In 2016 alone, investment in distributed energy companies in North America and Europe topped $1 billion — triple the value since 2010. As distributed energy resources (DERs) become more widely deployed and third-party entities continue to infiltrate the market, regulators, stakeholders, and consumers have more data and resources at their fingertips than ever before. But with opportunity comes several key challenges, and all actors should be paying close attention to whether or not they’re really getting the value of these resources right.
Utility providers need to develop a keen situational awareness of the external market forces and internal operations that will spur — or hinder — their growth over the months and years to come. Our own Steve Fine, who leads the ICF Distributed Energy Resources team, recently discussed some of the key challenges facing utilities and how that knowledge can help us better envision the future of the industry.