A big shift in the way we produce or consume energy could disrupt energy markets as a whole, starting with power markets and snowballing from there. The driving force behind it all: pressure for deep decarbonization and the falling cost of renewables.

Smartphones brought together media, telecommunications, photography, messaging, gaming and GPS into a single platform, changing consumption patterns in each of those industries — and disrupting business fundamentals as a consequence. Similar to how smartphones served as the vehicle for disrupting these disparate industries, power markets will soon disrupt the various commodities that make up the energy sector.

How do we know that the energy sector is next in line?

We’ve studied similar market or industry disruptions and found six common markers for impending disruption. Outlining these six markers and their presence or absence within the industry gives us a framework to examine California — with its decarbonization measures and renewables introduction — as an example of disruption already in progress. How will these markers and the power market’s unique challenges ultimately determine the likelihood and pace of disruption?

Download our in-depth discussion of the power market today and find out how quickly we expect it to begin affecting the energy sector at large.