The World Energy Trilemma 2017 report Changing dynamics – Using distributed energy resources to meet the Trilemma challenge,  prepared in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, along with the Global Risk Centre of its parent Marsh & McLennan Companies, tapped into the global insights of the traditional and emerging players in the electricity sector – including policymakers, regulators, traditional utilities, large consumer/ prosumers, and technology providers –to capture a wide range of views on the evolution of the energy sector.  The report identifies key focus areas for regulators and policymakers in the context of balancing the Energy Trilemma and driving forward progress on each dimension of the energy trilemma.

The electricity sector is undergoing change at an unprecedented pace with the growth in distributed generation enhancing trends in decentralisation and decarbonisation, opening new opportunities and challenges for countries to balance the energy trilemma.

The report highlights key findings emerging from interviews with energy leaders:

  • Distributed energy resources are becoming increasingly important to the energy system
  • Changes in electricity supply structure is expected to shift from a centralised to a hybrid model between 2017 – 2025
  • More than 50% of energy leaders surveyed for the report expect a rapid increase in the share of installed generation capacity in their country to 15% or higher by 2025
  • Innovative market entrants such as energy service aggregators, rural entrepreneurs and consumers are driving forces behind the increase in distributed energy resources
  • Energy storage is becoming a key element of the grid of tomorrow

Philip Lowe, Chair of the World Energy Trilemma study group, said: “Policymakers need to adapt regulatory frameworks to the new opportunities opened up by decentralisation and to take account of the widening options for energy supply and use. While many challenges remain, it is difficult not to be optimistic about the potential for change that has been opened by decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation in an overall context of electrification of final demand as outlined in the latest energy scenarios published by the Council.   Decentralisation can empower local communities, firms and local communities, who produce energy through wind and solar installations of their own. The recommendations of this report attempt to present policymakers with clear choices and potential solutions to the Energy Trilemma which are in the interests of society as a whole.”