The utility industry constantly evolves. As demand increases, supplies must be obtained and delivered in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. From the early days of the petroleum industry to the advent of the modern smart power grid, the utility industry has changed with the times. 2023 might force the industry to act sooner rather than later.
The push for renewable power dominates 2023’s energy outlook. Although electric power remains the standard, more options have emerged to gain a sizable foothold in the market. Utility providers must utilize new technologies to meet consumer demand as the world drifts away from resource-draining alternatives.
These are a few utility industry predictions for 2023 including a tip for utility providers to stay ahead of infrastructure collapses.
Meet the New Predictions, Same as the Old Predictions
A Sustainable Future
Many of 2022’s utility industry predictions still hold for 2023. The demand for sustainable, clean, renewable energy is a common trend today and for the future. Climate change awareness drives consumer demand for power that reduces utility providers’ carbon footprint.
A previous trend that runs through 2023 and beyond is the idea of energy consumers producing their own power. They can either use it themselves or feed it back into their local grid. This trend changes how people connect with their energy usage as well as alters their relationship with utility providers. The consumers may call the shots, not the power companies.
A Resilient Future
While consumers demand more control over their energy, utility providers all but require resiliency planning to maintain and restore electricity and communications during and after a severe weather event. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” a hurricane, blizzard, wildfire, etc. could knock out utilities for millions of people. Utility providers will continue to hone and implement their storm response plans in 2023.
Artificial Intelligence Use Increases
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more significant in our daily lives. Just a few minutes with our smartphones drives the fact that AI is part of our lives whether we want it or not. AI will continue to be important in different industries as more companies embrace its efficiency. The utility sector is no different. AI can expedite the global energy transition to renewable energy. After the initial investment, AI can provide innovative solutions that can save companies in the long term.
Solar Power Shines Bright
Electric generation is forecast to increase due to the push for renewable energy. Therefore, solar capacity will also increase to make room for solar power. AI can help utility companies optimize storage space, earning a victory for clean power generation supporters. However, that does not mean eliminating the current pole structure. While utility companies must plan for a sustainable future, the existing infrastructure still remains valuable.
Electric Vehicles Roll Forward
Although the effect of electric vehicles (EVs) on global electric grids still needs to be measured, the EV market is poised to explode in 2023 and beyond. Battery storage technology must also evolve to meet EV owners’ demands. Proper storage can ease the burden on electric grids and improve consumer confidence.
More Alternatives, Cheaper Standards
As the global energy sector commits to renewable energy, oil prices might come down. Natural gas prices might also see a dip. Prices usually fall when supply surpasses demand. However, geopolitical events could throw prices out of line with predictions. The global demand for LNG exports could also affect costs.
With New Tech Comes New Responsibilities
As AI and automation proliferate among the world’s energy assets, so do the digital threats to the infrastructures. Utility providers will have to prioritize their cybersecurity risk management. Proactively predicting and preventing these risks is critical in detecting and responding to cyberattacks. All it takes is one breach to cripple a power or communication grid. Assessing risks and activating action plans that address these risks will become an important topic in the coming year.
Look Ahead with Blackwood Resources
Regardless of what the future holds, Blackwood Resources will remain a reliable and resilient partner within the United States utility industry. Having recently helped storm response teams during Hurricane Ian, we know how unpredictable the world can be. Extreme weather events, unstable oil and gas prices, and more can affect how utility providers serve their customers. We aim to make their jobs easier. Our utility pole transportation options can help companies restore electricity and communications faster and safer than conventional methods.
Get in touch with us today. We look forward to helping you plan for the future.