Survey Reveals More Than Nine in Ten Major Energy and Utility Providers See Shifting Role by 2030

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14th October 2013 11:34 - Utilities

Business models that have underpinned the global utilities industry for the past century are under increasing threat from changing consumer behaviour, disruptive technology, and the rise of decentralised power generation, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 13th annual global power and utilities survey.

More than nine in ten (94%) of international industry representatives surveyed predict  that the power utility business model will be either completely transformed or significantly changed between today and 2030, while only 6% expect that the utility business model will stay “more or less the same.”

In North America, two fifths (40%) of respondents believed that utility companies’ means of making a profit will see a major changes over the next two decades. Four fifths (82%) of North American respondents also said future energy needs will be met by a mix of traditional centralised generation and distribution generation, which feeds power from a mix of sources.

Brian Dames, Chief Executive of South African Electricity Public Utility Eskom, said:

“The power and utilities business is where banking and land line telephony were a decade or two ago, with new technologies the main driving force. Technology advancements, especially in distributed generation and energy efficiency, will have a definite impact on existing business models.”

David Etheridge, PwC's Global Power and Utilities Advisory Leader, said:

“The scope to take 10-20% out of the cost base of companies in the sector is defiantly there. It would provide some room for the longer-term sustainability of companies as they adjust their strategies. Looking hard at asset performance is vital. And the accelerating pace of development in things like geospatial technology, mobility tools, smart grids and sophisticated scheduling and warehousing can all provide a springboard for major cost savings.”

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