The growth of distributed energy generation — particularly in the form of solar energy — leaves the aging, monopolistic electric utility system a daunting choice: Come out swinging in defense of the status quo or boldly jump into the cockpit, put on the co-pilot’s hat and fly toward the clean energy future.
The second choice is not only the best option, it’s also a vital move toward curbing climate change, serving customers with fair prices and, most important for the folks calling the shots, keeping utility companies in business.
In order to stay competitive, utility companies, grid operators and the people who regulate them need to do what’s right for people and planet — incorporate renewable energy, storage and software to modernize the grid.
The momentum for renewable energy builds as prices fall and emissions regulations tighten. Supporting this trend doesn’t stop at pro-solar policies. Innovating to keep up with the technology is essential for both wider adoption of renewables and a better, more resilient grid.
Breaking the common solar-versus-utility narrative, some utility companies are not only accepting the idea of a clean energy future — they’re ushering it in. For those who aren’t, the consequences will continue to grow. The question for utilities is, will they be leaders or laggards.