Utilities of the Future

Utilities of the Future: Electricity Market Design, Policy & Technical Innovations

Electric utilities are changing. A powerful confluence of architectural, technological, and socio-economic forces is transforming the U.S. electricity market. These trends and developments are placing tremendous pressure on utilities triggering changes in electricity production, transmission, and consumption. These pressures include the potential for a dramatic increase in the amount of renewable energy, burgeoning environmental regulation, aging infrastructure, changing fuel and generation economics, growing cybersecurity demands and, reduced or flat load growth. To address these challenges, utilities have to balance between deploying capital at an accelerated rate while simultaneously being deprived of customer load growth—their engine of earnings. Increased democratized choice over energy usage, for instance, is empowering consumers to take key actions such as peak shaving, flexible loading, and installation of grid automation and intelligence solutions.

This research thrust investigates the benefits of these “Utility 2.0” concepts: the distributed grid, innovations in electricity market design, real-time automated monitoring and verification, deployment of microgrids, increased uptake of ‘smart meters and smarter’ grids, and investment in data analytics in order to incentivize efficient market design and electric grid flexibility. The focus of this thrust is the application of the “solar cities” strategy, smart cities, and urban policy development in major U.S., European and Asian cities to examine the role of infrastructure network, revenue models, customer interface, business model resilience, organizational logic and mandate, risk management, and value proposition in improving communication with customers and operational boundary of utilities in the new utility business model regime.

Selected Relevant Research Outputs
    • Conference Presentation: Nyangon, J. (2019). Regulatory Innovation and the Convergence of Electric Utility Policies: New Business Models and Electricity Market Design . 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting, October 22, 2019, Seattle, WA [Presentation Download].
    • Book Chapter: Nyangon, J., & Byrne, J. (2018). Diversifying Electric Utility Customer Choices: REVing Up the New York Energy Vision for Polycentric Innovation. In P. V. Tsvetkov (Ed.), Energy systems and environment (pp. 3-23). London, UK: IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.76023 [Download].
    • Op-Ed: (2018). Dr. Nyangon wrote an Op-Ed for The Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE) on Califronia’s solar energy policy, as part of a series of FREE policy ideas and throughts to address utility issues and climate change. 
    • Book Review: Nyangon, J. (2016). Carbon Finance: How Carbon and Stock Markets are Affected by Energy Prices and Emissions Regulations . The Energy Journal 38(4): 217-219.
    • Working Paper Series: Brocks, A., Nyangon, J., & Taminiau, J. (2016). Utility 2.0: A Multi-Dimensional Review of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and Great Britain’s RIIO Utility Business Models. [SSRN Electronic Journal version][ResearchGate version].
    • Policy Brief: (2016). Dr. Nyangon co-authored a policy brief for The Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE) on the universe of green bonds market, as part of a series of FREE policy ideas and throughts to realize infrastruture-scale financing for clean energy.
    • Op-Ed: (2015). Dr. Nyangon wrote an Op-Ed for The Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE) on the state of U.S. energy infrastructure, as part of a series of FREE policy ideas and throughts to modernize energy infrasturure assets and resources.
    • Op-Ed: (2015). Dr. Nyangon wrote an Op-Ed for The Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE) on the U.S. shale energy boom, as part of a series of FREE policy ideas and throughts to electric power transition.
 

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