Culture wars: It may explain the continued efforts of some network operators to push back against the installation of more rooftop solar.
UBS analysts suggest energy utilities in Europe, north America and Australia are facing a “perfect storm” from the falling costs of renewables, energy efficiency and falling demand, and may not be able to sustain their business models. The analysts suggest the utilities embrace wind and solar, storage and other services if they are to survive.
This provocative suggestion came from the Grattan Institute, which says writedowns of the value of network assets is inevitable. The only question is who should pay: shareholders, taxpayers, or consumers?
Networks are facing the biggest challenge to their business model since poles and wires were first erected a century ago. It will need new concepts such as a ‘thin pipe’ model to control costs, retain customers and avoid having stranded assets. Otherwise, they will fall victim to solar ‘guerrillas’.