Now that 2017 is behind us, it’s time to look forward to that brave new world that is 2018! But before we leave 2017 in the dust, I thought it would be helpful to publish one more blog post covering trends and lessons learned from the past year – specifically, trends around utility regulation.
Top Utility Regulation Trends for 2017
As I was researching this topic, I stumbled onto a great article from my friends at Green Tech Media that summaries the top-10 utility regulation trends of 2017. Click on this link to read the full list. Three of these trends in particular are highly relevant to emergency preparedness.
- Diversified distribution planning – This refers to steps that the industry is taking to tweak the grid in ways that enhance its ability to accommodate things like renewable energy sources, microgrids, and other innovative energy-supplying approaches. This is great news, because generation diversity is necessary to enhance grid reliability in the face of increasingly volatile weather.
- Grid modernization – This essentially refers to investments designed to smarten the grid, such as advanced metering (AKA smart meters), and investments in advanced communication technologies.
- Energy storage advancements – If energy could be stored from renewable sources for later reuse, it would dramatically improve overall grid resiliency.
Obviously, some of the other ‘top-10’ trends not listed above overlap with the field of emergency preparedness, but in my opinion the three I call out are the most relevant. The bottom line is that utility regulation protocols are increasingly geared toward improving reliability, which is necessary to improve the degree to which utility companies are prepared for the worst-case scenario.