Mapping out a new role for electricity distribution in an era of disruption
For utility distribution businesses, a centralized generation model with limited active control looks increasingly inadequate. To meet future technical requirements, evolving consumer needs and a changing regulatory framework, we believe companies must take actions toward a new role.
In this third edition of the Digitally Enabled Grid research program, we explore some of the disruptive forces facing the industry and investigate a new model that could be sustainable in the long term.
Accenture believes the future of distribution is in sight, and that the Distribution Platform Optimizer model provides the most sustainable long-term solution for the utility and all users of the system; controlling costs, providing access to the network and supporting policymakers in meeting sustainability targets.
A few years ago, electricity utilities across the world were caught off guard by the advent of mass market solar photovoltaics. Opportunities for investment were missed and demand was disrupted before the required interconnection details and regulatory constructs were developed. Now another disruptive new technology is coming onto the scene: battery storage.
For distribution utilities there are two urgent questions. First, how will mass deployment of storage-related technologies impact the business and provide benefits to network operations and ultimately the broader consumer base? Second, how can direct deployment of storage by distribution companies itself help to transform the business?
It’s time for utilities to embrace the opportunity of storage.
Utilities executives who are already investing or expect to invest in energy storage.
Utilities executives see storage as a source of moderate to significant revenue upside.
Utilities executives believe that a new tariff model for distribution should be a priority regulatory change within the next 10 years.
Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research program is designed to provide actionable insights and recommendations around the challenges and opportunities utilities face along the path to a smarter grid. The program draws upon primary research insights from utilities executives around the world as well as Accenture extensive modeling and analysis.