Happy New Year!
I am pleased to welcome you to this issue of electroindustry devoted to “Changing
Energy Markets.” The start of a new decade is a fitting time to consider how the
dramatic shift in the energy market seen over the last 10 years is expected to evolve
over the next 10 years.
Currently, there are one million e-vehicles on the road in the U.S. By 2030, that
number could increase tenfold. The demand for energy storage is predicted to be 28
gigawatts by 2022, while it was only three gigawatts in 2016. Over the next five years,
the total installed solar capacity may double, reaching 100 gigawatts by 2021. But in
a world where generation and load must meet equilibrium, how we integrate these
technologies will make all the difference.
Smart buildings, fleets of electric vehicles, digital cities, energy storage, distributed
generation—these are no longer just great storylines in futurists’ musings. These
technologies are here today, and they will play a key role in shaping our near-term
and long-term futures for our economy and society.
So, what does all this mean for our industry?
NEMA Members’ technologies will drive increased electrification and lay the
foundation for a flexible and digital electric grid. Our industry makes intelligent
systems capable of securely connecting hardware to command and control software
systems optimizing performance and reliability. But unless policymakers and
regulators establish the right market incentives, utilities and customers may not
adopt these modern technologies.
These technologies also will increasingly find their way into our factories, and their
impact will not be limited to the equipment that we operate and the products that
we produce. Our workforce must transform too. This comes at a time when we are
already experiencing a big crew change. But whether you grew up with slide rules or
smartphones, everyone from production workers to engineers to data scientists must
be open to learning new skills to thrive in the decade to come
This issue of electroindustry focuses on the future of energy markets—how they
are changing and how we can plan for that change, from updating rate structures
to maximize the value of distributed energy resources to strategies to match
consumption to renewable characteristics. I hope you enjoy it.
A closing thought: Those who bet on the status quo risk being left behind. ei
Chairman, NEMA Board of Governors