Defining the Opportunities for Expanded Grid Integration of Renewable Energy and Utility Business Models of the Future
ACORE, in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), will convene all the relevant stakeholders to examine the growing role of renewable energy and the utility business models of the future in this complex and rapidly evolving electric power generation industry.
Currently 14% of power generation, renewable energy will continue to grow as a share of the overall U.S. electricity portfolio. A combination of private sector ingenuity and investment, along with government policy, has driven significant cost reduction, technology improvement and scale up of the renewable energy industry. Over the last five years, 35% of all new power production has come from renewable energy generation.
At the same time, developments in natural gas extraction present game-changing opportunities, stringent environmental standards raise performance requirements, the central generation fleet is aging and the transmission/distribution systems require expansion and upgrade. The broadening fuel portfolio and need for extraordinary capital investments are occurring as technological innovations, regional differences in resource availability, the changing nature of customer relations and usage patterns, emerging financing structures, the electrification of our transportation sector, and an uncertain policy outlook present challenges and opportunities to the power generation sector, tasked with delivering state-of-the-art and reliable service.
Objectives & Program
Building on the considerable progress power generation companies across the U.S. are making in employing a host of strategies to integrate renewable energy into their operating systems, the objective of this collaboration is to define a viable architecture for the scale up and systems integration of renewable energy resources. The collaboration will: (1) examine the challenges, opportunities and appropriate strategies related to the expanded use and effective integration of renewable energy in the power generation sector; and (2) explore 21st century business models that will allow for this renewable energy scale up.
This multi-part Initiative brings together leaders from the utility, business and investment, regulatory, public and non-profit sectors to explore the regulatory framework, the changing nature of customer relations, emerging financing structures, the advent of new technologies, and what this all means for business models for renewable energy electricity in the 21st century.
A committee of renewable energy, utility and other sector leaders has been formed to bring to bear the experience, expertise, and perspectives across the sector, broaden and deepen initiative inputs and support consensus building. This committee is comprised of ACORE members and will engage in focused activities, including: market, technology, procurement and policy analysis; meetings; conferences; and communications.
ACORE has formed a Smart Grid Working Group (SGWG) as a key component of our Power Generation & Infrastructure Initiative. The objective is to increase understanding among ACORE members as well as policy makers and regulatory officials about: (1) the critical role the smart grid can play in enabling the integration of higher amounts of renewable energy into the grid; and (2) the regulatory and policy framework that must be in place to ensure the smart grid is in fact transformative for our industry.