The U.S. power sector has seen unparalleled levels of disruption over the past year due to the global pandemic, cyberattacks, and extreme weather events—all at a time when the industry is faced with the need to transition to a cleaner, more mobile, increasingly distributed, and intelligent infrastructure.
In an article for Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF), Guidehouse’s Mackinnon Lawrence, Daniel Hahn, and Brett Feldman discuss several areas of dynamic change identified in the sixth annual State and Future of Power study, a collaborative survey conducted by Guidehouse and PUF.
“Our Pulse Survey of industry leaders points to an increased focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, electrification efforts, and more aggressive integration of distributed energy,” said Mackinnon Lawrence, director in Guidehouse's global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure practice and leader of Guidehouse Insights.
The three experts outline areas of dynamic change in the industry that must be embraced by the power sector, such as new customer strategies for remote work, cybersecurity and grid resilience, changing corporate structures and competition, business model risk and innovation, and ESG investments to achieve sustainability goals.
Despite the significant short-term impacts the events of the past year have had on the energy industry, they are expected to accelerate the transformation into a more resilient, customer-centric, and technologically advanced future.
“Utilities will have to assess numerous areas of their operations such as real estate, asset management, and communication systems,” said Dan Hahn, partner and leader of the Energy Providers practice within Guidehouse’s global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment.
The key to success for utility executives will be anticipating and preparing for the known and unknown challenges ahead.
“Executives need to prioritize weatherizing existing assets, adding grid-hardening technologies, and creating more clean backup power options,” said Brett Feldman, research director with Guidehouse Insights.
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