Technology Advances Support Industry Goals
According to survey responses, technological advances for meeting energy transition demands are keeping pace with transformation and utilities recognize the need to accelerate integration. When asked what energy transition outcome should be prioritized within their territories, a majority of survey respondents (64.5%) pointed to integration of clean and distributed energy.
Biggest Industry Challenge is Regulatory Constructs
The restrictive environment in which most North American utilities operate is seen as the industry’s biggest hurdle in terms of meeting its goals and investing more aggressively in the energy transition. Fifty-three percent of respondents cited regulatory challenges as the biggest hurdle, followed by 42% who said the immaturity of new business models and the time to scale new solutions prevented more aggressive investments.
Transportation Electrification is Most Anticipated Impact of IRA and BIL
When asked about the long-term impact of the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed in August 2022, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the bills’ impact on electrifying the transportation sector was most often selected (66%), followed by anticipation of a dramatic acceleration in upgrades to the transmission and distribution (T&D) grid and improved resilience (54.5%).
No Consensus on Utility Role in Quality of Life
While survey responses overall indicate growing industry appreciation for the role utilities play in social equity and community quality of life, there remains no consensus on what direct investments utilities can make to achieve these goals. Roughly one-third each said development of backup power solutions, building/transportation electrification, or digitalization for improved grid flexibility represented the best path forward. In reality of course, all three of these must be achieved in order to support longer-term goals, as the even split amongst respondents implies.
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