Jack Uldrich
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A Futurist’s Take on the Utility Industry

Posted in Energy


I’m in Anaheim, CA today to deliver the opening keynote at the American Public Power Association’s annual meeting. As I discussed the other day, I like to use historical analogies to help my clients understand the future. One analogy I am going to ask this particular audience of electric utility executives to keep in mind is that of the loudspeaker. In the early 20th century the former Soviet Union choose to make strategic investments in the installation of loudspeaker technology as opposed to telephones. Why? Because the centralized—one directional—technology fit the communist government’s existing paradigm of who should do the communicating.

In this same way, I believe too many individuals in the utility industry are fixated on the centralized production of energy and are missing the looming revolution coming in smaller, cleaner, cheaper and, ultimately, more personalized forms of distributed energy sources such as solar, wind and fuel cell technology.

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