Rapid change in America’s energy sector must be addressed to maximize the value of our resources and promote sustainability and economic growth, according to a recent Capgemini study, “World Energy Markets Observatory”.
“With the growth in renewable energy, enhancing infrastructure and grid modernization will most likely be instrumental in the future of the North American electricity infrastructure and adequacy of supply,” the study said.
“As renewable energy capacity grows, investments in transmission enhancements should be key.”
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“For North America, the contradiction between federal and state regulatory policy, particularly in light of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, has created just the latest wave of regulatory uncertainty for our industry,” said Bart Thielbar, Capgemini vice president and North American utilities practice leader.
“Thankfully, our industry has become particularly adept at navigating regulatory uncertainty while delivering on the core mission of providing safe and reliable energy at a reasonable cost and with ever improving levels of customer service,” he said.
One example of the need to match infrastructure with emerging trends spotlighted by Capgemini is in the wind sector. Wind power development may have to be cut by 15.5 percent in some regions if transmission infrastructure is not installed and upgraded.
Natural gas pipelines need massive investments as its customer base surged 13 percent to 68 million customers in the past decade, Capgemini said.
Natural gas investments each year now rivals the volume of investment in electric transmission as gas-fired electric generation has surged.