Power Systems of the Future: A 21st Century Power Partnership Thought Leadership Report

Owen Zinaman, Mackay Miller, Jaquelin Cochran, Ali Mohammed Adil, Sonia Aggarwal, Minnesh Bipath, Carl Linvill, Ari David, Richard Kauffman, Match Futch, Efraín Arcos, Eric Martinot, Morgan Bazilian, Reji Pillai, José Valenzuela, Ravindra Vora

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report summarizes key forces driving transformation in the power sector around the world, presents a framework for evaluating decisions regarding extent and pace of change, and defines pathways for transformation. Powerful trends in technology, policy environments, financing, and business models are driving change in power sectors globally. In light of these trends, the question is no longer whether power systems will be transformed, but rather how these transformations will occur. Three approaches to policy and technology decision-making can guide these transformations: adaptive, reconstructive, and evolutionary. Within these approaches, we explore the five pathways that have emerged as viable models for power system transformation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages53
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-62611


  • business models
  • energy access
  • financing
  • international
  • power systems
  • regulations
  • renewable energy


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