The Changing World of Utilities
Empowering electricity, water and food security
In view of the changing utility landscape, the need arises to re-define the “Utility of Utilities” focusing on ensuring electricity, food and water security. The global community is well aware of food, energy and water challenges, but has so far addressed them in isolation, within sectoral boundaries. A comprehensive approach to sectoral management, through enhanced communication, collaboration and coordination, is needed to ensure optimization that co-benefits and trade-offs are considered and the appropriate safeguards are put in place.
Harmonizing the regulatory frame work for utilities
Realizing that sector specific regulatory frameworks have evolved over the years for different utilities, the time has come to co-opt best practices across domains to the changing times. The main aim is to ensure transparency, safeguarding the quality and delivering cost effective services to consumers while taking into account the environmental impact and safeguarding interests of all stake holders.
Racing with technologies
Utilities strive to catch up with technologies and many technologies driven projects are implemented to provide quality supply and services to consumers. Technology projects that are user centric rather than vendor driven see the success and acceptability in a faster phase. Understanding and discussing the various technological developments that are needed will benefit both the utilities and industries.
Impact of environmental regulation on Utility business
The Paris Agreement by UNFCC in October 2016 which brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and decarbonizing the economies. This will also enhance financial support to renewables. The developing countries will have minor concessions for some time. However, these changes will have significant implications to the utilities business.
Convergence of Utility business
Utilities and the allied industries need to re-look into their business models while world is geared up to implement the Paris Agreement. Many utilities are consolidating their business operations and significantly, electricity, water and gas utilities are transforming themselves from ‘poles & wires’, ‘valves & pipes’ and ‘regulators & cylinders’ companies to give value added services to consumers through convergence of service from technological front.
Transportation electrification, storage and renewable energy integration nexus
This will have huge impact on electric utilities as the world moves towards electric transportation. The advancement of storage technologies will be a key enabler of transport electrification; this along with the induction of renewable energy systems will dramatically alter the human and material transportation in the near future.