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Proactive Consumers and Distributed Generation are Transforming the Traditional Utility Business Model, According to Navigant Research

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Proactive Consumers and Distributed Generation are Transforming the Traditional Utility Business Model, According to Navigant Research






A new white paper from Navigant Research examines the major trends and market forces that will shape the future of the smart grid market, including summary forecasts for five smart grid application areas. 




Electric utilities are facing disruption on a number of fronts, including widespread deregulation, the spread of distributed generation (DG), the proliferation of renewable, often intermittent, energy sources, and accelerating adoption of electric vehicles and energy storage systems.  According to a new white paper from Navigant Research, the rise of proactive consumers, or “prosumers,” adopting distributed generation systems is expected to reshape the smart grid market and profoundly alter the traditional utility business model in the coming years.




The full white paper is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.




“As one executive interviewed by Navigant Research in 2014 remarked, when it comes to smart grid technology, ‘not much is new, yet everything has changed,’” says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.  “While technological breakthroughs and innovations emerge almost daily, the utilities expected to implement these new systems and build ever more intelligent, reliable, and efficient grids move at a relatively slow pace.”




In particular, the rise of prosumers promises to alter the traditional relationship between residential customers and utilities, according to the white paper, forcing utilities to adapt their grids for the two-way flow of energy.  While this two-way flow of electricity is not a new concept, the growing affordability of solar PV and other DG systems has stimulated increased interest and adoption by customers who embrace the opportunity for greater control of their energy consumption.




The selection of these 10 trends was based on industry research conducted by Navigant Research analysts throughout 2014.  They include:

  • Prosumers prod the traditional model
  • Smart metering 2.0: Maximizing the bang for the advanced metering infrastructure buck
  • Smart edge: More utility solutions leverage distributed intelligence and automation
  • “Your power is out; we are working on it”: Utilities get jiggy with social media and mobile devices for customer engagement
  • Smart grid as a service: Moving from hype cycle to real world product
  • The push and pull of DR: Default dynamic pricing and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 745
  • Just the FACTS, ma’am: Flexible alternating current transmission system deployments rise in step with power plant decommissioning
  • High-voltage transmission getting in synch
  • Holistic health for utilities: Regulators tweaking the utility recipe, but are there too many cooks in the kitchen?
  • A more worldly smart grid industry: Europe and Asia Pacific especially poised for growth over the next several years




    The white paper, “Smart Grid: 10 Trends to Watch in 2015 and Beyond,” provides insights into key issues that are expected to shape the smart grid market in the months and years ahead, with summary forecasts for five smart grid application areas.  Each of the topics in this white paper is examined more deeply in Navigant Research market overview reports, which are identified for each trend.  The full white paper is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.




    About Navigant Research



    Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries.  In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets.  The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, and Smart Buildings sectors.  


Posted December 4, 2014

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