From smart devices to energy as a service
Global energy consumption has grown as the world has become increasingly reliant on technology, not only in our day-to-day lives, but also in the commercial and industrial spheres. At the same time, technological innovations are rapidly changing the way we produce, use and store electricity, driven partly by an awareness of energy costs, but also by rising environmental concerns and a push towards sustainability.
For those interested in energy management, this means that the field is full of opportunities, as businesses adapt to changing circumstances in terms of costs, technology, regulations and requirements, and consumer awareness.
Here are four important trends in energy management to watch if you’re interested in pursuing an advanced degree in the field.
Despite the fact that commercial businesses account for an even greater proportion of electricity usage in the United States than the industrial and manufacturing industries, they’ve sometimes been overlooked when it comes to demand response and smart energy management programs.
Commercial businesses are also feeling the pinch of high energy bills, however, and they might be helped by advances from the residential sector, such as smart thermostats and smart lighting controls. These systems are easy to install in commercial locations, are increasingly affordable and can make a significant difference to a business’s energy usage.
In the past, a lack of large-scale battery energy storage systems has prevented renewable energy from being more widely used. Many leading technology companies, however, like ABB, Siemens AES and Tesla are now putting significant work into improving battery storage, and notable advances are being made. Battery costs have been falling and are expected to continue on a downward trend, which is good news for users of renewable energy.
Another trend to watch for those interested in an MBA in Energy Management is the increase of alternative business models like ‘energy as a service.’ By making energy efficiency easier to pay for and reducing upfront costs, these models can help make energy-saving programs and devices more accessible to businesses. With an ‘energy as a service’ model, an outside service company makes a commitment to a business to guarantee their energy costs for a given set of demands over an established period of time, with the ultimate savings (or costs) being passed on to the service provider. This encourages providers to maximize efficiency, while shielding businesses from the normal fluctuations of energy costs.
Sustainability has risen to the top of public consciousness, and this is being reflected in many large-scale business trends. If you’re interested in taking MBA courses in Energy Management, this is something you can expect to hear more about. Consumers are demanding that businesses not only provide valuable goods and services, but that they do so in a way that is energy-efficient and sustainable. This means a significant rise in the importance of corporate social responsibility. Saving energy is no longer simply a cost-saving measure for businesses looking to trim their expenses, but a necessary strategy for winning over and retaining climate-conscious consumers.
Are you interested in advancing your career in the energy industry? Contact WU Executive Academy to find out more about our professional MBA program.