Business Model Innovation

Transformation of the UK energy system towards Net Zero has create a low carbon economy worth over £46bn in 2018 and created opportunities for innovative new products, services and processes.

Well-designed business models help companies to de-risk new ideas, streamline their operations and maximise the value they create for customers. Energy Systems Catapult uniquely brings together a mix of energy, engineering and commercial experts to help with Business Model Innovation.

The Challenge and Opportunity

The barriers to innovation and market access in energy are high, with businesses facing a range of challenges engaging and accessing a historically conservative and risk-averse sector, including:

  • Poor consumer engagement leading to lack of awareness and trust.
  • Restrictive regulation and a lack of low carbon policy intervention.
  • Dominant incumbents and high market access costs for new players.
  • Lack of access to finance for new and innovative low carbon business ideas.

Energy Systems Catapult was established to work collaboratively to reduce these barriers, and to help businesses as they navigate product development and commercialisation.

There are emerging opportunities created by a more decarbonised, digitalised, decentralised and deregulated system. To reach Net Zero, new business models in energy are as important as technological innovation.

Solutions must be considered from all relevant aspects – people, policies, regulation, business models, market mechanisms and more.

Who can we help?

The Business Model Innovation team can support a range of organisations across the energy system, including those from other sectors that might be looking to diversify. We can tailor support for:

  • Start-ups and scale-ups: innovators with disruptive new ideas wanting to ground them in viable business models, looking to grow their position, seek investment or refine their approach.
  • Established energy companies: looking to understand the future risks and opportunities of existing business models, or design, test and launch new innovations to the market.
  • Partnerships, Local Authorities and Community groups: organisations looking to bring new collaborative solutions to market or trial new products or services.

How can we help?

The Business Model Innovation team use a range of methods, tools and experts, including:

  • Assessing new and emerging business models in energy and future market opportunities and barriers.
  • Designing and iterating new business models by exploring markets, customers and approaches.
  • Assessing existing business models and exploring risks and opportunities for the future.
  • Designing tests to de-risk business models and provide assurance.
  • Creating go-to-market strategies with business plans, commercial models and product roadmaps.

Business models need to be tested and refined, iterating as you gather evidence and validate uncertainties. The Business Model Innovation team does this by coordinating contributions from other experts including:

  • Consumer perspectives: research, trials and user experience design.
  • Markets, Policy and Regulation: identification of regulatory or policy barriers.
  • Digital & Data: exploring the opportunity for digitalisation and new services.
  • Systems Integration: including energy systems simulations.
  • Modelling: from an individual building through to national level.