Utility Dive gathered a group of eight industry thought leaders to give their predictions about what 2017 will bring for the electric power sector. Among them is AEE CEO Graham Richard. Here's what he had to say:
7. More states will tackle grid modernization
Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy: We at Advanced Energy Economy expect that in 2017 more states will follow the lead of New York, California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii in undertaking major regulatory action to overhaul their electricity systems.
In fact, up to a dozen states and jurisdictions such as Washington, D.C., will be pursuing grid modernization or alternative rate design to accommodate the rapidly changing technologies that will make our electric power system more flexible and customer-focused.
I believe we will also see greater interest on the part of regulators and utilities in taking a comprehensive approach to rate design for distributed energy assets, avoiding the reactive disputes over fixed charges and net metering we have seen in the past year or two.
Finally, starting with FERC’s proposed rule removing barriers to participation of energy storage and aggregated distributed energy assets in the organized electricity markets that account for more than half of the electricity generated and consumed in the U.S., we will see rapid growth and breathtaking innovation.
When taken to scale, these technologies, especially when used in combination, will dramatically change the way we meet our energy needs. By the end of 2017, I believe we will be well on the way to having an electric power system that is truly fit for the 21st century.
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