Energy markets are in the middle of a revolution, triggered by decarbonisation and innovation. History suggests that this is not a safe place to be, not even for the revolutionaries, but especially not for the ‘old guard’. Stephen Woodhouse and Simon Bradbury of Pöyry Management Consulting investigate the key characteristics necessary for a successful future energy company. (This article was adapted from a new book, Innovation and Disruption at the Grid’s Edge, edited by Fereidoon Sioshansi, in which two dozen top experts from across the world give their views on the transformation of the electricity sector.) The emergence of a decentralised industry, with engaged customers and new remote data and control possibilities has opened up an alternative possible future for the energy sector. Below we set out a possible recipe for a future integrated energy company, structured around five key characteristics: Characteristic 1 – Access to a portfolio of generation, storage and flexible demand will remain important in the future, but with less emphasis on asset ownership; Characteristic 2 – Risk management, optimisation and trading are essential parts of the operation of a utility and will continue to be core business; Characteristic 3 – Control of ‘Big Data’ will give leverage for competitive advantage; Characteristic 4 – User-friendly applications and automation tools will enhance customer propositions and unlock demand response; and Characteristic 5 – Being close to the customers and retaining their trust as their needs change will be important to unlock new sources of value.
Energy Post 22nd Aug 2017 read more »