Decreasing energy production costs, increased public environmental responsibility and changing government policies are prompting more and more consumers to consider renewable energy sources. Solar energy, in particular, is gaining traction around the world. A new IBM Institute for Business value survey of more than 41,000 consumers reveals that, for energy and utility companies, increasing public affinity for solar power will potentially undermine established business models. How utilities respond to this changing environment will go a long way toward determining their future roles and extent of their success. Will they continue to focus mainly on power generation and delivery, or will they become orchestrators for a broader, richer, more highly coordinated power distribution ecosystem?

Study highlights

70% The average price decrease of adding solar to a homer or business since 2009 - IBM

65% The percentage of customers who expect payback in five years or less - IBM

12.5 cents (U.S.) The average cost of one kilowatt of solar electricity in the United States. - IBM

About the authors

Stephen Callahan

Stephen Callahan
Vice President, Global Strategy,
IBM Energy and Utilities

James Strapp

James Strapp
Vice President, Global Solutions,
IBM Energy and Utilities

Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey Davis
IBM Institute for Business Value,
Energy and Utilities Lead

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