Revolutions often begin with small prosaic steps. Three weeks ago, a company filed for permission from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell electricity to individual consumers. Hardly an exceptional event – except that the company’s name is Apple and the move marks the beginning of a restructuring in the energy market that will reshape the sector across the world over the next decade. Two years ago I wrote a column headlined Google Energy, Amazon Power about the possibility of new players disrupting the settled landscape of the energy business. The piece provoked some interest and much scepticism. Why would companies that knew nothing about energy want to venture into a specialist market where they would have to compete against powerful vested interests? The answer, of course, is that disruption is the key to many of the most successful modern companies. Google has transformed the communications business, Amazon continues to undermine the old high street model of retailing and now Apple is positioning itself to dismantle the supposed barriers to entry in energy. The company has said very little about its intentions but the direction is clear, as reported in online magazine 9to5mac which follows the company’s every move.
FT 4th July 2016 read more »