Perfect Storm or Perfect Opportunity? Future Scenarios for the Electricity Sector

Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Distributed Generation and its Implications for the Utility Industry, 2014, pp. 453 - 474
Issue Date:
2014-06-24
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© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.. This chapter applies futures thinking to explore possible scenarios that electric utilities may face in the coming decades. The chapter applies a top-down approach to identify the key drivers that could influence business models. It describes three possible futures in detail. Firstly, the "centralized" future moves toward decarbonization but retains the centralized model present in most power systems today. In contrast, the "decentralized" future moves toward greater decentralization while retaining a significant role for the grid. The "disconnected" future moves to complete decentralization, with most customers disconnecting from the grid entirely. The chapter concludes that all three scenarios are possible and will have important implications for electric utilities. Wise businesses will adopt a risk management approach.
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