The Energy Industry is Reshaping Rapidly! Here’s Why That Impacts You
image credit: The energy industry is changing faster than many are able to keep up, and recent studies are depicting a severe disconnect between factors such as climate goals, customer satisfaction, and overall company-responsiveness.
- Apr 3, 2020 11:49 am GMTMar 25, 2020 9:19 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2020-03 - Innovation in Power, click here for more
As a Communications and Digital Marketing Analyst for Pulse Power LLC, I've seen the effects of many energy companies being unable to meet their customer's rapidly-evolving needs. During a time of uncertainty, the last thing you want to see your energy company as is 'old school.' Energy-consumers and homeowners are starting to feel the lack of follow-through from major players in the energy industry.
At Pulse Power, we are setting our sights a step above this, aiming to be a progressive company that is continuously seeking new ways of offering our clients daily satisfaction. The most significant trend set to face in 2020 is the continued expansion of clean wind and solar energy. Texas may be the country's leading state producer of oil and gas, but thanks to its increasingly vast fleet of wind farms, it now generates 20% of its electricity from wind and solar – Nearly as much as the green-centric state of California.
Despite the enthusiasm, however, renewables continue to face significant challenges that may slow their adoption. Last summer, history was made when the month of August saw grid operator ERCOT's reserve generating margin melt to nearly nothing amid a heatwave, as record power demand drove wholesale prices to an eye-watering $9,000 per megawatt-hour. (Average real-time wholesale prices in 2018 were about $36 per megawatt-hour.)
Texan residents were asked to turn down their air conditioners — never a popular request — and ERCOT issued its first "energy emergency alert" in five years.
As you can see, times are changing and you'll want an energy provider that can keep up.
Texas' enormous fleet of wind farms has taken heat for not cranking out more power during August's sweatiest hours. Then, there are the perpetual calls for ERCOT to ditch its "energy-only" market and embrace a 'Capacity Market,' in which backup power generators in the home are utilized in the scorching Texas summer months.
Pulse Power has watched these negative impacts up-close, and therefore, we have been hard at work to formulate the optimal courses of action. Texas is moving towards a cleaner source of energy that is more reliable, and we want to move along with the state initiatives to help progress these goals.
One example of our mission to strive beyond is offering smart thermostats to customers as an incentive with enrollments to help manage months like June through August.
Smart generators can be the next big thing; it runs on natural gas or liquid propane fuel and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit. A home backup generator delivers power directly to customers' home electrical system, backing up their entire home or only the most essential items.
Today, we can monitor the status of a generator from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet, or PC. I believe, based on evidence, that this could help our industry with managing a consumer energy consumption on days where it's too hot to use your traditional AC unit.
Encouragingly for Texas residents, advancements in home-battery-technology are also very promising. The number of electric vehicles on the road is projected to grow significantly, set to be 19% of all automotive sales (whereas in 2018 electric vehicles accounted for roughly 4%, according to The U.S. EIA's Outlook for 2050). Just as a domino effect, prepare for change; because this significant shift will generate a considerable need for electricity at people's homes and communities.
The future lies in having change and innovation for our industry; traditional retail energy producers should adopt new tools and techniques to not fall behind. Technology adoption requires a strategic approach; hence, business leaders in all retail energy providers should identify the types of business problems to which emerging technology solutions can be effectively applied.
We at Pulse Power are scaling our business and learning quickly to explore the rewarding possibilities of our future industry. The innovative attributes of a digital business model will offer all of us more flexibility, convenience, and customized usability in the future. Our objective is to adapt to our client's rapidly changing needs in a marketplace that never slows down.