A new report that examines the changing energy ecosystem, driven by increased adoption of clean energy technology and innovation, was released yesterday by Black & Veatch.
The 2018 Strategic Directions: Electric Report explores the progress made by the electric utility industry as it slowly adapts to this new power landscape.
Traditional grid systems and business models are evolving, building pressure on the electric industry to seek new opportunities for revenue in an increasingly competitive market. Meanwhile, cities, states and large corporations are making plans to invest in renewable energy in a bid to declare their energy independence, while the industry continues to operate in a regulatory landscape that is often ill-equipped to support new market realities.
According to the report, energy professionals point to reliability as the number one challenge facing power producers today, followed by cybersecurity and ageing infrastructure.
This year’s survey was conducted online earlier this year with input from more than 300 qualified utility, municipal, commercial and community stakeholders.
In addition to industry challenges, the report addresses a number of issues including:
- The changing role of customers and what utilities must do meet energy consumers’ desire for greater control over how and when they use their power,
- How reliability and resilience remain cornerstones of the industry in which aging infrastructure is a significant issue,
- What utilities can do to shore up their cyber and physical security.
The report also discusses how, if the industry fails to implement alternative energy solutions and/or regulations fail to recognise the need for flexibility, utilities may experience an economic death spiral.