Thank you for taking the time to read my post and provide your feedback.
i think that you are generally right about the inertia caused by the immense finacial investment the incumbent infrastructure, reluctant management and overwhelmed legislators/regulators. Utilities see value in reducing peak demand primarily because it allows the continuation of a monolithic, centralized grid based upon cost=plus monopoly market division and pricing. Few utilities yet see the value to their consumers, the public, and ultimately themselves of energy efficiiency and distributed generation that can significantly reduce energy sales. Hence, for example, their tendency to pursue VVO and CVR to reduce demand while being careful not reduce energy consumption.
Essentially all of the electric utilties that own and operate generation continue to believe that the solution to the grid for the present and the future is to remove the regulatory barriers and constraints on siting, building and operating a centralized grid. Hence the disproportionate emphasis by the industry on demand response to "flatten the load duration curve" so that fossil fueled, basel load generation can continue to meet consumers' needs.
However, there are encouraging signs of some electric distribution cooperatives and public power systems not only recognizing and accommodating but actually embracing and leveraging a new, decentralized grid model with edge power technologies and vendors. One of my favorites is Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative in Rockford, Minnesota. They are aggressively pursuing community solar, Modlets, home and business security monitoring, home and business autiomation, Silent Power, distributed generation monitoring and a variety of other technologies, applications and business partners that they see as being necessary for success in the 21st century. One of their wholesale suppliers, Great River Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative, has also been a long-time pioneer in energy efficiency.
My post is premised upon the fact that edge power is inevitable and the incumbent industry players can either promote it or be diminished by it. Just as has been the case in the closely regulated telecommunications utility industry, it really doesn't matter in the long run wither the incumbent utilities, their management or their regulators are willing to embrace a new grid model (i.e., the Internet) and the disaggregation and reaggregation of the retail market by disintermediaries. Disintermediaries have little to lose and everything to gain. They are first adopters of the latest and best technologies and they seek the levels of return that only occur when there is great risk. Furthermore the old electric utility paradigm is neither feasible nor desirable for the future. So there will be churning and thrashing, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and their will be financial hardship for the incumbent utilities. But innovation, in technology, in business model, in customer service, will happen one way or the other. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Thanks again for reading and commenting.