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2019 Strategic Directions:Electric Report

Repowering the Power Industry

The sweeping survey that underpins Black & Veatch's 2019 Strategic Directions: Electric Report sharpens the focus on a power industry at a pivotal time of change punctuated by increasingly popular, clean renewable energy sources and a murky regulatory climate.

Call it the new normal, and a time for power providers across America to repower themselves with a keener eye toward sustainability and resilience. 

While it continues to deal with decades-old issues involving its graying infrastructure, the power industry is facing an increasingly complex future as its customer base morphs, empowered by distributed energy resources such as microgrids, and renewable options drawing upon the wind and sun. Electric vehicles — everything from cars to buses and trucks — are swelling in numbers, demanding that utilities answer the call for the massive charging infrastructure that such fleets require.

This report – backed by a survey of nearly 900 industry stakeholders, the most ever for this yearly, decades-old assessment – 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. Now more than ever, as this report reflects, the electric industry must be nimble — and start planning for necessary upgrades.

Learn More:

  • Executive Summary: Utilities Must Evolve:

    Rising demand for clean and sustainable energy has made this one of the most dynamic and exciting moments in the history of power supply. It's also one of the most vexing: Across diverse geographies, and even more diverse stakeholders, there are both opportunities and deep challenges to meeting the social and economic goals tied to the reliable, resilient supply of quality power.

  • Global Renewables:

    Around the globe, decarbonization goals reliant on the growing integration of renewable energy are gaining traction in helping utilities, governments and corporations become greener as they work to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Power Transmission:

    As the popularity of renewable energy intensifies, utilities are investing well beyond repairing and replacing their graying infrastructure as they scramble to link renewable energy sources to the grid.

  • Electrified Fleets:

    Fleet and sustainability managers are going greener and cleaner with EVs ranging from cars, transit and school buses and vans to light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, as well as airport shuttles and freight yard tractors. These incentives help owners capture savings, provide better working conditions for drivers and abide by increasingly stringent emissions standards.

  • Distribution Planning:

    Planning for today’s distribution networks is a little like driving down a foggy road at night. Knowing what’s ahead and having more visibility makes a ride like that easier, but the clarity those two conditions provide is lacking for utilities and other players in the power sector as they travel toward a modernized grid.