Utility Investments in Emerging Technologies May Transform the Traditional Grid

by Bob Shively, Enerdynamics President and Lead Instructor

Utilities are often criticized for being too conservative and living in the past rather than466470105 (2) innovating to meet the future. With recent controversies over solar net metering, opposition to energy efficiency programs in some states, and opposition to the EPA’s Clean Air program, it would be easy to assume that utilities are determined to use lobbying clout to craft regulatory rules that will keep them comfortable in their historic way of doing business. But industry observers who believe this may be missing the true story.

Utility Dive recently surveyed over 400 utility executives for the State of the Electric Utility 2015 survey (available for download here).

Included in the study’s finding is the following:

Top three emerging technologies survey
It is illuminating to note that the three central generation technologies (natural gas peaking units, environmental upgrades, and carbon capture and storage) are at the bottom of this list. Meanwhile, renewables and “future grid” technologies such as storage, energy efficiency, demand response, and microgrids are popular. If utility executives indeed act on their convictions, we may see a more rapid transformation of our traditional centralized grid than many observers have envisioned.

About Enerdynamics

Enerdynamics was formed in 1995 to meet the growing demand for timely, dynamic and effective business training in the gas and electric industries. Our comprehensive education programs are focused on teaching you and your employees the business of energy. And because we have a firm grasp of what's happening in our industry on both a national and international scale, we can help you make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all.
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