Every revolution starts with a period of uncertainty. So does the Energy Transition.

In a world where consumers become prosumers, thought-leaders and innovators will have to challenge their assumptions and test them on the market to pave the way towards new models and innovative services.

To do so, the I.O Energy Ecosystem is putting the consumer at the center. “Instead of producing his hot water every day at the same time, he will do it at the most convenient time for himself and also for the system.” Chris Peter, CEO at Elia.

A Win-Win Situation

A consumer-centric system is a win-win situation for all:

  • The consumer can monetize the flexibility out of his technology investments, thus lowering his bill while keeping his comfort;
  • Market players can develop new business models around consumer flexibility and deliver the required services;
  • System operators can source more flexibility to keep the system running at an affordable cost.

“To put the consumer at the center of the Energy transition, we have to develop new services (…) New services mean that market players must start to develop them” Inne Mertens, Market & Client at ORES

The Ideation Journey Starts

That is why, on March 14th, 124 people from 60+ Gigawatt members of the IO. Energy Ecosystem joined at Co.Station Brussels to start the Ideation journey.

Dispatched in cross-sector groups, participants further studied various challenges slowing down the Energy Transition. After one intense day working on the “user-pain-problem statement”, they have acquired a much deeper understanding of these main challenges and consumer concerns such as:

  • How to certify to a consumer that his energy consumption is aligned with his values?
  • How to help municipality owners to build their business cases for EV mobility?
  • How to balance the grid to leverage flexible assets?
  • How to make energy data sharing as interesting as road traffic data sharing?

This common group understanding, as well as the emerging knowledge and competencies of the groups, is an exciting starting point to co-create of consumer-centric services!

“We hope to reach the market with concrete initiatives in early 2020. However, it depends on a number of external factors. Amongst others, it depends on the regulations and the consumer readiness to apply new initiatives at home” Wouter Remaut, CEO at Co Station.

Just like we did not know decades ago all the possibilities that the internet would offer, the potential of the Internet of Energy remains to be discovered.