Navigating the electrification gauntlet

Can utilities deliver on the promise of electrification?

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

The movement to electrify everything should be a field day for utilities. As we electrify the economy, adding gigafactories, charging stations and green hydrogen hubs to the grid, the demand for power is growing for the first time in decades. For savvy utilities, there’s a lot of money to be made. But only if they can keep up. 

Utilities face massive challenges to deliver the power needed for electrification: yearslong interconnection queues, a shortage of transformers, an uncertain regulatory environment — the list goes on and on. It’s the electrification gauntlet. 

Can utilities make it through? 

In this episode, Shayle talks to his colleague Andy Lubershane, partner and head of research at Energy Impact Partners. 

They cover topics including:

  • The reasons why power demand flatlined over the past 20 years — and what’s changing now.

  • The delays that big industrial power users such as data centers are facing because utilities can’t deliver enough electricity. 

  • The differences in growth for big industrial loads, such as green hydrogen hubs, versus distributed loads, such as heat pumps.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed power plant regulations, which might require carbon capture and storage.

  • The ongoing shortage of electrical transformers.

  • Why microgrids might become even more valuable as utilities struggle to deliver power.

Recommended resources:

  • Reuters: Global power demand growth to rebound in 2024 after slowdown, IEA says

  • Utility Dive: Full industrial electrification could more than double U.S. power demand. Here’s how renewables can meet it.

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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