Innovating Utilities into a 3D Era of Energy Takes the Brightest Minds

This article originally appeared in Fierce Energy.

As consumers and commercial customers continue to take charge of how much electricity they use and how it’s produced, utilities, smart grid and renewable energy companies are finding themselves innovating and collaborating on new business models. As Flutura Decision Science Analytics writes, there are three irreversible forces at work redefining the energy markets. The first is deregulation and the emergence of retail energy providers in markets like Texas and New Jersey. Second is decentralization and the growth of distributed power from the maturation of wind and solar. There, consumers are making the transition to becoming ‘prosumers,’ with educated opinions on where their energy should come from. Third is digitization and the increased instrumentation of the grid with sensors, SCADA and smart meters which emit unprecedented data with minimization patterns buried within them.

Both utilities and technology companies are mapping out new avenues to take advantage of these 3D shifts in the energy sector, as well as navigating increasing government mandates on access to distributed generation, while at the same time maintaining profitability for all. These issues are not technology problems. Instead, they are business puzzles creative thinkers and clever negotiators must figure out.

As a leading clean energy recruiting firm, we’re seeing companies across the sector ramp up the accusation of key marketing and business development personnel to help them take advantage of these new opportunities with utilities. As the relationships between utilities, grid-edge, renewable and storage companies mature, it will be the brightest minds, not the best technology, that take the advantage.

The Utility Shift is Now

In a recent online poll, respondents were asked how many years people thought it would take for solar to significantly disrupt the energy sector. The majority (82 percent) gave solar up to 5 years. Only 17 percent chose the longer timeframe of 6-10 years. Such research implies people think utilities have up to five years to implement business plans that help them take advantage of the changing tide.

Read the full article on Fierce