Full Title: Beyond the math: Preparing for disruption and innovation in the US electric power industry
Author(s): Gregory Aliff
Publisher(s): Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions
Publication Date: 3/2013
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The electric power industry could soon be facing its most disruptive period of change since the commercialization of electricity in the 19th century. The time is ripe for significant transformation because the potential for dramatic disruption1 to the existing electricity operating model is coming not from one direction, but from many—demand, technology, regulation, new products, and new competitors.
The single most powerful force, however, is likely the wave of energy-related technologies that are breaking long-established boundaries—most critically, the lines that separate electricity providers from customers. Distributed generation, for instance, is turning the tables on traditional business models by enabling many customers to produce and consume their own electricity, as well as to sell excess production to electric companies. In parallel, increasingly intelligent hardware and software systems are allowing consumers and businesses to smartly manage and thus significantly shift and reduce their electricity consumption. Continuing advancements in energy storage also have the potential to alter the traditional electricity customer/supplier relationship. In the not-too-distant future, homes and busi- nesses may rely on energy storage units, fed by local renewable sources and distributed generation, as their primary sources of power.