In 2021, the power and utilities industry tackled tough challenges, made measurable progress, and received clean energy encouragement from a new administration. As the US economy began to emerge from its pandemic-induced recession, electricity sales rose 3.8% through August 2021 over the prior year. At the same time, unprecedented and unpredictable extreme weather events challenged the grid’s reliability and resiliency, and cyberattacks on critical infrastructure increasingly made headlines.
In 2022, the tough challenges remain—boosting clean energy, ensuring reliability and resiliency, and maintaining security, while keeping costs down. To tackle this tall order, the electric power industry will likely continue to advance in its “3D” transformation: decarbonization, digitalization, and decentralization. We’ll be watching for technology deployments to advance and markets to evolve. Industry spending will likely remain high, and renewable penetration could accelerate further.
In our annual power and utilities industry outlook, we explore five trends that will likely impact the industry in 2022, from enhancing decarbonization and resiliency strategies, to deploying 5G and cloud technologies, to harnessing flexible load and supporting building electrification. In the policy arena, while state mandates such as Renewable Portfolio Standards and federal renewable tax credits have underpinned the clean energy transition to date and will likely evolve further in 2022, we’ll also be watching the potential impact of additional federal policy, investment, and regulatory support.