Engerati’s Week in Smart Energy: the utility in transformation

Utility in transformation towards energy services company
How will utilities manage the change to becoming modern energy services companies?

A new survey from consultants DNV GL has found that a majority of energy experts believe that a 70% renewable grid at no additional cost to consumers is possible by 2050.

And no less than 50% believe that this is possible as early as 2030, writes Jonathan Spencer Jones, contributing editor to Engerati, the sister portal to Metering.com focusing on smart energy. [Renewables Grid Possible Within 15 to 35 Years]

Such a high degree of consensus on this issue is remarkable, given that no less than 71 countries were represented in the survey.

However, there are caveats: primarily that there is political leadership and policy making, while the response to the technical issues is mixed, with some system and network operators fearful of the challenges – “there will be a revolt” said one DSO representative – but others apparently relishing them and keen to take them on.

One particularly interesting result was that electricity consumers were regarded as more vital – by almost double the number of respondents – than utilities in achieving a renewable grid.

The extent of political leadership will vary from one country to another, and consumers are important both in contributing to the renewable deployment and as prosumers in the integration challenges, but there is little excuse for utilities to take such a back seat.

Engerati and Capgemini will be presenting a webinar later in the month on utility transformation to the current game changing energy market disruptions. [From Utility to Energy Services Company – Fighting Back with New Ideas]

Background material we are currently preparing, which will be published over the next two weeks, makes clear the need for utilities to be forward looking and adapt – and not, as one North American integrated utility project manager said in the DNV GL survey: “… We seem to think if we bury our head in the sand and not react, maybe it will all go away.”

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