In the U.S., electric power, water and natural gas utilities play such integral roles in our lives that we often take them for granted. We expect to flip a light switch, turn on the water faucet and light the stove without a hitch and at low cost. If we step back and take a look from a broader perspective, we are aware that in recent years these utilities have been subject to enormous, evolving challenges.
Electric utilities are currently grappling with aging infrastructure, growing customer bases, increasing popular demand for clean energy, and intensifying natural disasters. Similarly, the water industry faces the effects of climate change, burgeoning urbanization and deteriorating underground infrastructure. Recent decarbonization policies and public opposition have hindered capital projects that are designed to address the maintenance and reliability of aging natural gas pipelines, especially in urban centers. Each of these utilities is responding by launching a variety of strategic initiatives to modernize its infrastructure to meet the needs and demands of a changing society and environment.