The smart energy sector is evolving rapidly, expanding from a collection of niche markets into a standardized part of the global energy portfolio. In the same fashion that the Internet has produced a democratization of information and knowledge, the availability of small, distributed generation technologies, such as solar panels, small wind turbines and residential combined heat and power systems, enables people to produce and even sell their own power.
As a result, a range of new energy sources and advanced energy technologies has entered the market and started to post revenue. According to a new white paper from Navigant Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the transition to a more diversified and decentralized mix of energy sources will be one of the key trends for the global energy industry in 2013.
“This will be a key year in the evolution of the smart energy paradigm — a period when the rules of the game are debated, the roles of the incumbents challenged, and the foundation for the transition towards a more decentralized, democratic energy system is put into place,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research. “As with any transition of this magnitude, it will take decades to complete, but 2013 will be a cornerstone year in this transformation.”