Energy Storage Could Herald Doom for Central Utilities

A report by the Edison Electric Institute has warned that utilities could be struck a fatal blow by the the rise of distributed generation, especially solar energy. In “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Energy Business”, the authors wrote that grid operators need to be cognizant of the challenges distributed generation poses to their business model. The tone of a passage in the report is decidedly ominous, stating that predicting that “as the cost curve for these technologies improves, they could directly threaten the centralized utility model … [and] one can imagine a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent.”

President of The Alliance for Solar Choice, Bryan Miller, commented on the “self-written obituary”, lamenting on the lack of discussion on innovation before concluding with an apocalyptic note for the utilities – “storage is going to happen”.

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