2013 Electric Utility Report

The 2013 U.S. Electric Utility Report

This year’s Strategic Directions in the U.S. Electric Industry Report shows an intensifying level of concern for a wide range of issues. In our annual Top Ten Industry Issues rankings, once again reliability was the top concern for utility participants. However, a look at just the previous five years demonstrates that utility participants are ranking virtually all issues with higher levels of concern. In some cases, chronic issues are becoming more severe. In others, changes in the business context, including a lingering recession, regulatory policy uncertainty and dramatic changes in commodity fuels markets, are exacerbating the effects of age-old concerns. 

This year’s report examines the challenges and underlying uncertainties affecting the entire electric utility value chain. 

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Utility Operations
This section of the report examines corporate and back-office issues considered “inside the fence.” These issues include challenges associated with Rates & Economic Regulation, as well as implementation of Smart Grid and Asset Management programs.

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Power Generation
Black & Veatch projects more than 62,000 megawatts of coal capacity will be retired by 2020. As a result, utility leaders must move forward with new natural gas generating units. These new units will provide baseload power and help integrate variable renewable energy resources into the grid. But, herein lies the next great challenge for the industry: incorporating potentially significant new natural gas generating units onto existing inter/intrastate pipeline grids in a cost-effective manner that can achieve strict reliability standards.

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Power Delivery
The need for new transmission infrastructure is growing. This is particularly true for large, interstate lines designed to bring renewable energy to large demand centers. However, regulations aimed at encouraging investment are currently generating greater uncertainty. On the distribution side, new “smart” technologies offer the opportunity to maximize utility efficiency and provide greater levels of understanding into system operations.

Read more about Power Delivery.

2013 Strategic Directions in the North
American  Industry

Thank you for your interest in the 2013
Black & Veatch Strategic Directions in the North American  Industry Report
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