Consumers are challenging and changing the traditional business model for utilities owing to the increased demand for solar and wind to supplement their energy needs and lower their costs. While the rise of prosumers and renewable energy promises to positively impact climate change, it also forces utility companies to adapt to this change by shifting their business models in order to lead in the new energy environment.
To start off, many organizations have started to use location intelligence from geographic information systems (GIS) that have been previously leveraged for mapping, managing, and analyzing all aspects of their network.
Transforming the Energy Market with Microgrids
Many power providers have tried to change consumer habits by charging more for electricity at peak hours such as the hottest time of day—turning a part of traditional utility pricing on its head. The intention behind this move is for forcing consumers to reduce the air conditioning usages and hold off heavy equipment used for the off-peak hours like the evening time.
The Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that use solar power experience the peak energy production at the hottest time of the day. This can help in reducing the need for energy from a traditional utility. Along with it, the consumers have an added benefit of recouping their solar investments under three decades.
A Wider Scale Coordination
A utility not only needs to know the prosumer's standpoint but also the large public and private entities that could affect the availability of power. Coordination refers to the ability to plan in conjunction with other large-scale operations—including planning and responding to long-term trends and real-time situations.
Every technology in utility needs to have a clear understanding of the development plans and predicted growth patterns of cities and districts under them. Much of that information resides at city and county zoning and planning departments. Those plans ultimately affect the decisions about the expansion of the power grid or the management of energy resources.