On May 18th the UK suffered a terrible defeat, once again, in the Eurovision song contest. Michael Rices’ entry, albeit a half decent song, failed to gain support from the audience after the public vote pushed him to the last place. For a representative of the UK, the only European net exporter of music, it’s a pretty harsh outcome reaffirming that audiences can never be taken for granted. Big publicity, which most entrants do in advance of the competition, creates noise and awareness but no certainty of outcomes on the night. For that, you need to properly test the market – which in fairness is pretty hard for a song!

Mind the gap

In our collective pursuit to save energy and carbon, end users are always eager to try and test new ideas and innovations. I’m constantly amazed at the variety of projects I hear about whilst chairing Energy Clubs. Practitioners are at the forefront of smart engineering, testing new equipment and processes. Yet with all these trials and tests, so many new ideas seem to stumble when crossing the ‘gap’ from trials into a full market offering. Many ideas remain as that, good ideas. Often the problem is that ideas are created by innovators in isolation, rather than working alongside end users that shape the offerings to what’s needed.

Market needs

From attending Energy Clubs over the recent months, I have noticed three common energy management themes that could benefit from greater innovation:

  1. Data insight: Greater meter data promises clarity but overloads recipients with numbers over insight. Energy users increasingly lack the time to analyse data. They need remote solutions to interpret data, only interrupting end users when exceptional problems arise.
  2. Financial engineering:  Easy wins investments with under 2-year paybacks (LEDs etc) are completed for many. The task is getting those harder to reach 3-5 year ROI investments. Third party funding is more in demand yet the private sector still needs simple funding systems that can rival the Public Sectors Salix Scheme.
  3. SME Guidance: Ninety-nine per cent of businesses are SMEs with up to 250 staff who may view energy costs as less significant and unlikely to have the internal resources to adequately manage consumption. How can this market be best served?

Innovation in the spotlight

Clearly, any good idea won’t get you far unless you’ve got a platform to promote, test your idea and engage with end users. In 2019, Energy Live News are putting Innovation in the spotlight, allowing innovators and end users to meet up and solve today’s energy management challenges. Unlike Eurovision, we bring innovations and audiences together, encouraging collaborative initiatives.

To get involved and see the latest Greentech innovations, register for The Energy Solution Show for free. Email [email protected] to secure your place at the show which will be taking place on the 5th June at Millennium Point, Birmingham.