Lessons from Europe
Tom Flaherty is a Senior Advisor to companies in the global power and utilities industry for Strategy&.
Utilities are actively focusing on changing the face of their businesses in light of technology innovation and market opportunities. Thoughtful and effective innovation is fundamental to whether the industry succeeds.
While utility innovation is advancing, it is still a work-in-progress and is ripe for exploring all manner of accelerators. Fortunately, plenty of places exist worldwide to look for examples of inspiration and success.
North America was not the first region to recognize and embrace the need for innovation. Other global regions established innovation models earlier and with more initial zeal. The lessons learned by these utilities provide valuable experience and ideas for adoption to benefit their global peers.
North American, European, and Asia-Pacific utilities are all pursuing innovation, although at different tempos. European utilities, however, are outpacing their global counterparts and are distinctively aggressive and purposeful.
European utilities are buffeted from renewable policy directives, conventional supply closures and sluggish economic growth - which create an urgency for innovative action. Like their global counterparts, these utilities are not immune to technology evolution and customer behavioral shifts.