Energy chiefs anticipate a major industry shakeup in the decade ahead as more shale gas and renewable power becomes available.
Senior utilities executives from 35 countries say their business model is headed for “complete transformation or important changes” by 2030, a survey of 53 power and utility companies conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) shows.
Almost 70 per cent of companies in Asia expect some degree of transformation, with eight per cent believing business models will become “unrecognisable” by 2030.
PwC’s Australian utilities leader Mark Coughlin said the industry was on the brink of radical change.
“Consumers will hold the upper hand, new fossil fuel sources such as shale will come online, renewable sources will become increasingly affordable and competition more intense than in the past,” Mr Coughlin said.
New technology is enabling more consumers to generate their own power, rather than buying it from one centralised source, he said.
“This is already the case to some degree in Australia with more than one million homes now having solar cells on their roof – a trend that is accelerating globally,” Mr Coughlin said.
Almost two thirds of respondents to the annual PwC Power and Utilities Survey expect technology and new supply sources to dramatically reduce dependence on oil and gas-rich countries.
The same number described their customers as “passive customers that take what they are given,” but this was expected to fall below 40 per cent within the decade.
But the report said a boost in shale gas, and tight oil supplies, were looming as a major challenge to regulators and policy makers.
It also showed the overwhelming majority of energy executives are looking to cut costs and implement austerity measures to make their businesses more efficient.
In Australia, seven major gas projects worth $200 billion are currently being built across the country.