Is a disaggregated future really all that far away?

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Most of our Next Next Thing discussion has centered around technology. But Eric Dresselhuys of Silver Spring Networks makes an excellent point below. The technology won't matter if we don't get the business model right.

 

And Eric says the 100-year-old top-down model won't work anymore. Now we've all heard predictions about a disaggregated, decentralized future. Someday. Eventually. But Eric argues that the pressure is growing so strong that this disaggregated future may, in fact, be the Next Next Thing. Do you agree? Use the Talk Back form at the bottom to express your opinion. - Jesse Berst

 

By Eric Dresselhuys

 

Smart grid developments, including big data, renewables, cyber security, microgrids and more, are just a few specific trends that will be top of mind for 2014. But the big ‘what’s next’ is the continued disaggregation of this industry. Utilities have reached a crossroads where top-down operating models and disconnected silos simply won’t meet the needs of the next generation.  Some fundamental changes must occur for utilities to deal with these pressures, unlock more innovation, and ultimately, deliver more choice and value for their customers.

 

Take renewables and microgrids, for example.  The growing percentage of generation and distribution has enabled a price and efficiency war to occur as distributed resources become cost competitive.  Improvements in battery technology will only further accelerate this, as it will become possible to remotely time-shift the generated power in ways that were not previously feasible or cost-effective.

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