Europe’s energy firms must “rethink” business model

Europe’s energy companies can’t afford to ignore the fundamental changes to how people get power and gas, says the boss of the World Energy Council. His comments suggest large, centralised energy […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Europe’s energy companies can’t afford to ignore the fundamental changes to how people get power and gas, says the boss of the World Energy Council.

His comments suggest large, centralised energy companies can no longer rest on their laurels and assume they will always succeed, in the face of new renewable energy sources much closer to homes and business sites.

Dr Christoph Frei told ELN: “New realities require new business models… The current business model… only a decade old, is no longer valid.”

He pointed to the “strong signal” given by German energy giant E.ON’s recent move to split its business, saying: “Others are perhaps less proactive about their strategies [but] they can’t ignore it.”

It’s not only electricity companies but those in gas, infrastructure, coal which will “have to rethink” and ask themselves tough questions about their business strategy, suggests the economist.

He spoke ahead of the launch of the World Energy Council’s latest report which finds volatile energy prices are the “new normal”.