Does digitalisation have the potential to make the likes of the electricity market more intelligent?
This is undoubtedly true. However, automation and monitoring processes frequently require a certain level of investment. Unfortunately, it is rarely possible for many players to participate, have a say in and benefit from digitalisation. As a result of political decisions and investments, as well as the strategic approach taken, monopolies, tendencies towards greater centralisation, and cartels can emerge (as can be observed in many areas) that impede progress and disempower citizens, or rather do not allow participation.
The latter trend is being further cemented by the growth of state economy.
How might it be possible for more people, as well as smaller and medium-sized companies, to participate in the electricity market?
More market economy, and segmented market economy, is required. Energy policy should motivate citizens to take entrepreneurial decisions on their own initiative. When there is something to gain, the necessary interest tends to be generated. This is not negative per se; as the number of independent, better-off people with a certain level of autonomy rises, so too will the benefits for a country or region. Having more players and alternative perspectives often leads to the distribution of power, federalism and an improved standard of knowledge. Digitalisation and affordable technology play a key role here.
Independent auditors are crucially important for functioning markets
Do you trust management lobbies, such as the tobacco lobby, or large banks and international organisations? Perhaps your answer to this question has at times been “yes and no”. As an independent observer, one could come to the conclusion that financially strong institutional investors wish to profit from the opportunities created by digitalisation on a grand scale. A balanced, civil-controlled system that utilises professionals from different areas is generally the best option. Particularly in Switzerland, many people are searching for a job that is supposedly “secure”. Nevertheless, institutionalised organisations, social services and state structures continue to grow at a fast pace in this country. As a result, “legions” become and are dependent on these players, which in turn constrains independent businesses or even places them under a taboo. This trend has a few isolated positive effects, but not in relation to innovation, progress and sustainability.
Can digitalisation be monitored in a functional way?
There are many relevant topic areas here that are desirable in functioning democracies. Auditors’ inspections are key. A mutual system of independent and governmental monitoring would be sensible in theory, but not fully feasible in terms of costs. Economical decision-making, market power and deliberate business competition would be highly successful in a relatively short period of time when paired with thought-out basic conditions, standardisation and digital intelligence. It is time for legislators to act. There is no lack of committed, hard-working groups in this area. Let us make landmark decisions that allow for reasonable accelerations so that we can slow down in areas where, for example, our health and knowledge will be promoted.