The new electric utilities | TechCrunch

New utilities are enabled by new technologies and business models, not fuels. Almost two-thirds of Americans want renewables to be prioritized. This desire transcends party politics and climate denial. But this doesn’t mean consumers want to pay more.  

Solar (and wind) power have made rapid progress against other energy options. Solar, and to a lesser extent, wind have benefited from rapid technological improvements.

While solar is seeing a rapid reduction in costs, a critical issue remains — when the sun is out. 

First, batteries can help. Backup systems aren’t new, but their market penetration is relatively small. Batteries will replace fuel-powered systems, especially in sunnier spots.

Second, homes have many connected energy devices such as thermostats and hot water heaters. 

Energy cost curves point to steadily declining costs because we’re gradually removing fuel costs. Utilities have built vast infrastructures funded by investors who bet on their ability to collect payments much like governments collect taxes.

1 Comment

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SXSW 2018: Energy and Tech Executives Envision the Carbon-Free Future

    Wetselaar was part of a panel on the future of energy at the 2018 South by Southwest Interactive conference. The group’s far-ranging discussion considered such sweeping industry trends as tech collaborations between large companies and small startups, the rapid spread of distributed and renewable power generation, and surprising new combinations of technologies that are starting to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

    Wetselaar’s declaration about personal energy budgets was meant to give his listeners a vivid idea of the magnitude of the changes in store for not just energy producers but also for consumers. “The energy sector needs to change drastically in the next 30 years,” he says. “And no one knows for sure what it will look like.”

    He adds: “It’s not just about cleaner energy. It’s about producing a lot more energy. That’s a big agenda for energy producers, like us, but also for consumers.”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *