MIT Energy Initiative

Utility of the Future

Note: The Utility of the Future study report will be released on December 15, 2016, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Check back on December 15 to view the full report.

The Utility of the Future brings together a diverse consortium of leading international companies to address emerging issues in the electric power sector, and provides a neutral framework within which to evaluate the economic, regulatory, and technological impacts of the ongoing evolution of the power sector worldwide. The study team from MIT and IIT-Comillas combines a breadth of skills in quantitative economic and engineering modeling, with a sophisticated understanding of the complex interactions in the electric power industry. The team includes faculty with decades of experience in advising governments, corporations, and institutions on regulation and market design. The consortium members—industry stakeholders and other market participants—bring valuable real-world expertise and experience to the study.

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) has a long history of identifying research topics that lend themselves to a consortium approach. Such topics benefit from aggregating a diverse set of perspectives on a set of critical issues facing the industry at large. This “commons” approach benefits all of the partners, while enabling each member to individually benefit from an increased understanding of the unique implications to their organization.

This comprehensive study has sought to address the technology, policy, and business models shaping the evolution of the delivery of electricity services. It examines several possible scenarios of the future of the electricity sector in order to inform utilities, regulators, policy makers, and new market actors attempting to navigate a rapidly changing industry.

Our objective is to evaluate new and emerging technologies and combinations of these technologies, such as rooftop solar, distributed generation, and demand response implemented in the distribution sector. In addition, we look at how the distributed and the centralized power systems will be coordinated in the delivery of energy services.

Over the course of the multi-year study, we have sought to answer key questions such as:

Scroll to the bottom of this page for research publications related to the Utility of the Future.

Principal Investigators

Faculty Committee

TOMAS GOMEZ Professor Comillas
WILLIAM HOGAN Professor Harvard

Project Directors

Richard Tabors Visiting Scholar

Research Team

Ashwini Bharatkumar Ashwini Bharatkumar

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Eni

Michael Birk Michael Birk

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Statoil

Scott Burger Scott Burger

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Shell

Dr. José Pablo Chaves Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Ignacio Herrero Research Assistant Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Sam Huntington
Jesse Jenkins Jesse Jenkins

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Enel

Max Luke Max Luke

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Statoil

Pablo Rodilla Assistant Researcher Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Richard Tabors
Claudio Vergara Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Nora Xu Nora Xu

Engineering Systems Division

Sponsor: Shell

Research and Project Advisors

Louis Carranza Louis Carranza Associate Director

MIT Energy Initiative

Cyril Draffin Cyril Draffin
Pablo Frías Professor Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Javier Reneses Professor Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Michel Rivier Professor Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Álvaro Sánchez Professor Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Consortium Members: Sponsors

Consortium Members: Participants

Consortium Members: Observers

Paul & Matthew Mashikian