Technology Foresight and Technology Radar 1.0

 

Project duration: 01.07.2022 to 27.10.2022

Client: E.ON SE

Project partners (consortium partners and associated patners):

  • Chair of Energy Economics ( FCN-ECO ).

The energy transition is facing great challenges. For companies but also for politics and society it is important to identify technological trends and make decisions regarding their relevance and influence on future investments and business models. Companies like E.ON need to keep up with the latest trends and developments in order to identify potential changes and adapt their business models in good time. In the present project "Technology Foresight and Technology Radar 1.0", commissioned by E.ON SE, the most important trends that could have an impact on the energy industry and energy supply in Germany in the next few years are investigated, evaluated and visualized in a technology radar. Current trends in the energy sector are categorized into the following subsectors:

  • Power generation
  • Electricity and gas grids
  • Heat supply
  • System services for both electricity and heat networks
  • The role of the customer
  • Mobility and transport
  • Emissions trading and negative emissions
  • Hydrogen and synthetic fuels
  • Digitization and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing

In this project, approximately 130 techno-economic trends in the energy sector are compiled in a long list by means of literature analysis, selected expert interviews and evaluation of media interest (e.g. Google Trends, Twitter). These trends are described and their potential impact on the energy sector is outlined. In a second step, a list of evaluation criteria is developed to enable a comparison between the detected trends of the long-list. Using these filter criteria, the trends in the long-list are classified and reduced to a short-list of approximately 30 promising trends that are likely to reach relevant tipping points and which are the subject of detailed investigation. For each of the technologies in the short-list, a more detailed profile is prepared in accompanying documentation, including the impact on the energy system, the potential impact on E.ON's business, and the influence of tipping points.

An important component of the project is the visualization of the results in the form of an interactive technology radar using Microsoft Power Bi. The radar allows users to examine, compare and evaluate the trends on the shortlist by weighting the evaluation criteria according to their personal preferences. The user can include the criteria of technology readiness, potential market size, environmental impact, social acceptance, and political influence in the evaluation. The Technology Radar is a valuable tool for communicating and visualizing the results because, on the one hand, it summarizes information in an easy-to-understand way and, on the other hand, it can interactively sort and analyze the information according to various filter criteria. It also allows technologies to be evaluated on the basis of various specifications (e.g. technological, political, economic, social or environmental aspects) based on the company’s preferences.