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Navigant Sees Distributed Generation Market Passing $182 Billion

Today’s explosive growth in distributed generation is drawing business away from utilities, especially in Western Europe, according to a new Navigant Research report that forecasts the worldwide DG market will surpass $182 billion within the next decade. The growing use of distributed generation is eroding utility revenue, leaving some to … [Read more...]

The Consumer-Centric Energy Provider: Moving from Concept To Reality

What does it take to be a consumer-centric energy provider? Think of yourself as a consumer goods company with an active storefront, says Marie Bahl McKenna, Tendril's senior vice president of sales and marketing. As an energy provider, you’re likely hearing conversations about how the industry is moving to a services model. While all the talk is … [Read more...]

Microgrids and Utilities: Friend or Foe?

'Microgrids and Utilities' is the latest excerpt from our Think Microgrid guide. Microgrids face the same kind of risk as other energy projects – permitting issues, market penetration, financing, and fuel supply management. But one of the greatest and most talked about risks for a microgrid involves its relationship with the local … [Read more...]

ACEEE: No Utility Death Spiral, But…

The much-hyped utility death spiral may be just that – much hyped. Still, the patient better make some changes to keep up good health. That’s the message in “The Future of the Utility Industry and the Role of Energy Efficiency,” a new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The death spiral refers to a phenomenon that … [Read more...]

Energy Users Go For Efficiency, Smart Apps; What's a Utility to Do?

A new report from Deloitte, its fourth annual resources study, says the writing is on the wall for the conventional utility: It's time for change. Consumers are embracing energy efficiency and alternative energy, businesses are going for onsite generation, and the Generation Y set is warming up to smart energy apps, says the report, among other … [Read more...]

Utilities Need to Get Real about the Distributed Energy Threat

We’ve all heard a lot lately about the distributed energy threat and how it might hurt utilities. For example, the Rocky Mountain Institute earlier this year released a report saying that customers will soon begin defecting from their utilities and embracing off-grid solutions that involve solar energy and storage. RMI found that in the southwest … [Read more...]

Microgrids, Money and the Utility ‘Death Plunge’

This is the second part of our coverage on microgrids from last week’s Northeast Sustainable Energy Association BuildingEnergy 14 conference in Boston. Read Part I here. If distributed generation is accelerating the utility death spiral – as some say – will microgrids cause a total utility plunge? That’s the question Galen Nelson, director of … [Read more...]

Restructuring US Public Electric Utilities: Using the General Motors Bailout Paradigm

Could the United States public electric utility industry be gradually heading toward a federal bailout, or a series of state bailouts? Helping to drive this debate is the September 3rd, 2013 Markets Research Report, authored by Vishal Shah and issued by Deutsche Bank Securities, titled, "Distributed Generation to Herald New US Growth Era." The … [Read more...]

Glad Tidings for Utilities: Energy Efficiency Programs and Utility Profits Can Go Hand in Hand

(This post originally appeared on the ACEEE Blog.) One of the foundations of ACEEE’s work is that energy efficiency has proven to be typically the cheapest, cleanest energy resource available. Most households, businesses and industries have existing opportunities for a variety of investments in energy-efficient technologies that yield strong … [Read more...]

Averting the Utility Death Spiral: GE’s Idea

It's odd the way we pay utilities, especially in an era when saving energy is so important. Utilities earn revenue based on their electricity sales. Yet we ask – or even demand – that they encourage customers to buy less electricity by using smart thermostats, efficient lighting, and the like. Few businesses find themselves in such an odd … [Read more...]