Utilities Have Invested Over $2.9 Billion in Distributed Energy Companies
Investment in distributed energy companies has tripled in value in North America and Europe since 2010, with more than $1 billion in investment in 2016 alone, according to new data from GTM Research. The report, Utility Investments in Distributed Energy: Trends Among North American and European Utilities, analyzes the substantive capital invested in solar, energy storage, customer energy management and distributed energy resource (DER) integration companies by the investment arms of 42 utilities.A key component of distributed energy integration has been tied to uncovering new economic benefits for utility customers.
By building a portfolio of DER companies, utilities are further exploring the potential value of DERs and their ability to increase customer engagement. Since 2010, 37 distributed energy companies have been fully acquired by utility companies, and the five most active investors have developed a diverse portfolio that includes investments across DER functions.“Utility companies have a reputation of being risk-averse, but it’s clear that many utilities see distributed energy as a growth opportunity, and are taking new, yet calculated risks through venture investments,” said Andrew Mulherkar, senior grid edge analyst and one of the authors of the report.