Free-to-attend Hub Session - Tuesday, 3 October, 2017
What are the differences between the US and the European utility landscape and why is it interesting to share and discuss them?
"The US utility landscape has begun to feel the transformational effects of increasing DERs. Solar coupled with the growth of energy storage and continued deployment of wind are only beginning to change the national power landscape. However, in pockets such as in Hawaii, California, Texas and the Midwest these resources are disrupting practices at all levels of the power grid. Wholesale markets are restructuring to prepare to incorporate DERs and adjust to utility-scale renewables in daily operations, while distribution utilities are working to develop visibility and integration practices to manage DER throughout their lifecycle.
The European utility market is facing massive changes as additional renewable and intertie capacity within and between national electricity markets. As returns at the wholesale level become increasingly uncertain, utilities have refocused investment and resources toward energy services for end-customers. In both geographies, utilities face changing wholesale markets. In the US, investment in the distribution grid is accompanying the increase in DERs. In both Europe and the US, utilities are working to develop new offerings to address customer needs with new technologies and business models."
Ben Kellinson, Director, Grid Research, GTM Research
"Meeting the complex energy trilemma goals of energy security, sustainability and equity requires a collective effort. No single country can do it on its own. Having been involved in the energy communities both in the US and Europe, young professionals are very curious about the developments in the other region. Why? There are many overlaps in the work that each one does that can be combined as well as complementary strengths that each can learn about the other. Building a global community will grow a network that will allow us to get things done more quickly and effectively 5, 10, 20+ years down the road. So let's do it!"
The US is a major producer and supplier of energy as well as being the world’s largest energy consumer. Total investment in the US energy sector was at $280 billion in 2015 (source: Select USA), and rising especially with US energy companies developing their infrastructure networks supported by emerging innovative technologies developed for the smart grid.
In 2017, with the US being partner country at European Utility Week, the Summit programme approached different angles of US innovations being developed to produce, harvest and store energy sources, combined with a huge focus on clean energy sources.
The free-to-attend Hub Sessions also offered practical insights into the differences between US and European utilities in planning, installing and using new technologies and solutions that are very relevant for utilities on both sides of the pond. Furthermore, the US diversity in regulatory, customer and workforce management drivers has created a living ‘test’ lab for technology evolution and business model transformation which is happening faster and faster. All areas of focus in EUW17's US-related Hub Session programme.
US Programme Elements
The 2017 programme was developed for knowledge sharing between EU and US utilities in their efforts to develop their business models in the current Energy Transition. It showcased a variety of key topics including:
- Summit keynote: Regulation and Innovation: Energy in the USA, Market Design with Innovative Regulation, with Brien Sheahan, CEO, Illinois Commerce Commission
- Summit: The Utility of the Future, with Carlos Nouel, Vice President, New Energy Solutions, National Grid/New Energy Solutions
- Summit: An overview of the American Smart Grid with Timothy Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Renewable Power, US Department of Energy
- Summit: Key panels and discussions in various sessions, including the point of view from US governmental institutions and utilities with Kate Zerrenner, Senior Manager US Climate and Energy Program Environmental Defense Fund; Dave Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board
- Hub Sessions: Partner Country in Focus: USA - a dedicated session, focusing on the Mega Trends Impacting the US Utility Sector; a session co-organised with Greentech Media
- Hub Sessions: Architecture trends with Louise Harpman, Architect and Associate Professor, NYU