The 3Ds - three trends impacting the global energy sector at an unprecedented pace:decarbonisation, digitisation, & decentralisation

The rapidly emerging trends of decarbonisation, digitisation and decentralisation require fundamental changes in regulatory approaches and prompts a rethink of who can participate in the energy market. But at the moment, the global energy sector is uncertain whether regulations can keep pace with the changes.

In the recently released report: World Energy Trilemma 2017: ‘Changing dynamics - Using distributed energy resources to meet the Trilemma challenge energy leaders around the world have been asked whether current energy regulations could accommodate the shifting energy supply structure. The result were alarming as more than 40% of all leaders from public sectors and more than 50% from private sectors said NO.

So what do these trends mean for achieving balanced energy policy and how we solve the energy trilemma of energy sustainability, energy security and energy affordability.

Prepared in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman and the Global Risk Centre of its parent company Marsh & McLennan, the World Energy Council tapes into global insights of the traditional and emerging players in the electricity sector. Through interviews and surveys with utilities, transmission companies, energy entrepreneurs, storage providers, and e-vehicle developers, the report identified three key focus areas for policymakers and industry leaders to balance the energy trilemma and meet evolving consumer demands.

As part of the report the BusinessNZ Energy Council and the World Energy Council, have interviewed Alison Andrew, the CEO of Transpower, who says "Consumers have new options for making, storing, and controlling electricity, and their impact on the energy outlook is a challenging factor to accommodate. For example, by the 2020s, we expect there will be more battery storage in the system. Looking beyond that, we are asking questions around how energy will be used, such as will people still demand electricity as they do now, in what form, and what role will the grid play, etc.?"

The new report shows that over the past decade, storage installation projects have sharply increased and that trend is expected to continue over the coming years. Global energy storage capacity along with revenues from utility-scale applications are expected to increase dramatically over the next 5-10 years. But without dynamic policy frameworks this growth could stall.

In fact, policy frameworks that do not integrate distributed energy resources will face investment challenges.

The BusinessNZ Energy Council recommends the timely adoption of energy policy and regulations in response to technology-driven trends that enable empowered energy consumers and transform the traditional demand and supply equation.

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