En­ergy gi­ants ‘must adapt to tech boom’

The Daily Telegraph - - Business - By Jil­lian Am­brose

BRI­TAIN’S largest en­ergy com­pa­nies could face an ex­is­ten­tial threat in the wake of a tech­nol­ogy boom which threat­ens to up­end the tra­di­tional util­ity business model, ac­cord­ing to for­mer en­ergy chiefs.

An in­flu­en­tial six-strong group of for­mer FTSE 100 chief ex­ec­u­tives and pol­icy mak­ers has warned that tra­di­tional en­ergy com­pa­nies have al­ready “chron­i­cally un­der­es­ti­mated” the mar­ket’s pace of change and could lose out to a ris­ing breed of tech-based ri­vals. In re­cent years the en­ergy in­dus­try has seen a boom in the num­ber of con­sumers har­ness­ing re­new­able en­ergy tech­nol­ogy to gen­er­ate their own power.

This trend is ex­pected to ac­cel­er­ate in line with the emer­gence of in­ter­net­con­nected me­ter­ing and ap­pli­ances, as well as the Gov­ern­ment’s back­ing for home bat­ter­ies and elec­tric ve­hi­cles. But the “digi­ti­sa­tion” of en­ergy could leave the door open to tech firms more pre­pared for the chang­ing mar­ket.

In or­der to sur­vive, Ian Marchant, the for­mer boss of SSE, to­gether with ex-na­tional Grid boss Steve Hol­l­i­day and Volker Beck­ers, who led RWE npower, has called for bold action from en­ergy com­pa­nies. Among the re­port’s con­trib­u­totrs was Ed Davey Mp, a for­mer en­ergy sec­re­tary, as well as long­time en­ergy min­is­ter Charles Hendry, and Joan Macnaughton, head of en­ergy at the old Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

Ed Davey, a for­mer en­ergy sec­re­tary, is among the ex­perts who have urged tra­di­tional util­ity firms to adapt

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.