Renewables, Regulation And Consumer Tech Pose Critical Electric Industry Challenges


A new report from Kansas-based engineering and construction firm Black & Veatch says utility executives are feeling increasingly uncertain about the pace of regulation due to the rise of renewable energy, distributed generation and the growing role of natural gas in the power market.

Nearly 80% of the respondents surveyed for the report believe that distributed generation is a serious business challenge. At the same time, nearly three-fourths of utilities say they are likely to make distributed generation investments.

According to the report, 30% of respondents are planning investments in ‘behind-the-meter’ technologies, such as microgrids, energy storage and distributed generation. More than 40% are weighing the value of such investments.

"Today's policies are based on a fixed-grid operator selling power to its customers; times are changing,’ says Dean Oskvig, president of Black & Veatch's energy business. ‘Customers can now generate their own power and put it back on the grid. At the same time, host utilities must maintain their complex infrastructure to meet government mandates for reliability. Utilities must continue engaging stakeholders and regulators in ways that harness technology gains and support environmental goals. They must do so while maintaining the reliable grid that consumers rely on.’

For more information on the report, click here.

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