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Electric Utilities Evolve with Technology - 2016 Strategic Directions Report

Electric Utilities Evolve with Technology - 2016 Strategic Directions Report

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Distributed generation and distributed energy resources may collectively make up the single biggest accelerator of change within the power generation industry. Their emergence is affecting many points along the stakeholder chain at the residential and enterprise levels – from customer engagement and the spending of capital to bold business opportunities aimed at taking advantage of wider adoption of distributed generation and renewables, such as solar, wind, reciprocating engines, combined heat and power, fuel cells and microturbines.
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This year, for the first time, natural gas is expected to outrank coal as a fuel resource for electric generation on an annual basis. Yet, despite this negative scenario, coal remains an important part of generation across North America, especially in the Midwest and South, and two-thirds of survey respondents still have active coal facilities counted among their assets.
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Global concerns over climate change culminated in an unprecedented international agreement in December 2015. The Paris Accord set the stage for nations to commit to reducing emissions of heat trapping pollutants beginning in 2020. Here in the United States, the Clean Power Plan (CPP), finalized in the fall of 2015, similarly aims to set the stage for large-scale carbon dioxide emissions reductions from existing power plants beginning in 2022.
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The rise in electric vehicle use, customer billing technologies and the importance of energy storage provide new opportunities for utilities to gain revenue. However, a more connected infrastructure can also mean one that is more vulnerable to cyber threats.
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Concluding Thoughts
Given the pace of technological advancements, the next 10 years will represent the end of the traditional utility model and usher in a new era of enhanced competition and a consumer-driven approach to energy services. Utility leaders can no longer afford to fight the change, a decade ago. The time has come to lead the change.
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2016 Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Report

Recent years have seen electric utilities begin to adjust - at times painfully [Tweet This] - to transformative supply, regulatory, technology and market-driven challenges. This year is no different, with the industry in the midst of a fundamental business model transformation. Today, the North American electric industry is looking to its origins to better understand its future as the evolution of the central generation model continues. The 2016 Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Report examines how electric utilities are applying lessons from the past to identify and manage emerging challenges and opportunities.



Download the full report to learn more about how electric utilities can leverage innovation and technology. [Tweet This]