Last year I wrote an article on the “Consumerization of Energy” in which I compared a growing trend towards distributed energy to the “Consumerization of IT.” I predicted that:
“Distributed energy technologies . . . will soon be able to provide electricity at costs and reliability levels that are competitive with grid power. For the first time in 100 years these technologies will enable consumers to bypass their local electric utility company.”
This article examines what has and hasn’t changed in the intervening year.
Low natural gas prices
Let’s start with one of the biggest factors driving this trend — one that hasn’t changed — which is the availability of abundant cheap natural gas in the U.S. Natural gas spot prices generally stayed below $3.50/mmBtu in 2012, reaching a low of $1.95/mmBtu in April, and prices are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future according to EIA forecasts.
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