To what degree will greater customer engagement, new technologies and business models and evolving regulations yield a distinctly different-looking electricity business?
MITEI’s Frank O’Sullivan will examine the rise of distributed energy resources and how these technologies can play a role in delivering cleaner, more cost effective and reliable energy services to the nation, while delivering greater value to end users.
He will describe the technology gains that are opening up these new possibilities - including the rapidly falling cost of solar PV and battery storage and the increasing resolution of grid pricing and performance data, both temporal and spatial, highlighting the need for the much greater digitization of the power system and the challenge of paying for those assets.
He will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of business model innovations that are bringing this change to the market, such as residential solar leasing and the role this plays in driving the development of new financial products including solar asset backed securities.
He will cover the paradox that the successful deployment of clean low marginal cost energy assets tends to cannibalize their own competitiveness, impacting how a cleaner power system may be built.
He will conclude with a discussion regarding the central role that business model innovation has played and will continue to play in transforming the power system, including where customer value lies and the challenges of financing the capital needs of the transformation.
Dr. Francis (Frank) O’Sullivan is Director of Research and Analysis for the MIT Energy Initiative, and a Senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His work is focused on the evolution of the electric power sector, particularly on the integration of large-scale solar and wind resources, advanced storage deployment and on how digitization is enabling operational optimization and the development of new business models.
He was a Senior Advisor to the US Department of Energy’s 2017 Quadrennial Energy Review, and is a member of the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability. Dr. O’Sullivan is also a Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Prior to MIT, Frank was with McKinsey & Company. He is an electrical engineer by training, receiving his PhD, SM and EE degrees from MIT and his BE degree from the National University of Ireland.