Chris Davis, at PowrTalk, asks, “What if power companies became more like banks?”
Maybe the idea seems a little scary, especially with the way some banks have performed lately, but if it scares you then you are missing the point. Here is more:
When electricity comes from distributed renewables, there is less for the power company to do. In a distributed renewables world, people make their own power and for the most part use it where they make it. But power companies exist to make and distribute that power, so the bothersome renewables are encroaching squarely on the their raison d’etre. Where is the business model, the profit motive, for the power company in such a world?
… What if power companies became more like banks? Power companies might end up making better money managing and distributing power that is created by others (just as banks seem to make excellent money managing and distributing the stored value, the cash, that is created and owned by others).
Right? For the utility, there’s less heavy lifting (building and operating and maintaining power plants and transmission lines) but more thinking (analyzing and efficiently and dependably allocating the power from so many distributed production points).
Davis has seen a vision of the utility of the future: “a scrawny, geeky, googilian smart power company that is laughing all the way to the bank.”