Notice Regarding a Business Alliance with Rakuten, Inc. for Energy Service Side Development in the Retail Market of Electricity

Oct. 28. 2014
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (“Marubeni”) has agreed with Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten”) to cooperate in an Energy Service Side Development in the retail market for electricity (services aimed at retail electric power customers). Marubeni and Rakuten will work together, for example, to expand the trade of electricity by utilizing Rakuten’s business platforms to develop a simple home energy management system (HEMS) in collaboration with Energy Service Side Development, LLP. (“ESSD LLP”) which is a partnership consisting of Rakuten and number of other entities.

Marubeni has been acquiring such renewable energy assets as hydro, wind and solar, including a hydro-power generation facility along the Mibugawa-River in Nagano. As a result, Marubeni supplies electricity with a higher ratio of renewable energy than other power producers and suppliers. In the meantime, Rakuten started to develop a system for forecasting the supply and demand of electricity this June aimed at minimizing the imbalance between energy generation and consumption as a part of enhancements in the supply of renewable energy to facilities that have contracts with Rakuten Travel. Rakuten is also expanding the supply of renewable energy within the “Rakuten Ecosystem” (Ref. 1). Marubeni and Rakuten will actively seek to increase the trade of electric power with renewable energy at the core, taking into consideration the discussions of the working group hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Ref. 2) regarding solutions for power generation and consumption imbalances and the feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.

As the full liberalization of the Japanese retail electricity market is planned for 2016, capturing demand in the newly opened low voltage power market is important to ensure market expansion and high profitability are achieved. Entering into the low voltage power market Marubeni will build as many alliances as it can with companies in various fields to gain high market share and considers customer service as essential for this in a fully liberalized retail electricity market. So, Marubeni will develop inexpensive devices and equipment to collect big data related to electric power demand and consumption in collaboration with the ESSD LLP., as well as working directly with Rakuten, who has the know-how for utilizing big data, to develop new services for our customers.

Rakuten, Inc. Overview
Headquarters : 4-12-3 Higashi-shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
President : Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani
Foundation : 1997
Business : E-Commerce, Content business, Travel, Other internet services

Energy Service Side Development, LLP. Overview
Location : 4-12-3 Higashi-shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Members : Rakuten, GLOBAL ENGINEERING Co., Ltd., 
               TAKAOKA TOKO Co., Ltd., ENNET Corporation
Foundation : 2014
Business : Development and sales of services utilizing energy big data 
               Planning and sales of energy management systems
               Services of support the expansion of renewable energy

(Ref. 1) The Rakuten Ecosystem, which is formed by various services offered by Rakuten Group, is a one-of-a-kind member-based business model that connects Rakuten services through the Rakuten Super Points reward system.

(Ref. 2) Working Group on System Design under the Electricity System Reform Subcommittee, Basic Policy Committee under the Advisory Committee for  Natural Resources and Energy