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2019 Trends in Energy Management

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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more

In response to Energy Central's call for insights on 2019 trends, I answered the following questions:

What are the most important issues you are facing in Energy Management? 

  • Electric loads across the country have declined due to gains in energy efficiency programs over the past decades, placing pressure on the traditional utility business model - not to mention the proliferation of DERs and tech giants eyeing the energy space. Because of this, we will see utilities increasingly focus on revenue protection and monetization opportunities in 2019.

What are the biggest changes that you see coming up? 

  • Beneficial Electrification (BE), or strategic electrification, is a massive change just on the horizon that could spur electric load growth, increase grid efficiency and flexibility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (National Electrification Assessment, EPRI). Utilities need to get ahead of this trend in order to capitalize on new revenue opportunities and understand the impact of electrification for load planning.

What trends will affect your part of the industry for the next five years?

  • A trend that will affect utilities over the next five years is skyrocketing electric vehicle (EV) sales. An estimated 2.9 million EVs are expected to hit the streets within five years, and, according to CAISO, this will bring over 11,000 GWh of load to the U.S. power grid (or about $1.5 billion in annual electricity sales).
  • Utilities have the opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence to detect EVs in the home for DSM programs, another growing trend among forward-thinking utilities. This will be critical for utilities who wish to want to plan for electrification and take advantage of monetization opportunities in terms of offering charger upgrades for EVs.

What were the most impactful changes in 2018?

  • The long-awaited release of Tesla’s Model 3 in 2018 heralded the coming age of mass market electric vehicles (EVs). With Tesla setting the standard for the continuing downward cost trend of EVs, EPRI estimates there will be over 90 EV models available by 2022, up from 45 in 2018. That is double the number of models in three short years.

Discussions

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 16, 2019

I agree the EV trend will be a HUGE one as the electricity demand increases along with mass market adoption. While Tesla has certainly paved the way, I'm not sure  the Model 3 (sticker prices still over $40,000) will cause you to see EVs in garages everywhere. Hopefully in the next generation or so (in line with when I'm in the market, I hope?!). But luckily the rest of the automakers are taking cues from Tesla and building out even more affordable EVs, so the trend should hopefully hold!

Abhay Gupta's picture

Thank Abhay for the Post!

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