Will better batteries dim electric utilities’ prospects?

By Paul Dvorak Imagine a fantasy world where solar roofs or panels efficiently and cheaply generate electricity to be stored for weeks in a customer’s diminutive and low-cost battery. Such a world would have little need for a centralized, fully integrated (generation, transmission, and distribution) electric utility, relying instead on self-sustaining battery-combined “distributed generation” systems.
This scenario could emerge as companies and governments continue to invest billions in battery technology and as several technologies converge to advance research and development efforts. In S&P Global Ratings’ view, this combined effect could pose an increasing risk to the U.S. regulated utility industry beginning in the next

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