Does Innovation Excite Energy Industry?
Written by Miika Huhtala, Sustainability & Energy Manager
Sustainability has been the biggest driving force for the energy industry. Products and services are flooding into the markets and new pilot projects are being launched left and right. As a result, investment subsidies are available, and demand respond attracts the consumers. Some get easily excited about new innovations, whereas others don’t want to be involved until the innovation is well established. The rest only adopt the innovation when it is an absolute must.
Professor Everett M. Rogers introduced the idea of adopting innovation in the 60’s. Later the idea was taken further by management consultant and author Geoffrey Moore. He divided consumers into five different categories based on how fast they can adopt innovation. The energy sector can also be viewed through Moore’s theory.
Early innovator gets the worm
Or so at least believes the first and the smallest customer group. The innovators are the early adopters and take on the innovation first. A good example of them are the consumers who had solar panels up their roofs the first. The main priority for them isn’t the benefits of the product but the novelty.
The second group after the innovators are the early adopters. For them, the most important thing is to create competitive advance. Said group includes for example businesses who utilize innovation through digitalization to offer more comprehensive sustainability and energy management tools to their own customers to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Early majority warms up slowly and the late majority is reluctant
Next onboard the innovation comes a group called the early majority. They have a neutral stand on innovation. For them, the right time to assess different heating solutions is when the oil heating becomes outdated and a geothermal heating is more sensible in comparison. Geothermal heating brings monetary savings over time, is easy to use and environmentally sound. Also, a good reference from the neighbour can help to tip the scale into the right direction.
The fourth group is called the late majority. They have a more reluctant view on innovation. They adopt innovation only when overpowered by peer pressure or when the financial benefits become too substantial to overlook. The last and final group are the laggards. They are against new innovations and only adopt them when it is a must and there are no other options. However, the truth is that the innovation must eventually be accepted.
Innovation requires enthusiasts to succeed
Grants for energy and climate action will make new innovations more economically viable. This helps to get the biggest customer group wanting economic benefits to get on board with innovations. Sharing good user experiences speeds up the slower customer groups to join in earlier. If you are a forerunner and enthusiastic about innovations, always share your good user experiences. In this way, we enable better success for new energy and climate innovations and – a more sustainable future for us all.
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