Identify incoming changes, partner with start-ups
Tom Flaherty is a partner with Strategy&, part of the PwC network, with over forty years of consulting experience. Most recently, he has led assignments related to standing up innovation programs and capabilities within utilities. Kevin Fitzgerald is Energy Impact Partners' Chief Utility Officer.
Tom Flaherty of Strategy&: How has innovation infiltrated the energy sector and your company?
Energy Impact Partners' Kevin Fitzgerald: The industry doesn't get enough credit for being as innovation-driven as it is. We are seeing most of the industry lean into innovation through several different segments. We are also increasingly seeing the transportation sector of the economy changing with an aggressive move towards electrification.
The specific areas where we see innovation occurring include: battery storage, DG and community renewable adaption; EV infrastructure development and deployment (via the network effect of the grid to benefit everyone - including low-income customers); energy efficiency and DR as a service offering; and an explosion in customer engagement offerings.
But if there was one thing that has had the biggest impact, it has been the leverage of the Internet on this sector, and the growing convergence of IT and OT.
Tom Flaherty: What distinguishes the early adopters from the other companies?
EIP's Kevin Fitzgerald: The distinguishing characteristics center around how they are leaning into the process. The companies leaning in are not waiting for new competitors and technologies to be visited on them.