In the past 30 years, electricity and gas markets around the world have been radically transformed as market forces played an increasing role in energy supply and distribution. Markets opened, competitors emerged, businesses rationalised, incumbents combined, technologies advanced, and customers experimented.
The reshaped industry, while retaining its heritage of reliability, is now forging a vastly different future for itself and its stakeholders. Some global utilities have evolved into entities that dramatically diverge from their legacies. Traditional strategies centred on regulatory policy, capital investment, and customer service. These strategies typically reflected regulatory accommodation rather than market intention.
Consequently, utilities acted cautiously rather than accepting unfamiliar risk. But advances in the structure of the power and gas markets, and the acceleration in the pace of change, mean that conservative approaches to strategy design are unable to position the utilities sector effectively for a future still being mapped.
Tomorrow’s strategies need to be intentional, aggressive, and consequential, even in the face of uncertainty. They need to recognise that imperfect knowledge about direction and outcome does not limit the ability to embrace the challenges that the sector’s future evolution will pose.
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