Could solar paired with battery storage make utilities obsolete? That's the question analysts are asking as the economics of the technologies improve.

The short answer is "No." Utilities operate an extremely valuable set of infrastructure and equipment, and still benefit from legacy customer relationships. The economics of leaving the grid entirely are usually not favorable either.

But it's an important question to ask, says Jon Creyts, managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, because it can guide how utilities manage future consumer empowerment.

In this podcast, we'll talk with Creyts about Rocky Mountain Institute's latest report on grid defection, and examine the different scenarios for solar and storage that could impact utility relationships with customers.

The Gang will also look at Exxon Mobil's climate report, and talk about possible policy solutions for supporting new financing structures for clean energy projects.

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The Energy Gang is produced by Greentechmedia.com. The show features weekly discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.

Tags: battery storage, energy gang, grid defection, grid edge, podcast, utility business models