4Q 2022

Ecosystem Strategy for Connected DER: Cross-Sector Opportunities

Now that the movement to clean power is proving to be a success—with electricity generated from solar and wind being the cheapest forms of energy—governments and corporates are working on solutions in other energy intensive sectors, like transport and heat, that will take advantage of the cheap, decarbonized electricity generated by wind and solar. The term for these solutions is sector coupling.  

The evolution of the grid as a platform is tied to some of the fundamental questions associated with energy usage beyond electricity. What technical and commercial platforms will enable a digital, low carbon, and sustainable economy to thrive? What forms of collaboration are necessary across sectors? What common infrastructure is required? 

This report examines established and emerging cross-sector connected distributed energy resources (DER) opportunities opened by coupling various economic segments, through the grid, to the electricity sector. It includes recommendations for grid operators and vertically integrated utilities, technology providers, service partners, and other stakeholders.

Pages 14
Tables | Charts | Figures 10
  • What is the role of connected DER in the decarbonization of mobility, industry, and buildings?
  • What role can the grid play in enabling adjacent sectors to couple with the electricity industry?
  • How does this coupling impact and intersect with other challenges, including increasing energy costs?
  • How is industry adapting its processes and technology investments to couple sustainable energy sources?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for different sectors in the DER market?
  • Industrial players
  • Real estate companies
  • Vehicle OEMS
  • Vehicle fleet operators
  • 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


Executive Summary

Sector Coupling

Grid as a Platform: A Definition

Cross-Sector Innovation

Sector Coupling Can Bring Significant Cross-sector Opportunities

Uncertainties and Opportunities by Sector

Ecosystem Perspective

Market Drivers and Barriers

Key Recommendations

Additional Resources

Acronyms and Contact

  • Vectors of Uncertainty
  • A Shifting Energy Landscape
  • The new business models should start with the customer
  • DERMS Investment Model
  • Distribution System Platform (DSP) Model
  • Marketplace Model
  • Transactive Energy Model
  • Market Accelerators and Inhibitors
  • Uncertainties and Opportunities by Sector
  • Ecosystem Perspective