Emergence of digital and X-as-a-service (XAAS) platforms in German energy sectors
Paper presented at the 1st IAEE Online Conference, June 7-9, 2021, Online. Energy, COVID, and Climate Change
Business models in the energy sector in Germany experiencing a profound transformation due to the evolution of digital services. Over the recent years, various digital technologies have been adopted and are supporting this transformation. Typically a gap between technological advancement and business value capture can be observed that is often filled by startups offering innovative business models, products and services based on new technologies. State-of-the-art digital technologies facilitate companies to collect and process huge amounts of consumer data which allow them to sense consumer trends and future value proposition opportunities. In practice, such startups are aiming at the final consumers by focusing on the consumer-specific part of the energy value chain. By this, they are disintegrating the conventional energy value chain with its linear business models that dominated in the past (Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) models). In this work, we had analysed the business activities of 240 active German energy startups founded in 2014 to 2020 (April). The data is collected from multiple sources including company databases, web-scraping and professional data collection services. The underlying focus of this analysis is centered on the digital platform and X-as-a-Service (XaaS) business models. The finding reveals that most of the innovative energy startups are early adopters of digital technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Digital-twin (DT), etc. Along with, to respond to the scalability challenges a significant number of startups have adopted or in the transition to adopting a platform-driven economy. These startups are privileged by the increasing Network Externalities (NE) among the consumers, which improves the startup's value proposition and profitability by targeting a large number of consumers. The finding also covers the geographical distribution of startups implementing multi-sided platform business models in Germany.