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Important changes are now affecting the distribution side of power systems. Emerging distributed technologies—including flexible demand, distributed generation, energy storage, power electronics and control devices—are creating new options for the provision and consumption of electricity services. At the same time, information and communications technologies are becoming ubiquitous, enabling more flexible and efficient consumption of electricity, improved visibility of network use, and enhanced control of power systems.

The Utility of the Future study presents a framework for proactive regulatory, policy, and market reforms designed to enable the efficient evolution of power systems over the next decade and beyond.

The goal is to facilitate the integration of all resources, be they distributed or centralised, that contribute to the efficient provision of electricity services and other public objectives. This framework includes a comprehensive and efficient system of market-determined prices and regulated charges for electricity services that reflect, as accurately as possible, the marginal or incremental cost of providing these services; improved incentives for distribution utilities that reward cost savings, performance improvements, and long-term innovation; reevaluation of the power sector’s structure to minimise conflicts of interest; and recommendations for the improvement of wholesale electricity markets. This study also offers a set of insights about the roles and values of distributed energy resources, and the factors most likely to determine the portfolio of cost-effective resources, both centralised and distributed, in diverse contexts and regulatory regimes, but focus mainly on United States and Europe.

The study team from MIT and IIT-Comillas combines a range of skills in quantitative economic and engineering modeling, with a deep understanding of the complex interactions in the electric power industry.

The team includes faculty with decades of experience in advising governments, corporations, and institutions on regulation and market design. The consortium partners — industrial and other market participants — bring valuable real-world expertise and experience to the study.

Meeting Agenda

  • 8:30 – 9:00 am  Registration and Continental breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:10 am Welcome and introduction
  • 9:10 – 10:00 am Overview of the study
  • 10:00 – 10:30 am Panel discussion and Q&A Session

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Please note that this event is closed to members of the media


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