For an industry that has remained largely unchanged for decades, the electric and utilities industry is being disrupted at an unprecedented scale. The cascading impact of the slow but steady rise in global temperatures has resulted in a multitude of challenges that utilities worldwide must overcome; some, in fact, have made it their raison d'être.
Given the complex nature of climate change, the disruptive impact it has on utilities varies by geography and the nature of business. Water utilities, for example, face severe challenges caused by drought, increasing urban demand and the threat of contamination due to rising sea levels. Electric utilities, on the other hand, are seeing their hitherto unchanged landscape evolve into a distributed and smart power grid, enabled by digitization. Meanwhile, regulators and customers alike are pushing for a more sustainable future, requiring utilities to quickly adapt to these changing demands.
Part one of this three-part series explores the various challenges facing utilities as they try to mitigate the impact of climate change on their business. Parts 2 and 3 focus, respectively on the ongoing efforts to meet these challenges, and future challenges and solutions.