Intelligent Energy

15 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2020

See all articles by Henry Weil

Henry Weil

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: 2019


The sources of value and growth in the energy sector are shifting significantly. Energy as a product is a commodity. Energy as a service (EaaS) creates value by solving important problems for a segment of customers. “Intelligent energy” is the next generation of EaaS. Intelligent energy solutions involve innovative business models that use customer information to create value. Most business model innovations are platform plays. This paper presents a conceptual model of platform development and the dynamics that can lead to a dominant platform in an application, e.g., search, or a market sector, e.g., retail. Intelligent energy applications already span a wide range of domains, e.g., building management, manufacturing, energy infrastructure, oil and gas production, and mobility. A series of examples are discussed and mobility is the subject of a detailed case study. The case study demonstrates the importance of changing the business model as the market evolves. There will be major opportunities for intelligent energy solutions, but the nature and timing of these opportunities will change as the streams of vehicle technology develop and converge. The mobility scenario is a potential future, not a forecast. It does however highlight several characteristics of intelligent energy opportunities. First, many are transient. Second, innovative business models often are required to capture the value. Third, trust plays a central role in the implementation of intelligent energy. Finally, new intelligent energy solutions start with no users. The operator must build a user base, earn the trust of early users, and capture a critical mass of user information as quickly as possible. The way forward will exploit artificial intelligence and machine learning to power the learn more/serve better dynamics that lie at the center of most intelligent energy models.

Keywords: Energy markets, energy as a service, smart energy, innovative business models, monetizing customer information

Suggested Citation

Weil, Henry, Intelligent Energy (2019). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 6161-19, Available at SSRN: or

Henry Weil (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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