Top Utility Trends of 2020
2020 has been a year of tremendous disruption for electric utilities, and for the world in general. But while the COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily slowed some of the larger trends driving the power sector, the overall transition to a cleaner, more distributed future continues.
This can be seen in the continued expansion of renewables, storage and distributed energy resource options across the country, along with new state and federal policies to drive them.
2020 also saw continuing challenges for coal and gas, increasing sophistication of cyber threats, emerging trends in rate design, and the continued rise of electric vehicles. Increased electrification is also raising questions about the role of utilities and future impacts on the power grid.
The stories below provide a flavor of these and other major trends driving the power sector today.
Propelling the transition: The battle for control of virtual power plants is just beginning
As virtual power plants develop, there is a growing debate about the degree to which the future of distributed energy management will be controlled by large utilities or third-party aggregators. Read the full article ➔
To batteries and beyond: With seasonal storage potential, hydrogen offers ‘a different ballgame entirely’
The ability to provide long-term storage could give power-to-gas technologies an edge as renewables grow on the grid, some experts say. But larger questions remain around the infrastructure and policies to support it.