4Q 2020

Ecosystem Strategy for Connected DER: Achieving Growth through Uncertainty

While the energy ecosystem continues to work toward a zero net carbon world in 2050, events in 2020 have accelerated this trend. The reduction of business activities and new social behaviors such as working from home have coincided with other changes, such as the introduction of variable renewable resources into the power system to sharply increase renewables in the daily energy mix due to lower demand. These factors have had a sudden but most likely long-term impact on the energy system.

This dramatic change in the electricity system is accelerating the rollout of regulatory changes and technologies that fit the future energy system better than current tools. At the same time, many governments from the national or federal level to the local level are putting the energy sector transformation at the center of their plans for economic recovery. A key tool in these plans is sector coupling through the electrification of heat, transport, and potentially chemicals, food, and feed systems.

This report examines how connected DER initiatives may evolve to meet challenges in an age of uncertainty. It looks at the energy system changes accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and examines their medium- and long-term consequences. Additionally, this report examines the effects on connected DER technology and innovation programs and draws on a revised view of DER deployments. Recommendations are provided for energy strategists, technology providers, service partners, and other stakeholders.

Pages 16
Tables | Charts | Figures 7
  • What has been the impact of the coronavirus on DER strategies?
  • How does this impact intersect with other challenges, including climate change?
  • How do electricity market regulations need to evolve to meet these new challenges?
  • How are DER OEMs, utilities, and energy suppliers adapting their services and technology investments?
  • Which technologies can help in managing the current crisis and building future resilience?
  • What lessons can be learned from the sudden changes to electricity demand that have started to lay out their recovery strategy?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for different sectors of the DER market?
  • How can supplier strategies evolve to meet the changing needs of the grid and end consumers?
  • Solar developers, installers, and operators
  • Genset and microturbine vendors
  • Fuel cell vendors
  • Microgrid vendors
  • EV charging vendors and service providers
  • Smart energy solutions providers
  • IoT and platform vendors
  • IT, networking, and telecommunications vendors
  • Transportation and mobility providers
  • Energy management hardware and software vendors
  • Energy suppliers, utilities, and grid operators
  • Energy service companies (ESCOs)
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Introduction and Scope

Executive Summary

Building Back Better

Vectors of Uncertainty

Phases of Recovery

Uncertainties and Opportunities by Sector

Market Accelerators and Inhibitors

Opening for Flexibility

Market Forecast by Region

Accelerating the DER Technology Landscape

Ecosystem Perspective


Key Recommendations

Additional Resources, Acronyms, and Contact

  • Vectors of Uncertainty
  • Phases of Recovery
  • Uncertainties and Opportunities by Sector
  • Annual Total DER Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2020-2030
  • Opening for Flexibility
  • Accelerating the DER Technology Landscape
  • Ecosystem Perspective