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Energy Industry Update Volume 20, Issue 1


Take It to the Limit

This Energy Industry Update (EIU) explores how the energy industry could be “taken to the limit” by long-term trends and challenging business-as-usual approaches. This edition uncovers how factors, such as the state-by-state adoption of clean energy standards, challenges to natural gas infrastructure expansion, slow progress on resilience issues, and more, may take energy utilities to their limit of financial, regulatory, and operational wherewithal. More favorably, new technologies, like hydrogen, may challenge the limits of what is possible.

For an overview of this report, watch this video as industry experts share what’s covered and why it’s important.


Join more than 10,000 executives who rely on the EIU for important trends and data-driven insights. This issue will allow you to:

  • Consider tactics and strategies for gas utilities to retain the benefits of natural gas as an energy resource and respond to states and municipalities interested in lowering the sector’s carbon intensity
  • Learn why resilience continues to be a focus for utilities; how definitions, objectives, and planning processes frame potential approaches to resilience; and how cost-recovery mechanisms may differ for resilience versus standard reliability
  • Understand how some states, utilities, and corporations are committing to clean energy goals and how they may radically shift the energy mix in a few decades
  • See how COVID-19 influenced this edition and the dialogue around these industry trends in this message from Cristin Lyons, our energy practice leader

Access the associated webcast recording and presentation here.

The Future of the Gas Utility

The traditionally staid gas-utility industry is facing public pressure from some corners to improve its environmental profile. The industry is developing strategies to respond to this trend. Learn how gas utilities can adapt and engage with customers, local and state governments, and regulators to enhance existing programs and develop new services and practices.

Gas Resource Planning in an Increasingly Complex Environment

Some states and provinces are adopting ambitious climate goals. Find out how gas utilities are proactively addressing new expectations from policymakers, regulators, and customers on these matters, and thinking more expansively about their resource portfolios.

Growing Grid Resilience and the Planning Challenge

In order to deploy the right resilience investments, utilities, regulators, governments, and other stakeholders need to agree on roles and responsibilities and the appropriate levels of investment. Learn how planning approaches are being adapted to account for the unique value of resilience and how utilities and other stakeholders are exploring sharing costs for investments needed for the common good.

Returns on Equity for Transmission Investment—Trying to “Get the Price Right”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been considering approaches to setting “just and reasonable” rates for power transmission, as transmission developers and owners seek returns on equity (ROEs) that will attract and reward investment in the sector. Learn about FERC’s recent decisions on setting ROEs for transmission base rates, as well as proposed rulemaking revisiting ROE incentives and their potential implications for transmission development.

100% Clean Energy Commitments

As growing numbers of states, utilities, corporations, and utilities commit to clean energy goals, attention is turning to implementation and how the resource mix will change. Find out how electric utilities and regulators will need to consider technology, costs, and timing as they undertake this multi-decade journey.

Hawaii, the Postcard for Pursuing Clean Energy Goals

The electric utilities in Hawaii have become a “postcard from the future” with the rapid expansion of distributed solar energy resources. Today, Hawaiian utilities continue to thrive and adapt as distributed and utility-scale renewable generation keeps the islands on the bleeding edge. Explore how Hawaii’s experience can inform innovation at mainland utilities undertaking similar journeys.

The Energy Industry in Charts

A graphical look at divergences in the energy industry.

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