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EaaS: Electricity as a Service?

Published: 22.01.2019

by Yueqiang Xu , Petri Ahokangas , Emmanuelle Reuter


Purpose: Like a number of other traditional industries, the energy industry is undergoing a major transformation.
With the advent of smart grids, the industry is transforming from a centralized energy system to a distributed energy network, and from the traditional product-based to a service business model. An essential question is “What types of value creation and value capture opportunities emerge at the level of ecosystems as the energy and smart grid industry shifts from the existing product-based business model to a greater service orientation?”

Design: The study utilizes the 4C ecosystemic framework and the XaaS (Everything as a Service) digital service business model typologies, and collects business model case data from 15 EU Horizon 2020 innovation projects. The research uses a two-stage approach that includes interpretive case analysis and action research to analyze and create an ecosystemic business model framework.

Findings: The paper uncovers the following business model typologies for the digitalization of the energy business ecosystem: Connection as a Service (CaaS), Supply as a Service (SaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS), and Energy Application as a Service (EAaaS).

Research limitations/Implications: A key outcome is the proposition of the Electricity as a Service (EaaS) concept for the energy sector, proposing a new service business paradigm for the energy ecosystem. One limitation is that the research has a strong regional focus on European cases.

Originality / Value: The study adopts a value-based and service-dominant lens focused on business model research at the ecosystemic level. For the first time, the study introduces the XaaS service business typology, investigating how this well-established ICT (Information and Communication Technology) business framework can enable the digitalization of the energy industry.

More information about this paper

Length: 24 pages


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