The decentralizing of power generation is filled with both positives and potential pitfalls. Some of the biggest positives will come from the growth of renewable generation. Creating small scale generation facilities on a residential or even business level is a much simpler and manageable process than creating large scale generation facilities that could rival today’s fossil fuel generation facilities. As small scale generation systems continue to evolve, ultimately it gives the individual much more choice in how they get their power. Whether it is through PV solar, wind, or any new form of power generation that is invented. This freedom could be great for the industry. Very similar to how the telecommunications industry has evolved since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by lowering the monopolistic power of existing telecom companies, decentralization and deregulation of power generation will force innovation and evolution by the existing power companies. Flood the market with competition to the existing government regulated monopoly and the industry will begin to innovate much faster. The biggest potential negative effect of decentralization is the effect on the grid. The nation’s electric grid is expensive to construct and maintain. It is also central to the stability and security of the country. With increased customers coming off the grid, the burden of maintaining the grid falls more on the customers still using the grid and cost increases become proportional with the people leaving the grid.
The potential for new businesses is potentially endless. New PV designers, companies that install and maintain new systems. Companies that develop, install and maintain battery storage systems for people once the new generation systems are installed. Efficiency consultants who can show how to make better use of your new systems and allow for smaller more compact systems that do not need to generate as much power. As the industry evolves more and more the potentials are endless.
If I was going to start my own business within this industry, it would have to be consulting. I am not an engineer, I do not consider myself an inventor what I do believe is a strength is in analysis and project management. Consulting is important because business owners and individuals cannot be expected to be experts in energy generation or efficiency nor should they be expected to spend the necessary time to research the systems properly themselves. I can also see a business that does system design, either as part of the consultative aspect or as a stand-alone business. Not actually getting into manufacturing, or install of physical equipment but as someone who puts together all aspects of a system from power generation, to battery storage, to smart meter technology and efficiency measures that finally give residential and business customers energy independence or profit.