Renewable energy could make utilities obsolete in the futureApril 5, 2013
Utilities may lose against the capabilities of renewable energy
The world is becoming increasingly involved in renewable energy, so much so that traditional utilities companies may not be necessary in the future. The concept of renewable energy is quite simple: Electrical power that can be produced through the use of sustainable resources, such as sunlight, wind, or hydrogen. Renewable energy allows consumes an opportunity to produce the electrical power they need without having to rely on a utility. Traditional energy production involves the use of finite resources, which associated a certain price with energy. As renewable energy systems become more available to consumers, they are beginning to see that the traditional way utilities have worked for decades is becoming obsolete.
Solar energy helping make electrical power more accessible
The U.S., and several other countries, have come to embrace solar energy in a very aggressive fashion. These countries have been promoting the use of solar energy systems for some time now, opening the way for companies specializing in this form of renewable energy to provide services to consumers. Through feed-in tariffs and other government policies and initiatives, these companies have managed to help many people install solar energy systems in their homes. Government support has also helped lower the cost of these solar energy systems. As prices for solar panels and other technologies continue to drop, more consumers are gaining access to renewable energy, and may soon break their reliance on utilities.
Utilities may be little more than back-up energy solutions in the future
Duke Energy, a utility conglomerate providing electrical power to Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, notes that the rise of solar power, as well as other renewable energy systems, is likely to change the way utilities do business. CEO Jim Rogers suggests that solar technologies combined with an efficient energy storage system could force utilities to serve as little more than back-up energy providers. In this sense, utilities would see drastic cuts in their profits in the future. Where some utilities are worried about their revenues, others are adapting to the changing energy landscape.
NRG Energy provides a glimpse at a possible future for renewable energy in business
NRG Energy, a traditional utility, is one of the first energy utilities to break into the business of small scale renewable energy production. The company has begun constructing solar energy systems for commercial and industrial buildings. These provide energy directly to the building itself, without having to go through a utility first. Companies that use these energy systems do not actually purchase the electrical power they produce, rather they lease the systems themselves for a monthly fee. In this way, utilities are removed from the equation, and this trend is becoming increasingly popular in the world of business and may soon become widespread among consumers.