As the energy sector experiences an unprecedented period of change, any decision or orientation in relation with energy policies and choices is subject to a large number of uncertainties. But the energy transition offers a unique opportunity to act differently.
How will companies elaborate new strategies in relation to these evolutions? How will they convince consumers to adopt virtuous behaviors? How will companies attract support to the energy transition?
The Energy for Society Chair proposes analyses and solutions based on research in these fields and articulates three complementary working areas.
- Understanding how companies cooperate to create innovative energy services
Companies rely heavily on innovation to stay alive in the long run. This innovation requires more and more technological complexity and complementary assets and must cope with new customer expectations. Execution speed is essential as well. Digitization, flexibility, the development of new energy sources, etc. allow companies to invent innovative services. But these services may require new knowledge and expertise. Partnerships may be an answer for both the need for speed and the change of internal paradigms. Our mission here is to understand how a group of companies can successfully co-create new energy services.
- Understanding corporate strategies in relation to sustainable innovation
Companies combine more and more economical targets with environmental and societal targets. This results in the launch of sustainable products or value chains that should not only generate economical advantages but also societal and environmental ones. Companies opting for this kind of strategy should pull out more benefits than those who don’t care, especially because of the support from consumers for these new promises.
- Understanding the implication of the “as a service” trend on future business models in the energy sector
More and more citizens – in particular younger ones – show some preference for the “pay-per-use” model. Transferring this trend to energy equipment or to smart energy management systems, some households could prefer to rent rather than to own their devices or heating systems. Among other things, they would benefit from some flexibility and from technical improvements. Energy providers, as well as energy equipment manufacturers or financial entities, who are essential to the implementation of such business models, could be particularly interested. A growing part of future electricity generation technologies should offer (almost) zero marginal costs, which raises a challenge for traditional pricing systems in a liberalized market. Potentially collaborating with technology providers, energy suppliers could offer a new set of energy services, including renting (or leasing) energy equipment.