B2B energy solutions

Successful positioning in times of rising energy prices and increasing decarbonization needs


The market for B2B energy services is expected to grow significantly in Europe over the next 15 years. The war in Ukraine and growing pressure from the EU and national governments to cut carbon emissions have given further impetus to an already thriving market. Developing solutions that support decarbonization and make energy supply more affordable and secure – including energy efficiency services, on-site generation, and carbon capture and storage – is a key focus for all major industries across Europe.

In this study, we assess opportunities in the booming energy services market: Which industries and customer segments are most attractive, how the market for the different services will develop, which companies are competing and what capabilities energy services companies need to succeed. The study is built on our market insights, desk research and more than 20 interviews with B2B energy services executives in Europe.

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Key findings

  • Energy crisis and sustainability ambitions will let the market grow to €100 bn. Electric mobility and hydrogen solutions are the largest growth markets
  • Energy service contracts are long and capital-intensive, so choosing the right customers is essential
  • Customer focus and access to the right technologies are the most critical capabilities
  • The market is still very fragmented – we expect a further consolidation in the next years
  • We expect M&A activity to pick up in the next 12-24 months
  • Energy services customers need to choose carefully the best suitable partner for their needs

“Energy costs account for a high share of our overall costs – we need reliable access to affordable energy, otherwise we will need to re-allocate our production.”

COO of a German steel company

Key capabilities and success factors for energy services providers

Energy services providers need to be able to offer a wide range of products and services, and to be able to manage complex integration projects – renewables generation plus energy storage and energy management systems, for example. As a result, they need to have a very detailed understanding of the customer at every stage to be able to offer specific and to-the-point solutions. The key capabilities for building a B2B solutions business can be divided into three categories:

1. Go-to-market capabilities

B2B energy services companies need to ensure that their sales organization is focused on the most attractive industries and customer segments.

2. Product design capabilities

Energy service companies need to balance the trade-off between centralization (efficiency, building competence) and regional presence (fast reactions, customized solutions).

3. Further capabilities

External commercial and technical partners need to be integrated smoothly to provide additional breadth and depth as value for the customer.

How to achieve meaningful scale, depth and breadth

To build up or expand a solutions business and add the capabilities described above, four possible approaches exist:

Acquiring companies means obtaining control over an established operating model with a functioning business case and offers the advantage of gaining scale rapidly. However, a potential culture clash is a key risk of an M&A transaction.

Developing a new energy solutions business from scratch in-house offers the advantage of building a culture that is highly compatible with that of the core business and facilitates combining the capabilities of the core business with the energy solutions business.

A strategic alliance offers a loose form of collaboration that can be set up quickly, with clearly defined objectives and timeline. It typically involves limited financial resources and can be scaled up or down with growth requirements more easily.

Joint ventures enable companies to combine different capabilities within an agile and focused operating model – provided it is well-structured.

Contact us

Christian von Tschirschky

Christian von Tschirschky

Partner, Strategy& Germany

Axel von Perfall

Axel von Perfall

Director, Strategy& Germany

Dr. Eva Poglitsch

Dr. Eva Poglitsch

Director, Strategy& Austria