Our model covers the cutting edge of startup-driven innovation in the energy industry. This research is backed by our proprietary data-driven innovation scouting approach in which we analyzed more than 15.000 startups to reach these conclusions. In the Energy Innovation Map, we’ve included the six key technologies and startups driving the digital transformation in this sector. As technology further bends the demand/supply curve, companies need to recognize and employ these innovative technologies to adapt their existing business models and meet customers’ needs. Knowing what’s next is essential to stay on top – so let’s get straight to it!
Blockchain will transform existing transaction models, phasing out the need for intermediaries through the shift from centralized to a decentralized structure. Ultimately, this facilitates other processes some of which include asset management, emission allowances, renewable energy certificates, or serving as the basis for metering, billing as well as clearing processes.
Today’s energy grid is outdated. The decentralized microgrid serves as an alternative solution as it is open to everyone and leads to a more efficient and sustainable energy production. Furthermore, microgrid allows for the generation, purchase and selling of energy thus promoting peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading.
In the energy industry, big data enables the appropriate anticipation of energy demands. Moreover, renewables equipped with big data analytics outpower fossil fuels and manage to gather real-time data, transmitting and combining the information with satellite, radar, and weather station data.
Storage remains one of the challenges in the energy industry. However, technologies such as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) are aimed at solving this challenge via supplementing PV. The industry will also advance technologies such as air-breathing batteries, lithium-air batteries, thermal storage, lithium-sulfur batteries, and fuel cells.
Smart meters are already implemented extensively throughout Europe. This technology allows for the monitoring of household energy appliance and analyzing user behavior with the help of machine learning technologies, ultimately leading to lower energy consumption.
Renewable energy builds a bridge to a more sustainable energy economy. While Europe saw a record year of annual wind installations in 2017, solar solutions such as photovoltaic cells, solar-powered water pumps, and printable solar panels as well as geothermal solutions will further alter the energy landscape.
Disruptive startups in the energy sector include:
- UK startup Electron advances the shared infrastructure of energy markets by using decentralized technology.
- Finnish Nukka Solutions automates data collection from energy meters to IoT and building automation systems and even utility companies.
- CHAINErgy decentralizes the marketplace from suppliers to people, promoting an interface for peer-to-peer energy trading.
- French startup Sylfen’s solution, Smart Energy Hub, facilitates the management of sustainable buildings by storing power as hydrogen, to later cover later energy needs, or sell to the local smart grid when in excess.
- London-based Ecoisme provides information on the energy use of home appliances and analyzes user behavior with the help of machine learning technologies.
- Icelandic Icewind designs and manufactures the vertical axis of wind turbines which are placed on telecom towers, as well as homes, cabins, and farms.