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STUDY: Energy Leaders Rank Integration of Distributed Generation as Top Challenge of Next Five Years; Utilities Taking Action to Shape Impact of Less Centralized Grid

Results of primary research conducted among 200 energy leaders by DNV GL (formerly DNV KEMA, GL and Garrad Hassan) announced today at the Utility of the Future Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. reveal that utilities seem largely accepting of an energy future characterized by increasingly distributed forms of energy generation and storage – and that they are taking action to ready themselves and shape the outcomes.

Asked, “What is the most significant challenge facing the utility industry over the next five years?” forty percent cited “interconnection of distributed generation.” Thirty-two percent cited “lack of clarity in national energy and environmental policies.”

Hugo van Nispen, Executive Vice President, Global Energy Advisory, DNV GL said, “We’re seeing a significant shift in the power sector today, prompted in part by changes in policy around clean energy and by new technical capabilities. The survey results confirm this observation. This shift will have significant implications for how we produce and deliver power in years to come, and will most likely disrupt existing business models.”

The survey, conducted from April to May 2014, found that a majority in the industry appear to be preparing to acclimate to potentially disruptive forces, particularly through adoption of new technologies. Van Nispen said, “We’re seeing significant potential to innovate. However, changing technology creates challenges and utilities will likely need regulatory support to adapt.”

According to the report, “The key policy issues on the minds of many are the impact of net metering and distributed generation interconnection, greenhouse gas (GHG) and emissions control and the evolution of the competitive retail markets. Together, over 78% of respondents believe these policy or regulatory advances will have the greatest impact on the industry’s evolution by 2020.”

The Utility of the Future Pulse Survey provides a baseline for measuring change in energy industry attitudes. DNV GL plans to conduct a similar annual study tied to its Utility of the Future Leadership Forums. The results are revealed first and discussed by participants in the annual forum and continue on Twitter via #UofFPulseSurvey.

Download the full Utility of the Future Pulse Survey Report at

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