Who are the main players in Smart Energy?

In France, the energy sector represents a significant market share. In terms of numbers, there are approximately 38.9 million electricity consumers and 11.5 million gas consumers according to the Commission de régulation de l’énergie (CRE). In order not to be left behind in the opening of the markets, suppliers must seize the opportunities offered by the deployment of IoT solutions through smart energy. Indeed, in the current context where the competition is felt as much on the professional sector as residential and where the tendency is to tend towards an energy transition, suppliers and actors position themselves on the field of the energy resources. This boost to the energy transition is possible thanks to IoT solutions that are used to create a more intelligent energy system (Smart Energy), which allow for the proper circulation of information in networks and the management of this data.

But who are the main players in this sector of the future?

Smart Energy Alliance: a key player in smart energy

If we had to name a major player in the smart energy sector in France, it would be this one: Smart Energy Alliance. And for good reason, it brings together no less than 11 French clusters involved in three different sectors:

1. Energy

A cluster that is at the heart of the challenges of the energy transition, particularly through optimized energy systems such as production, distribution and storage.

2. Digital

An essential pole, which is done in particular through IoT, for the ongoing digitalization of energy.

3. Mobility

An application centre that works for more sustainable mobility.


These different innovation sectors are thus strengthening their strategic alliance under the aegis of the Smart Energy Alliance. The Smart Energy Alliance covers all regions of France and has a double objective: to develop innovative know-how at European and international level while helping local authorities to set up smart energy projects in their territories.

This national alliance, with its 12 partner ecosystems, relies on feedback from R&D, projects and use cases to work towards the energy transition and digital transformation of territories.

Its partners include, for example, Capenergies, Systematic and Minalogic. To get a sense of the importance of this alliance in the smart energy landscape, here are some key figures:

  • 2,500 members
  • 1,700 SMES
  • 2,800 certified research and developmentprojects
  • 10 billion euros of R&D expenditure

This 10 billion includes 3.5 billion euros of public funding. These substantial investments highlight the opportunities that smart energy represents. It represents a dynamic, job-creating and exporting sector.

The Alliance thus assumes its vocation to “strengthen its joint action to boost employment, improve the attractiveness of the territories and reinforce the capacity of the European Union to promote the development of the regions.French innovation in sectors such as multi-energy smart grids, micro-grids, mobile and stationary energy storage, sustainable mobility, self-consumption, renewable gas from biomass and green hydrogen.

The Smart Energy Alliance is therefore representative of the emerging need to move towards smart energy.

Energy transition and IoT players play a key role

In the energy market, the IoT brings together the presence of a multitude of players:

  • Farmers

The depletion of oil resources, the awareness of global warming and the precariousness of the agricultural environment are leading the sector to reinvent itself.

The IoT is one of the solutions to participate in the movement of ecological modernization of agriculture by integrating the management and deployment of renewable energies.

These investments are supported by the public authorities and therefore help reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as gas or coal while giving operators opportunities to diversify their income and reduce their environmental impact.

  • Industrialists and logisticians

Due to its impact on the economy, the industry is under constant legislative, environmental and competitive pressure.

To meet this tripartite requirement, French industry is taking the decision to optimize its energy consumption through smart energy to serve its economic ambitions as well as to meet the challenges of sustainable development.

In this sector, smart energy will therefore correspond to energy consumption, production, storage and negotiation.

  • The users

IoT solutions for smart energy, such as data storage and personalized services, put people at the heart of these uses. Whether it is through bill reduction, new means of mobility such as electric vehicles, or the management of connected household equipment, the well-being of users is now a central part of the process.

The IoT is therefore an essential response to the challenges of smart energy and working towards a more sustainable city.

  • Large-scale distribution

Companies in the retail sector are subject to high operating costs, particularly due to the high proportion of energy-related expenses.

These infrastructures are equipped with various air conditioning, electricity and refrigeration systems, which make energy management essential.

Smart energy offers an effective solution to control these consumption expenses while at the same time being part of a sustainable development approach thanks to the new technologies provided by the IoT.

  • Communities

Today, smart energy is at the heart of the territories. Indeed, local management of Smart Energy solutions provided by the IoT, such as remote metering for gas or the deployment of smart grids for electricity, is essential to optimize the energy performance and production of the electricity network.

  • Real estate company or developer

Following on from the government’s Recovery Plan and Major Investment Plan, the energy renovation of public buildings is a priority. A real estate company or developer will therefore have to value infrastructures that guarantee energy savings, a reduction in CO2 emissions and the well-being of their inhabitants.

The list is not exhaustive concerning this network of actors, and it is possible to find also investors or developers and business providers. It is the emergence of new technologies brought by the IoT that will play the pivotal role in their energy transition.

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