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More than a third of energy executives in Europe believe that it will become common for customers to self-supply energy and go off grid by 2020, according to a new major survey released by Vlerick Business School’s Energy Centre in partnership with KPMG. The rapid development of batteries and electric vehicles are identified as important drivers for change.

The survey pooled executives from top Distribution System Operators (DSOs) in 24 countries on the changes they foresee in the industry landscape in the next five years. These executives represent 70% of the European energy customers.

Decentralisation and self-supply will affect supply-demand equilibrium. Nearly all respondents (98%) think that the trend towards more decentralised electricity generation will continue.

Executives expect an even faster moving industry, with big changes in innovation (86%), asset management (75%), and investment programmes (85%).

Nearly all respondents (94%) expect important changes on a regulatory level, but only a mere 50% think that regulatory commissions have a good understanding of the complexity and challenges the industry faces.

Nearly half of the operators (45%) do not limit themselves to electricity, but they also manage natural gas networks (39%), telecommunication networks (21%), or water networks (15 %).

65% believe that multi-utility is the future of the DSO business.

72% of the respondents think that DSOs will become more service-focused than asset-oriented.

76% of the respondents expect that investment needs will require substantial amounts of new equity by 2020.

69% also believe that more collaboration among DSOs is required of which half think that M&A is the most beneficial way to collaborate.

Daniel Dobbeni, Chairman of Vlerick’s Energy Centre, says: “Decentralised and renewable electricity as well as customers becoming self-suppliers will change the power sector like never before. Industry actors must therefore quickly acquire new knowledge and experiences. We believe that dedicated education, networking and research will support DSOs in achieving their ambitious objectives.”

ENDS

For a copy of the report or to speak to Daniel Dobbeni, please contact Alexandra Dobocan at alexandra@bluesky-pr.com or call +44 (0)1582 790 709

Note to the Editor:
Vlerick Energy Centre is a platform for discussing the future of energy, focusing on the roles of Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs). Its flagship international executive education programme − The Future Grid Managers Programme − is a joint initiative with the Florence School of Regulation, which tackles the management challenges and opportunities specific to DSOs and TSOs in the energy industry in Europe.

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