Accelerated growth and the integration of distributed energy resources will continue to transform the power and utility industry
As distributed energy resources (DER) assets continue to grow in number and installed capacity, energy providers must accelerate the transformation of business models and the way they engage with customers to become orchestrators of a network of integrated DER platforms. According to a new white paper from Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure (ES&I) segment, integrated DER, or iDER, is one of seven emerging energy platforms identified in the Energy Cloud 4.0 vision of a more sustainable, highly digitized, decentralized, and dynamic energy system.
As Guidehouse notes, under an accelerated scenario, iDER could account for at least half of all new generation capacity by 2030. To achieve this, a fundamental rethink of strategy and planning, as well as organization and system operations that embrace DER networks and their underlying technologies, will be needed. In doing so, iDER is expected to enable a more successful transformation and an energy system better attuned to evolving demand and customer needs.
"The shift away from centralized generation requires integration platforms that can aggregate, organize, optimize, schedule, and settle rapid-fire transactions that are necessary to keep the grid in balance," says Dan Hahn, leader of Guidehouse’s Energy Providers practice. "Nurtured by technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine-learning algorithms, iDER solutions may serve specific stakeholders, but they’re also aimed at a common purpose: supporting a sustainable, reliable, affordable, and customer-centric energy system."
For utilities and other stakeholders, this represents a platform for innovative business models, leveraging network orchestration and enabling more ambitious value creation in tomorrow’s energy system.
"The only way to meet the sustainability, affordability, and decarbonization goals set forth by public and private sectors is to reinvent utilities and allow for better orchestration of flexible loads, generators, and energy storage to deliver value across the entire Energy Cloud ecosystem," says Peter Asmus, research director at Guidehouse Insights. "Stakeholders that move now to embrace iDER will be better prepared to reap the rewards sooner."
According to the white paper, achieving true iDER will include a combination of market reforms linked to technology advances and reimagined relationships among utilities, suppliers, and consumers to create an environment where win-win scenarios can play out across the DER ecosystem, not as exceptions, but as standard practice.
"Utilities and other stakeholders need to take a lead role in this emerging Energy Cloud ecosystem to maximize shared value from DER integration, enabling industry transformation to be sustained across the entire value chain," says Mackinnon Lawrence, director in Guidehouse’s ES&I segment.
To learn more about iDER, download Guidehouse’s latest white paper, Integrated DER: Orchestrating the Grid’s Last Mile, and join the social media conversation through #FutureUtility.
About Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure Segment
With more than 700 consultants, Guidehouse’s global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment is the strongest in the industry. We are the go-to partner for leaders creating sustainable, resilient communities and infrastructure, serving as trusted advisors to utilities and energy companies, large corporations, investors, NGOs, and the public sector. We’ve solved big challenges with the world’s 60 largest electric, water, and gas utilities; the 20 largest independent power generators; five of the 10 largest oil and gas majors; the 20 largest gas distribution and pipeline companies; European governments; and the U.S. federal government’s civilian agencies involved in the country’s land, resources, and infrastructure. We combine our passion, expertise, and industry relationships to forge a resilient path toward sustainability for our clients. We turn vision into action by leading and de-risking the execution of big ideas and driving outcomes for our clients that enable them to reach their ambitions through transformation.
Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. We help clients address their toughest challenges with a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change, technology-driven innovation, and significant regulatory pressure. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, we help clients create scalable, innovative solutions that prepare them for future growth and success. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the company has more than 7,000 professionals in more than 50 locations. Guidehouse is a Veritas Capital portfolio company, led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets, and agenda-setting issues driving national and global economies. For more information, please visit: www.guidehouse.com.
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