Mackinnon Lawrence is a director in the Guidehouse global Energy practice and leads Guidehouse Insights. He is responsible for overall strategy and operations, including management of a global analyst team, development of the Firm’s Energy Cloud thought leadership framework, and client engagements supporting utility, oil & gas, telecom, manufacturing, IT, and consumer tech companies. His expertise covers energy transformation, business model innovation, and technology disruption.
Dan Hahn leads the Energy Providers practice within the Guidehouse global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment. He advises executives on strategies to address complex operational, financial, and organizational challenges, in areas of enterprise value creation, customer engagement, new products and services, operating model design, business process improvement, organizational change and restructuring, costs takeout, performance management, digital transformation, intelligent automation, business process management, application outsourcing, and technology implementation. He has extensive business transformation experience.
Richelle Elberg is an associate director at Guidehouse. Her primary focus is on utility communications networks for AMI and distribution/substation automation applications. Elberg has more than twenty years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including an extensive background analyzing and writing on the wired and wireless communications industries from operational, financial, strategic, technical, and regulatory perspectives.
Extreme weather events, aging infrastructure, and liability risks. Grid and load disruption caused by accelerating distributed energy resource (DER) penetration. A shifting generation mix. Vocal consumers increasingly demanding action on climate change and social equity. Cybersecurity concerns.
These are just a few of the challenges utilities face today. Taken together, the drivers behind the ongoing energy transition are like a snowball rolling downhill: the farther it goes, the larger it becomes, and the faster it travels, the greater its impact at the bottom of the hill. For utility leaders facing that threat, the outlook can be daunting.
Each year, Guidehouse and Public Utilities Fortnightly survey utility executives across the U.S. to understand key industry trends and top-of-mind concerns. In 2022, participants noted many of the same opinions as in prior years — rising DER penetration and cybersecurity represent major threats — while also acknowledging that regulatory restrictions and conservative utility culture inhibit progress.
But there is at least one key difference in 2022. Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed in November 2021, utilities have a unique opportunity to make strategic upgrades and investments to address not only concerns around grid resiliency and cybersecurity, but growing social equity concerns and competitive threats on multiple fronts as well.