I come back from several conferences where I listened to experts talking about the energy transition. I have been surprised by the conformism which they all showed in their speech: energy transition is a concept accepted by all.
What is the energy transition? What are its roots? What are the main ruptures affecting the energy world?
Among the technological breakthroughs, the convergence of nanotechnology and energy has resulted in the most dramatic decrease of production cost ever: in 20 years, the cost of solar energy was divided by 20 and the curve still shows no asymptotic trend. This energy is available almost indefinitely and becomes today competitive with many others.
Digital technologies come into force in the energy sector and allows more precise energy systems operations. The power of the algorithms used to extract new value from the data, to simulate scenarios or in reaction to unexpected events, increase operational performance.
The uberization of the energy world is running: the willingness of consumers to reduce their dependence on the major players, to participate in the world of energy is gaining ground despite the defensive strategies of traditional players.
The pressure for greater energy efficiency is increasing: the regulation completes and reinforces corporate or individual initiatives to react to climate disruption.
The growing commitment, although still difficult, of local authorities, on the one hand, and the need for more numerous interactions with consumers, on the other one, are upsetting the traditional governance patterns of energy systems.
These are just a few examples; in a strategy paper available on my website for utilities I listed thirty disruptions affecting the energy market as well as twenty major consequences!
To continue to talk about the energy transition may reveal a soften appreciation of reality. Strongly believing in the power of words, I fear that this term does induce many errors for energy, political and economic players, leading them to believe that they will be need just simple adjustments in the coming years, that they have all the sufficient time to adaptor that defensive strategies will allow them to survive.
I do not believe so because it is not an energy transition that utilities have to manage , it’s an energy revolution they have to face !