Utility Business Models to Address Energy-Environmental Challenges

Utility Business Models to Address Energy-Environmental Challenges

Energy CIO Insights | Wednesday, April 10, 2019

UTILITY BUSINESS MODELS TO ADDRESS ENERGY-ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGESTechnological revolution and changes in economic conditions are expected to transform the utility industry. This transformation can have a huge impact on businesses. In the United States, the conventional utility business models suffer from stability factors due to changing policies and increase in customer demands. Moreover, these demands are frequently monitored with policy leadership governors employing utility regulators and state legislators to develop new energy strategies to alter utilities and meet unmet needs.

The existing utility business models are highly dependent and have succeeded in providing high affordability rate, safety concerns, and reliability. But with changing trends, the public policy priorities are accelerated toward the requirement of additional parameters to build an efficient utility business model. In order to develop a modern business model for next century business needs, the utility model should be strengthened with factors such as environmental performance, resilience, expanded choice, and novel innovation along with conventional factors—recognized by American Power Plan, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

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More than one-fourth of the U.S. green gas emission is generated by the electrical sector, forcing utility partners to design model, which minimize emission rate by deploying electricity-powered heating and transportation. Moreover, conventional utility systems lack emission reduction techniques, flexible operation, and energy efficient measures. Since utilities are completely dependent on electricity, having their own renewable micro-electricity generation plant will reduce greenhouse impact and enhance environmental performance. The U.S. utilities have come up with a clear trajectory about the power mix, comprising renewable gas, and distribution systems to achieve clean power in the future.

Recently, customer protection with data security protocols is a critical factor to avoid security breaches. Utilities have assumed that protecting new customers is a burden due to increased global risks and cybersecurity threats. Meanwhile, an increase in power grid data collection is proportional to vulnerabilities. In order to overcome this limitation, utilities should be designed with high-end authentication protocol with the right tools to protect customers from the multifaceted transition. The utilities also suffer from limited technological resources, which increase the cost-metric along with lack of services. Moreover, with an increase in demand, customers should be provided with expanded options to select the objectives on the basis of their requirements.

Furthermore, with rapid change in technological pace, the utilities should be periodically reformed to ascertain minimized cost, excellent benefits with a backward-looking investment plan, innovative technologies carrying a higher rate of risk failures along with proven infrastructure-based solutions. Also, parameters such as securitization, accelerated depreciation, and platform revenues should be effectively implemented during the utility design process.

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