1Q 2021

Ecosystem Strategy for Connected DER: Business Model Innovation Beyond the Status Quo

Ecosystem Strategies Report

The energy ecosystem continues to work toward a zero net carbon world in 2050, and events in 2020 have accelerated this trend. The introduction of variable renewable resources into the power system, sharply increasing renewables in the daily energy mix, and the electrification of new sectors of the economy have increased the complexity of grid management. To decarbonize the energy system, energy customers are required to be flexible with their energy consumption, putting them at the core of the transition.

This dramatic change in the electricity system is accelerating the rollout of distributed energy resources (DER) technologies that fit the future energy system better than current tools. At the same time, many utilities and energy retailers have been developing new solutions that take advantage of DER technologies and the grid’s need for demand flexibility.

This Guidehouse Insights report examines how connected DER initiatives are evolving to meet challenges in an age of uncertainty. The report examines the impact that energy system changes have had for traditional utilities, grid operators, retailer business models, and emerging solutions. Recommendations are provided for energy strategists, technology providers, service partners, and other stakeholders.

Pages 24
Tables | Charts | Figures 7
  • What has been the impact of the energy transition on the traditional utility business model
  • How does this impact intersect with other challenges, including climate change?
  • How are DER OEMs, utilities, and energy suppliers adapting their services and technology investments?
  • Which business models can help in managing the new needs of the energy system and building future resilience?
  • What is the role of technology providers in helping bridge the potential imbalances in the grid?
  • 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

Shifting Energy Landscape

New Business Models

Market Accelerators and Inhibitors

Uncertainties and Opportunities by Sector

Ecosystem Perspective


Key Recommendations

Acronyms, Resources, Contact

  • A Shifting Energy Landscape
  • New Business Models that Start with the Customer
  • DERMS Investment Model
  • Distribution System Platform Model
  • Marketplace Model
  • Transactive Energy Model
  • Market Accelerators and Inhibitors