2023 was a big year for the clean energy sector—but our team is even more excited for what’s on the horizon. From continued growth in DERs and VPPs to interoperability improvements to renewed investment in customer experience, we predict that 2024 will be another landmark year in the transition to a smarter, cleaner, more resilient grid. Here are a few top-of-mind themes for our team members this January.
Prediction 1: DER Growth Will Explode Beyond Current Expectations
- Wind and solar will deliver one third of the electricity generated in the U.S. in 2024, helped in large part by the anticipated commissioning and careful optimization of over 30 GW of new grid-scale storage during the year.
- Net additions of VPP capacity will exceed net additions of coal and gas power plants as flexible capacity deals begin to move from customer program budgets to energy procurement budgets.
- The record set in Portugal in 2023 of more than six days of continuous operation on 100% renewable energy will be blown away, with a major grid exceeding 10 days continuous operations on 100% renewable energy.”
—Scott McGaraghan, Chief Revenue Officer
Prediction 2: VPPs Will Outsmart AI’s Spiking Electricity Demands
“We’ll continue to see an increasing power demand, driven primarily by greater computing needs from data centers to support AI adoption/crypto mining and increased electrification in the transportation industry despite current market softness. This will require an equivalent focus on capacity planning and improved load planning and forecasting tools to meet that need. Increasingly, VPPs will be part of a creative mix of solutions that will include more renewables and front-of-the-meter (FOTM) batteries.”
—Gisela Glandt, Virtual Power Plants
Prediction 3: Utilities Will Double Down on Customer Experience
“2024 will usher in a new era for utilities, who will find it easier to improve the customer experience in an industry where the primary focus is on managing the operational complexities of the electricity grid (literally, “keeping the lights on”), and for utility customers, who will be more empowered than ever to benefit from increased energy independence through localized energy (solar panels, batteries, heat pumps, electric vehicles and the electrification of industry) while profiting from and contributing to a distributed energy future by selling renewable energy back to the grid.”
—Anton Prenneis, Strategic Partnerships
Prediction 4: V2G Assets Will Expand the VPP Ecosystem
“In 2024, we will start to see participation of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) assets in VPPs as EV manufacturers and EV charger manufacturers start introducing VPP-ready products in North American markets.”
—Farshid Arman, VPP Operations
Prediction 5: Standards & Regulations Will Take Center Stage
“2024 will be looked at as the year of standards as DERs go mainstream in energy market participation. Expanded regulations across multiple ISOs will open up location-based ancillary services offerings, which will create more market clarity on the value of energy flexibility. Broader adoption of SCADA protocols for DER control and management to take hold, paving the way for broader participation in grid ancillary services markets. Together, these will establish a clearer path for the true intent of FERC 2222 and the broader participation of demand response resources.”
—Tad Piper, Strategy and Corporate Development
Prediction 6: 2024 Will Get Interoperable and Consolidated
“In 2024 in APAC and beyond, the integrations in the utility software domain will help further close the gap between enterprise grade systems and the increasing number of DERs. The consolidation in the industry will enhance the end customer experience—both by enabling adoption of DERs such as electric vehicles and batteries and by providing a smoother interaction with their utilities through more engaging end customer applications.”
—Kritika Kumar, Industry Solutions (APAC)
Prediction 7: Europe’s Green Deal Will Get Even More Real
“In alignment with the European Green Deal objectives for 2030, we anticipate substantial growth in renewable energy sources and storage capacity:
- Solar PV: An increase from 195 GW today to 592 GW by 2030, with a significant jump of 66 GW in 2024 alone.
- Wind: Expansion from 265 GW to 510 GW by 2030, with an anticipated addition of 40 GW in 2024.
- Storage: Growth from 60 GW to 191 GW by 2030, with 22 GW expected in 2024.
- Heat Pumps: An increase from 197 GW in 2021 to 449 GW by 2030, contributing an additional 42 GW in 2024.
- Electric Vehicles: A surge from 2.21 million units in 2021 to 84 million by 2030, with 14 million new units projected for 2024.”
—Marcello Pomponi, EMEA Sales
Prediction 8: Expect Acceleration in the Interstate Race to Remove Barriers to VPP Adoption
“In 2024, both California and Colorado will race to pass the first VPP bill. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) will require open standards and interoperability in their open rulemaking on DER interconnection processes, which will open up further participation in the ADER pilot in Texas. Other states (Illinois, Massachusetts, New York) will try to follow suit.”
—Sruthi Davuluri, Policy and Market Development
Prediction 9: The Year of the Green Guerilla Is Here
“For cleantech marketing, 2024 will be the year of the green guerilla. After waiting to exhale and reconnect in person, we’re getting over our post-pandemic rush to re-embrace trade shows. Travel- and resource-intensive events will look about as green as outdoor advertising. Expect more hyper-local, pop-up, and unexpected messaging moments to emerge. While not as extreme as ‘souping’ a Van Gogh like the Just Stop Oil protesters, climate-action communicators will need to get more daring to command attention.”
—John Perry, Marketing & Communications