With renewable energy now reaching households in the form of rooftop solar and battery storage (like Tesla’s new Powerwall), the chorus calling for the demise of the traditional utility has become deafening. The rise of distributed generation will cause massive load and grid defection that will lead to a loss of revenue by the utilities. As a result, utilities will be hobbled by the democratisation of electricity generation or so the narrative goes. Rising self-generation from increasing solar rooftop penetration and load shifting via home batteries will lead to a utility death spiral from an ever-shrinking customer pool. These disruptive impacts are indeed occurring, but we believe it is too early and also unlikely to say traditional utilities are dead men walking. We examine our view in these five sections: Tesla-hysteria. Distributed generation needs more connectivity not less. Utilities will leverage off their strengths. Live examples where utilities are doing something. The focus will be on reliability. We conclude that utilities and the regulatory structure will evolve such that the focus in the future will be on delivering reliability. (VIEW LINK)



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