The Utility Dive Outlook on 2021


Note from the editor

The U.S. power sector is undergoing a major transformation, with legacy assets giving way to a cleaner, more distributed system.

Major external events, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections, can slow down or boost the transition, but the momentum is there, driven by economics, environmental concerns and other factors.

Utility Dive's 2021 outlooks provide insight into some of the transition's key developments, including the proliferation of distributed energy resources, the emergence of vehicle-to-grid technology, the rising prominence of hydrogen and the future of natural gas. Our look at the top trends driving the power sector delves into those topics and others.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

2021 Outlook: 10 power sector trends to watch

A new administration under a new party is one sign that 2021 will look different for policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders, but the continuation of some older trends is expected as well.

• Published Jan. 13, 2021

2021 Outlook: The DER boom continues, driving a 'reimagining' of the distribution system

As new customer-owned resources grow, the old way of delivering them will evolve to make load more flexible.

• Published Jan. 12, 2021

2021 Outlook: Greening natural gas while planning for service reliability

Natural gas remains essential to the U.S. energy grid despite deep decarbonization targets, experts maintain, as utilities and generators pilot lower emission projects.

• Published Jan. 15, 2021

2021 Outlook: The future of electric vehicle charging is bidirectional — but the future isn't here yet

Within a few years, cars may be able to power homes, participate in energy markets and help businesses lower power bills, experts say.

• Published Jan. 12, 2021

2021 Outlook: Will hydrogen experience a breakthrough?

Industry analysts say 2021 could be the year U.S. policy on hydrogen catches up with the EU and China, but other key milestones could take longer.

• Published Jan. 14, 2021

The Utility Dive Outlook on 2021

The major trends driving the US power sector persisted in 2020, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the recent changes in the White House and Congress, will likely get stronger in 2021.

included in this trendline
  • 10 power sector trends to watch
  • How the DER boom is driving a ‘reimagining’ of the distribution system
  • A look at the future of electric vehicles, natural gas and hydrogen policy
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.