The continued surge of renewables from the sun and wind is pressing utilities to better integrate that “new energy” onto the grid. Calls for decarbonization from activists, shareholders, states and countries are increasing, fueling the need for utilities to balance energy portfolios that span fossil fuels and move toward cleaner, more environmentally friendly options. Electric vehicles (EVs) and electrified fleets are gaining traction, pressuring power providers to meet charging needs. New technologies such as hydrogen paired with battery storage shows growing promise.
All the while, aging infrastructure remains a vexing issue as utilities strive to bolster their resilience and reliability.
Without question, it’s a time for power providers to repower themselves.
This report dissects the changing face of power and illustrates the progress being made to modernize as consumers become emboldened by technology and choice.
The quest for energy independence and a cleaner, greener way of keeping the lights on and the machines running truly is under way. And as Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s power business, maintains, complacency can be a curse in this industry where consumers expect their power providers to be progressive and proactive.
2020 Strategic Directions: Electric Report
The 2020 Strategic Directions: Electric Report – melding analyses by leading experts and a survey of more than 600 stakeholders – examines the complex issues and trends impacting today’s power sector waging a sweeping transformation.
The surge in renewable energy – and the pressing needs by utilities to effectively integrate it onto the grid – is driving much of the discussion as the energy ecosystem evolves, including the growing use of microgrids. Hydrogen and its pairing with battery storage is attracting more attention. The quest for sustainability, reliability and resiliency continues to push utilities and power developers toward broader investments in decarbonization as more states, counties and countries impose mandates that power sources become cleaner and greener.
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Executive Summary: As the Power Sector Transforms, Opportunities Rest With Embrace of Renewables, Modernization
Rising demand for clean, sustainable energy has made this one of the most dynamic and exciting moments in the history of power supply. The quest for sustainability, reliability and resiliency continues to drive utilities and power developers toward broader investments in decarbonization, some more quickly than others. Electric vehicles (EVs), microgrids and regulation also are driving the need to change.
With the push for decarbonization, the expansion of renewable energy is changing how investment dollars are allocated across the system. So how does that change ripple back to the multibillion-dollar buildout of renewable generation?
As the industry responds to changing consumer behaviors, unpredictable load patterns and broader use of distributed energy resources (DER) and other customer-driven nuances are transforming technologies. Innovation increasingly is based on digital information and communication technology (ICT), including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), blockchain technology and robotics.
While one of the power industry’s great advantages should be clarity in its business activities, murkiness on the regulatory side of the business is deepening as the sector’s decision-makers adapt to an increasingly competitive energy marketplace that appears to bring more unknowns by the day.