The once static utility industry is becoming a dynamic and transformative opportunity for the nation’s economic, environmental and energy future. An array of technological, competitive and market forces are changing how the United States generates power and the ways that Americans interact with the electric grid. A century-old centralized system is yielding to advanced, distributed-energy generation capabilities — in which power is produced at or near the place where it is consumed — that allow the industry to respond to new market opportunities and evolving consumer desires.
At the root of this evolution are years of flat electricity demand — the result of efficiency improvements; expanded, clean and efficient generation options; changing expectations for energy infrastructure, such as an increased priority on reliability and security; and enhanced standards for controlling pollutants.
These behavioral and economic shifts are driving the nation toward cheaper,