Eric Morel is a worldwide recognised expert of energy transition and digitalisation. In the past, he has served as VP Corporate Business Strategy and VP Global Smart Grids and Energy Efficiency at Schneider Electric as well as CEO of Ilevo, a telecommunication start-up. He is a founding member and a former Board member of the Gridwise Alliance, the main professional private/public association dedicated to Smart Energy.
Consumers, tertiaries, industrials and even local authorities, position themselves in a very personal way to prepare for the energy transition and its different challenges.
The liberalization of the market has been on the agenda of European energy companies for 20 years. Imposed by regulation, it aimed to open the energy market to competition, electricity first, gas in a second time.
This question is a symbol of ongoing developments in the energy field; channeling the production of centralized units to dispersed consumers requires a distribution infrastructure such as the networks we have been accustomed to, so much so that they are an integral part of the “landscape” and so that it is difficult for us, Westerners, to imagine alternative schemes.
The proximity of energy companies with their customers has been developed historically in some countries, where energy suppliers have remained local (Germany, Switzerland) or even regional (Austria, Finland). These local energy companies today generally enjoy a strong image, a reputation well above average and a strong trust granted by customers. They are seen as legitimate for developing, for example, service activities for which the major national players are sometimes perceived as illegitimate.
Until now, the building energy standards that have prevailed in Europe have been technical specifications recommending the implementation of technologies and solutions to achieve a partial technical performance.