Decentralization of power generation has the potential to improve upon energy use efficiency, helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide additional energy security (E.ON UK, plc. 2014). Rather than having only limited, yet massive, power generation sites and transmitting energy over a great distance, energy may be generated and distributed by smaller facilities reducing loss and waste (Casten, Jan. & Feb. 2005). Local communities will benefit from geographically driven solutions taking advantage of an area’s unique ecosystem and resources. Decentralization in and of itself does not prohibit any particular form of energy development; it merely focuses the efforts of the best solution in each unique locale. This is a big shift, however, spurred by improvements in technology that could change the structure of the energy utility company as it exists today. Current energy utility companies may find themselves shifting to a project management type role in helping to coordinate and maintain transmission generation from smaller, more local generators (Koerth-Baker, April 6, 2012).
Companies that are focused on research and development, environmental consultants, financial advisors, maintenance, and, of course, political and policy consulting firms will all be in great demand. This is also a time when technology improvements may increase significantly with a more competitive business environment. It is likely we will see breakthroughs in storage and computer technology opening the door to new companies that will service the infrastructure. One of the more interesting opportunities may well lie in bringing together local, regional, and national efforts ensuring efficiency while maintaining a broad focus aimed at economic, social and environmental sustainability. Policy issues and solutions will evolve over time as deemed necessary. A company well versed in regulatory affairs and the intricacies of public policy will be necessary to keep this new energy delivery structure moving forward.
Casten, T. R., & Downes, B. (2005, Jan. & Feb.). Critical thinking about energy: The case for decentralized generation of electricity. Skeptical Inquirer, 29(1). Retrieved from http://www.csicop.org/si/show/critical_thinking_about_energy_the_case_for_decentralized_generation_of_ele/
Koerth-Baker, M. (2012, April 6). What we talk about when we talk about the decentralization of energy. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-the-decentralization-of-energy/255873/2/
What is decentralized energy? (2014). e-on. E.ON UK plc. Retrived from https://www.eonenergy.com/for-your-business/large-energy-users/manage-energy/energy-efficiency/decentralised-energy-experts/What-is-decentralised-energy