Domestic solar panels, fuel cells and other forms of distributed generation pose the greatest threat to utility companies’ revenues, according to a new report.

Consultancy firm Accenture polled more than 100 executives from utility firms from over 20 countries.

It found 58% think distribution generation will be eating into their revenues by 2030.

Concern was greater in North America and Asia Pacific than it was in Europe.

‘Mainstream factor’

Stephanie Jamison, Managing Director at Accenture Transmission and Distribution, said: “The rapid evolution of the technology, better economics and the growing accessibility and environmental appeal of residential solar photovoltaics – or PVs – have pushed distributed generation from the fringe to a mainstream factor on the grid.

“Combining solar PV with more economical options for battery storage, demand response, and energy efficiency will give consumers more power and require distribution utilities to provide more flexibility and different types of services.

“Despite the challenges the integration of these new technologies at scale bring, it is essential to meet the growing expectations of consumers in order to position utilities to provide services-based business models that could drive much-needed new revenue.”

> Download the report

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