of blockchain ? What experts explain to us in the energy sector today

    Blockchain technology is a decentralised digital ledger that keeps public but encrypted records of peer-to-peer transactions. All members of a blockchain network can verify whether a transaction occurred or not, rendering clearinghouses or other...

  • Published on 02 May 2019

    Fake-news versus real journalism : what Brazil's situation learn to us

    As shown by the February 2019 attack on a BBC cameraman by a Donald Trump supporter in El Paso, Texas, the January assault of journalists in Rome by far-right activists, the impossibility for journalists to cover events in Kashmir, especially after...

  • Baromètre du Marché de l’Énergie – Hiver 2018 : blockchain
    Published on 31 January 2019

    Energy market barometer report - Winter 2018

    The Winter 2018 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of the French energy experts on the role of blockchain technology for the French energy sector. The experts were also asked about their...

  • Published on 22 November 2018

    Towards post-human society? (CSO Open Seminar 2019)

    The Centre for Social Ontology is organising a round-table and open discussion on whether, and in what respects, contemporary societies are becoming post-human. The expression post-human is used in broad terms to refer to technological and social...

  • Gazi Islam, chercheur à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 27 September 2018

    Does permaculture offer an interesting alternative for human organizations?

    Permaculture is usually thought of as a farming practice. Yet knew research explores its potential to help us reorganize society. Thanks to its alternative approach to organizations, permaculture could offer us a positive solution to overcome...

  • Published on 19 April 2018

    Carine Sebi at the 2018 International Symposium on Energy Efficiency

    ACEEE will convene a one-day symposium to highlight international energy efficiency best practices, with a particular focus on opportunities for improvement in the United States. Our research has shown that energy efficiency can be a low-cost,...

  • Transition énergique : quand l’e-mobilité détrônera les véhicules thermiques
    Published on 26 March 2018

    Energy Transition: When Will Electrical Mobility Take Over?

    Electrical mobility has become an important factor in the global energy transition. Yet many challenges remain to creating a carbon-free alternative to traditional cars and transportation.

  • Published on 29 January 2018

    DBA Alumni Publication: African Female Entrepreneurship

    Amanobea Boateng is an alumna of Grenoble Ecole de Management. She completed her Doctorate in 2016. Her recent book published in October 2017 is about African Female Entrepreneurship. Based on key issues such as social feminism and the capability...

  • Doctoral Knowledge Community
    Published on 25 January 2018

    DBA: Celebrating the 25th anniversary

    The Doctorate of Business Administration program was founded by Jean-Jacques Chanaron and Thierry Grange in 1993 with the original idea of creating a doctoral program for managers. Over its 25 years, the program has grown, and we have developed...

  • Published on 22 January 2018

    Energy market barometer report - Winter 2017-2018

    This Winter 2017-2018 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts about the challenges of e-mobility for the electricity sector in France. The experts were also asked where...

  • unemployment of young people in Europe
    Published on 26 October 2017

    Why is unemployment among young people so high?

    The STYLE project examines the causes and consequences of the unemployment of young people in Europe. Based on this work, Mark Smith has published, along with Jacqueline O’Reilly, Clémentine Moyart and Tiziana Nazio, a book “Youth employment” to...

  • La marque digitale est porteuse d’une réputation
    Published on 20 October 2017

    How to Create a Digital Brand?

    The digital revolution is here. Brands must grow to be more than just a name, a logo and a style guide. Is your brand ready to go digital?

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 28 September 2017

    Research: Entrepreneurship, understanding Technology-Based Competitive Advantage

    Policy-makers, researchers and entrepreneurs generally agree that R...

  • Lamya Kermiche, professeur associé à Grenoble Ecole de Management au département Finance, Innovation et Gouvernance.
    Published on 03 July 2017

    Audit Market Dynamics: the French Perspective on Mandatory Joint Audits

    The audit industry has garnered increasing attention from policy makers, in particular since the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002. The industry is marked by the fact it has only four major players known as the Big 4. The concentration of audit...

  • Published on 23 June 2017

    Energy market barometer report - Summer 2017

    This Summer 2017 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts on the effects of Brexit on Europe's internal energy market. French experts were also asked about the investment...

  • Professeur Sénior  Professeur au département Homme, Organisations et Société  Doctorate of Philosophy, Institut Universitaire Européen, Grenoble EM
    Published on 12 June 2017

    Research: Indulgences or Abuse of Indulgences, a New Perspective on Corporate Sins

    From environmental damage to product malfunctions or bribery, businesses around the world are often responsible for wrongdoing. However, assessing the moral stature of a business is considered to be a notoriously difficult task. Not only are...

  • Renaud Cornu-Emieux, responsable de la Chaire Talents de la transformation digitale, et enseignant-chercheur à GEM
    Published on 10 May 2017

    Digital Advantages for Human Resources

    How do HR departments participate in the digital transformation? What advantages do digital tools offer for HR?

  • Franck Rouault
    Published on 09 May 2017

    DBA: A guide to achieve your Doctorate

    Franck Rouault is a 2015 Grenoble Ecole de Management DBA graduate. He has co-written a book entitled "Doctrine- The Guide to achieve your Doctorate" with 4 other authors who are also DBA graduates. In this book, they share their experiences and...

  • Published on 09 May 2017

    Empowering Leadership and Mindfulness in Health Care Improvement Teams: A Multilevel Analysis

    In addition to his DBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management, Rafael Rojas holds an MBA from the University of California Irvine and a Lean and Six Sigma certification. This study introduces mindfulness in team learning processes and examines its effect...

  • Gazi Islam, professor of business administration at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 20 March 2017

    Is It Time to Work on the Weekend?

    How are markets and capital using new economic models to eat away at our free time on weekends? Gazi Islam, a researcher and professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, studies individual and organizational work experiences. He recently looked at how...

  • BAROMÈTRE DU MARCHÉ DE L’ENERGIE
    Published on 13 March 2017

    Energy Market Barometer Report: Winter 2016

    This Winter 2016 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts about the decentralization of the electricity sector in France. French experts were also asked where the focus of...

  • Published on 23 January 2017

    Agnotology : the study of ignorance

    Agnotology studies the spread of ignorance. Janna Rose and Marcos Barros analyze the intentional production of ignorance. They discuss how ignorance can be used as a strategic tool in their TheConversation Global’s article.

  • Published on 09 December 2016

    Research: Renewable Energy, How to Invest While Sharing Costs Fairly?

    Countries are investing billions to foster renewable energy. Yet these investments do not necessarily consider who is footing the bill and whether each household is paying its fair share. This latest research highlights concrete principles that can...

  • MIA BIRAU, Post-doc au département Marketing  Doctorate of Philosophy, Grenoble Ecole de Mangement
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Research: The Psychological Factors of Household Food Waste

    More than 800 million people worldwide are undernourished. And despite this, we waste a third of our global food supply every year. Despite the development of many good practices to reduce household waste, food is often squander unintentionally. In...

  • Research on sharing economy
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Sharing Economy: Striking a Balance

    What are the fundamental principles that guide the sharing economy? How is this new economy revolutionizing our society? Is the sharing economy really all about sharing? To learn more about this new economic model, we speak with Thibault Daudigeos...

  • Daniel Ray, enseignant-chercheur à GEM, démontre comment la satisfaction client influe sur la rentabilité de l’entreprise, en calculant son « loyalty model ».
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Effective Strategies for a Profitable Customer Relationship

    The customer is always right… or not! For Daniel Ray, the real key is to truly satisfy clients and thereby turn them into a real added value for the company. As a professor of marketing at Grenoble Ecole de Management, he shares with us strategies...

  • Published on 22 September 2016

    Energy market barometer report - Summer 2016

    Digital transformation in the electricity sector: this Summer 2016 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explored the assessment of French Energy experts regarding the digital transformation of the electricity sector in...

  • Research on ski resorts environnemental strategies
    Published on 08 September 2016

    Does it pay to be green? The case of French ski resorts

    In France, ski resorts are famous and attract tourists the world over. Yet managers have to deal with a major problem to improve their competitiveness: they must develop the right environmental strategies to positively impact their performance....

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 July 2016

    Research: Creating Value from Digital Data Streams

    The big data era is upon us. Startups, major companies, organizations and governments are all rushing to extract essential insights from big data. Yet in doing so, many have overlooked the potential value of the digital data streams (DDS) that make...

  • Joachim Schleich, professor and energy markets experts at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 03 June 2016

    Research: Transferring Clean Technology to Emerging Countries

    Does the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as defined by the Kyoto Protocol provide real support for the transfer of climate-friendly technologies to developing countries? A study carried out with 137 companies provides new insights. This article...

  • Published on 26 April 2016

    Plain food packaging increases unhealthy food consumption among men, new study finds

    Findings cast doubt on effectiveness of plain food packaging as strategy to tackle obesity

  • Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
    Published on 22 April 2016

    Research: Positive Performance Evaluations Help Employees Develop Internal Networks

    Interactions are an essential part of any organization. Whether it is receiving help from colleagues or gaining access to crucial information, developing a strong internal network makes it easier for an employee to get things done. This latest study...

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 22 March 2016

    TripAdvisor: How Companies React to Negative Ratings

    The world wide web has revolutionized the hotel, restaurant and other travel-related industries. From online bookings to customer ratings, companies have to learn how to operate in this new environment. While an organization's market identity used...

  • Published on 04 February 2016

    Low oil prices cause investment in renewables, biofuels and energy efficiency technologies to decrease

    The current weak price of crude oil is having an adverse impact on the amount of investment in renewables for heat generation, biofuels, and energy efficiency technologies, according to Grenoble École de Management’s Energy Market Barometer Reading.

  •  Thibault Daudigeos is a researcher in Sustainability, Corporate Social Reponsibility, Alternative forms of Organization, Sharing economy, and new models of management at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 26 January 2016

    Research: Corporate Social Responsibility at Odds with Global Markets?

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have received much attention for their potential to improve societal conditions while creating value for companies. However, this latest study from Grenoble Ecole de Management highlights the fact that...

  • Research: Email-free collaboration among knowledge worker
    Published on 13 January 2016

    Email-free collaboration among knowledge workers

    Social collaboration technologies have spread rapidly among many organizations, offering a unique opportunity to improve the exchange of knowledge among employees. These technologies inevitably raise questions about the future of email, as intensive...

  • Published on 05 January 2016

    The Gender Pay Gap

    Forty years after the implementation of the first equal pay legislation, the pay gap remains a key aspect of the inequalities women face on the labour market. Progress towards closing the gender pay gap will not be easy or quick. A collective effort...

  • Published on 23 December 2015

    Market knowledge influenced by CEOs’ personality

    Logically, market knowledge (MK) improves firm performance. Yet, knowledge of how MK develops remains sparse. In this study, Barthélemy Chollet, associate professor and researcher from the Social Networks, Innovation and Entrepreneurship team, and...

  • Published on 30 November 2015

    Making urban living sustainable

    Sustainable solutions have become crucial, but their disruptive nature remains a major barrier to their implementation. In this article, Caroline Gauthier, researcher from the Business Models Strategy team, and Bettina Gilomen, consultant in...

  • Published on 18 November 2015

    Enchanting work : Positive management or form of control ?

    Thanks to a qualitative and empirical study of work experiences in a North American organic supermarket, Gazi Islam, researcher in the Alternative Forms of Markets and Organizations team, and his co-authors introduce the notion of ‘enchanting work...

  • Published on 28 October 2015

    The influence of humor on the attitudes and behaviors of interns

    Internships have become both an important part of undergraduate education and a critical tool for management education and organizational recruitment

  • Published on 07 September 2015

    Energy market barometer report: the development of energy prices

    The next Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. The Paris Climate Summit, announced as one of the biggest climate negotiations in history,...

  • Published on 22 June 2015

    Research: Microeconomic Degrowth, Community Supported Agriculture

    Economic growth is the cornerstone of mainstream macroeconomics. In the face of economic crises and unemployment, growth has long been the only acceptable solution. Yet many issues have started to challenge this dominant economic model. As a result...

  • Recherche : nutrition des sportifs et plaisir
    Published on 16 June 2015

    Is It Fun or Exercise ? The Framing of Physical Activity Biases Subsequent Snacking

    While the benefits of exercising are widely accepted by consumers and healthcare providers, people who begin an exercise program don't necessarily lose weight. A fact that can be frustrating not only for practitioners, but their coaches and...

  • Mark Olsthoorn, professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Mangement
    Published on 07 April 2015

    Barriers to Electricity Load Shift in Companies, a Survey-Based Exploration of the End-User Perspective

    Overcoming the barriers to renewable energy systems is a key challenge. In shifting from centralized fossil-fuel energy production to decentralized solar and wind energy production, countries are being forced to act on multiple fronts : flexible...

  • Vincent Mangematin, Associate Dean for Corporate Relations and Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 March 2015

    Orchestrating Innovation with User Communities in the Creative Industries

    In search of continuous innovation, the digital creative industries have expanded their interactions with user communities to develop their products. This study highlights the evolution of these company-user relationships that allow for fluid...

  • Joachim Schleich, professor and energy markets experts at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 December 2014

    Research: Switching to energy efficient lighting : a bright idea!

    Energy efficiency policies such as the EU ban on incandescent light bulbs (and on halogen ones in the near future) have been the subject of much discussion in the last few years. The majority of the academic community predicted that new emerging...

  • Published on 07 November 2014

    Research : Digitization, Changing How We Work and Coordinate Projects

    All of us use digital tools and objects that can now be shared and combined in a variety of ways. This change has profoundly influenced the organization of work with projects being divided according to specialization and geographical location.

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 16 September 2014

    Research: How can the start-up process be accelerated?

    Success or failure of new businesses is what most studies related to the start-up process focus on. However, in today's dynamic market, time is a highly critical issue for nascent entrepreneurs.