Utilities could save billions each year by switching to efficient energy systems

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Newly published research has highlighted the vast amount of money that the world's electricity utilities industry could save by shifting to more efficient, low-carbon energy systems, Yahoo Finance reports.
According to a new report exploring the opportunities for growth and competitiveness within the sector, as well as how it can meet global environmental goals, a low-carbon transition could create in the region of €245 billion and €380 billion in new annual value by 2030.
The study focused on six key areas where there is opportunity to boost revenue and efficiency and drive real business value. These include cutting waste in power generation; installing technology to capture and reuse carbon; developing low-carbon electricity sources; exploring new energy efficiency services; distributed generation; and flexibly managed energy supply through advancements in energy storage technologies.
By taking advantage of the opportunities that low-carbon energy systems offer, utilities can boost their competitive advantage and sustain longer-term growth. However, in order to leverage this opportunity, the sector will need to transform its current business models, the researchers noted.
The five emerging business models that can help achieve the value pockets highlighted by the report – worth €135-€225 billion in saved or avoided costs, and €110-€155 billion in new revenue – include:
  • Energy as-a-service provider: Delivering energy services as opposed to energy as a commodity.
  • Large-scale low-carbon energy generator: Managing an energy portfolio containing at least 90% low-carbon electricity.
  • Local clean-energy access provider: Partnering with individuals and communities to assist with accessing clean, locally-generated energy.
  • Flexibility manager: Matching and balancing supply and demand to optimise efficiency across the energy distribution system.
  • Carbon capture and reuse operator: Reducing emissions from energy-intensive facilities, as well as capturing and reusing carbon dioxide in industrial processes, and creating value from waste.
Paul Dickinson - co-founder and executive chairman of CDP, who collaborated on the report - explains that, "While utilities' strategies and timelines will vary depending on their current asset base, the local market and their regulatory environment, the transformation in the industry will be very significant. -"The opportunities are great," he added.
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