Participatory Energy Network
Concept proposed in a study by IBM:
"Historically, the relationship between utilities and consumers has been rather lopsided – utilities had the power, both literally and figuratively. But the confluence of climate change concerns, rising energy costs and technology advances leading to greater consumer involvement is now radically redefining that relationship. Our recent surveys of 1,900 energy consumers and nearly 100 industry executives across the globe reveal major changes underway – a more heterogeneous consumer base, evolving industry models and a stark departure from a decades-old value chain. We believe companies need to prepare now for a participatory network that enables customers to choose from a wide variety of suppliers, actively manage their consumption and even sell back surplus power they generate. ..
….We anticipate a steady progression toward a Participatory Network, a technology ecosystem comprising a wide variety of intelligent network-connected devices, distributed generation and consumer energy management tools….
…Within five years…we believe sufficient supplier choice will allow meaningful consumer switching to emerge in most major competitive markets. Also…we expect utility demand management initiatives to expand dramatically and electric power generation by consumers to make tremendous inroads within ten years."