Navigating the Energy Transformation

Building a Competitive Advantage for Energy Cloud 2.0

A historic transformation of the utility industry is now well underway. From the prolific rise of distributed energy resources (DER) to customer empowerment to digitization efforts across the grid value chain, disruptive changes are transforming the way power is produced and consumed globally. The result is an emerging grid that is cleaner, more distributed, and increasingly intelligent—also known as the Energy Cloud.

Changing customer needs, evolving policy and regulation, and accelerating technology innovation and integration will drive the creation of more distributed transactions and dynamic business models. They will also spur a more sophisticated two-way grid platform and an increasingly competitive ecosystem. Moving beyond siloed technologies, ongoing digitization efforts across the industry are laying the foundation for dynamic platforms that recombine technologies and services. From integrated DER (iDER) to smart cities to Internet of Things (IoT), these platforms provide many new opportunities for growth. It is no longer a question of if these changes will occur. Rather, it is a question of when these changes will take place—and more importantly, how? Across the emerging Energy Cloud ecosystem, $1.3 trillion in new annual industry revenue is expected to be created by 2030.

This Navigant white paper provides a framework for approaching strategic planning within an industry facing historic transformation. The paper introduces the Energy Cloud Playbook, a blueprint that industry participants can follow to prepare their organizations to maneuver around disruption and capture value in the Energy Cloud. Three Energy Cloud scenarios—conservative, moderate, and aggressive—outlined in this paper describe various degrees by which this energy industry transformation could occur.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • What is the Energy Cloud?
  • What industry and technology trends are leading to industry transformation?
  • How will the impacts of clean, distributed, and intelligent energy be felt across the industry value chain?
  • What emerging platforms offer new revenue opportunities?
  • How can industry stakeholders prepare and plan for Energy Cloud transformation?
Who needs this report?
  • Utilities
  • Grid operators
  • Energy management hardware and software vendors
  • Smart grid hardware, software, and service vendors
  • IT, networking, and telecommunications vendors
  • Energy technology manufacturers
  • Industry associations and standards organizations
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1  The Energy Cloud

1.2  Strategic Threats and Opportunities

1.3  Energy Cloud Scenarios

1.4  A Blueprint for Navigating Complexity: The Energy Cloud Playbook

2.  The Energy Cloud 2.0

2.1  Disruptive Triggers

2.2  Next-Generation Energy Platforms

2.2.1   Integrated Distributed Energy Resources

2.2.2   Internet of Things

2.2.3   Transactive Energy

2.2.4   Smart Cities

2.2.5   Energy (Communications) Superhighway

2.2.6   Building-to-Grid

2.2.7   Transportation-Utility Nexus

2.3  Harnessing Emerging Energy Platforms

3.  Industry Transformation

3.1  Clean, Distributed, and Intelligent Energy

3.1.1   Customers

3.1.2   Regulation and Policy

3.1.3   Technology

3.1.4   Business Models

3.1.5   Operations

3.2  Global Shifts

3.2.1   Europe: Full Speed Ahead

3.2.2   Competing Visions: California versus New York

3.2.3   The Emerging Frontiers: Mexico, Canada, and Japan

3.3  The Energy Cloud: Tomorrow

3.3.1   Industry Convergence Meets Boundary Expansion

3.3.2   The Energy Cloud Operating System

4.  The Energy Cloud Playbook

4.1  The New SAIDI

4.1.1   Sponsor a Team

4.1.2   Assess the Market  Conservative Scenario (Business as Usual)  Moderate Scenario (Grid System)  Aggressive Scenario (Energy Cloud)

4.1.3   Identify Inefficiencies

4.1.4   Develop More Competitive Solutions

4.1.5   Innovate Relentlessly

4.2  Conclusions and Recommendations

5.  Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes
6.  Acronym & Abbreviation List
7.  Table of Contents
8.  Table of Charts & Figures

List of Charts and Figures

  • The Emerging Energy Cloud
  • Disruptive Triggers in the Utility Industry
  • Energy Cloud 2.0 Platforms (Sampling)
  • Blueprint of a Fully Integrated DER System
  • Energy Cloud Transformation
  • The Energy Cloud Innovation Ecosystem
  • Industry Convergence Meets Grid Boundary Expansion
  • The Energy Cloud Playbook (the New SAIDI)
  • The Energy Cloud Matrix (Illustrative)
  • Energy Cloud Scenario Revenue Generation (Est.) by Value Chain Segment, World Markets: 2030
  • The Clean, Distributed, and Intelligent Utility
  • iDER and the Energy Cloud Playbook

List of Tables

  • Toward a New Business Model
  • DER Business Models
  • Global Supergrid Proposals

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