The handwriting is on the wall—and it is green. From residential builders to infrastructure giants, contractors across the world are recognizing the need to plan and execute for a greener tomorrow. U.S. electric utilities, especially, are under growing pressure to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and integrate cleaner, more sustainable energy sources in a bid to meet aggressive net-zero energy targets.
Based on a survey of more than 200 power industry professionals, the 2022 Megatrends in Power report from Black & Veatch and Clarion Energy identifies four major trends – decarbonization, electrification, climate adaptation, and energy transformation – that continue to drive decision-making for 2022 and beyond, helping the power industry position for a pending net-zero future.
The third report in the company’s Megatrends report series, pairs primary research with market insight and expertise to inform the American energy landscape. The new report examines the megatrends that are setting the stage for the next decade of a rapidly evolving energy ecosystem:
- Decarbonization: With renewable energy reshaping the power sector, decarbonization is grabbing a bigger foothold among governments, utilities, and companies eager to lower their carbon emissions. For example, 65% of respondents have emissions reduction or clean energy goals in place. But going green doesn’t happen overnight, and requires thoughtful planning, available technologies, and—perhaps most important—funding.
- Electrification: When the topic of electrification comes up, most people immediately point to transportation as the main contributor to emissions. Although the Biden Administration’s recently passed IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) will help boost investment in electric vehicles, large-scale electrification requires a multi-pronged approach that also includes energy production and the heavy industries.
- Climate Adaptation: Power utilities heard the COP26 call to protect their customers from the effects of climate change and the widespread blackouts caused by extreme weather events. But “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,”—a quote often attributed to quality guru Peter Drucker—more than half (57%) of respondents to the survey are leveraging risk analysis and modelling to help prioritize resilience projects.
- Energy Transformation: The energy transition is inevitable, but what this means exactly remains unclear. Transitioning to the green energy economy will require sweeping upgrades that stretch beyond building a diverse portfolio of distributed generation sources. Players are optimistic that the funding allocated by the IIJA will help enable a more resilient, flexible, decarbonized grid
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