by Nicholas Rinaldi
January 08, 2016

The debate over how to value, organize, and aggregate generation from distributed energy resources is at the forefront of grid planning discussions, particularly in evolving state markets such as California, New York and Texas.

The business implications of this debate can't be overestimated for third-party distributed energy resource (DER) service providers like Green Charge Networks, SolarCity and Sonnenbatterie, as well as for utilities. Grid services and wholesale market participation related to DER aggregation offer enticing new revenue streams for these organizations.

As part of an upcoming 80-page report for GTM Squared members, we surveyed 500 power industry experts to get their perspectives on the trends that will define tomorrow's power market. One question we asked them specifically was what they think will be the primary organizing entity to aggregate DERs in five years' time.

While one would expect utilities to answer the question by saying "utilities" (and likewise, for third-party DER service providers to answer the question with "third-party DER service providers"), it's instructive to see how government and regulatory participants responded versus the two other groups.

Q: Who will be the primary organizing entity to aggregate DER resources in 5 years?

Source: GTM Squared

Note: % represents distribution of responses within grouping (click on image to enlarge)

In our survey, government and regulatory respondents were nearly three times as likely to select third-party DER service providers. In addition, this demographic was more than twice as sure about their collective responses, having answered I'm not sure at a rate of just 9 percent, compared to 22 percent and 19 percent for power utility respondents and all others, respectively.

While the data provides a certain outlook, one participant added more color by positing an all-of-the-above scenario, saying, "In five years, we may actually have a market for this. Regulated distribution utilities will be competing with third-party DER providers and [unregulated] arms."

The final 80-page survey report will include 20 additional questions and insights related to the key trends shaping tomorrow's power market. The report will be made available to GTM Squared members during the week of February 1, 2016.

Join Squared today to get access to this report, as well as the rich archive of existing GTM Squared content. More required GTM Squared reading on the topic of DER integration, valuation, and aggregation includes: