The energy transition is forcing policymakers, regulators and utilities alike to rethink the current market models to enable participation by prosumers with distributed generation. The US is very much in the lead, especially in states like New York, where the role of the utilities is being redefined. In Europe a region-wide approach is being taken with the ‘New Deal’ focusing on putting the interests of consumers – be they active prosumers, regular users or in energy poverty – at the core of the Energy Union. In a new text the European Parliament has set out some 40 recommendations, which are now set to be incorporated into forthcoming legislation. [‘New deal’ for European energy consumers]
Forward-looking utilities are snapping up service and technology companies like never before as they look to a service-oriented future in the new energy market. Centrica has been active in this field and with its latest acquisition, the combined heat and power company ENER-G, is targeting CHP for industrial and commercial consumers. [Centrica looks to CHP] ENER-G is active primarily in Europe but includes customers in Australia and Canada. With Centrica’s presence in the US and with the aspiration of an international distributed power business, significant growth in CHP can be expected.
Where the electricity sector has been the water sector is following. There is a growing need for sustainability in water usage and cost reduction to remain competitive. Deregulation is now being introduced to the UK water market, with big changes starting to occur as the “behind the scenes” activities ramp up. With competition due to commence in April 2017, the timelines are tight for utilities. For customers, this brings about more choice when it comes to suppliers and it gives them the ability to command improved products and services to support their businesses. [Market transformation: water sector is next]
In an interview in Engerati sister publication Metering & Smart Energy International, Julien Groues, Senior Vice President, EMEA for C3 Energy, shares some thoughts on the direction the utility business is moving in, where opportunities lie for utilities utilizing analytics and the value they can derive. [Analytics is advancing faster than you think…] “One of the things that this industry needs is visionaries,” he says, given the need for innovation while at the same time utilities continue to supply power to the requisite degree of quality and reliability.
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