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The utilities industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world. The term utilities refers to electricity, natural gas, water and sewerage services consumed by the public, hospitals, schools and other institutions, agriculture, factories and commercial establishments. In some countries these services are provided commercially by national, state or municipal governments or by cooperatives; in many, however, they are provided by the private sector.
The total value of the utilities sector globally in 2014 was $3,676 billion. Related to a world population of more than 7 billion in 2014 this equates to about $525 per person globally. Given that World Domestic Product was approximately $78 trillion in 2014, the market makes up about 4.7% of the global economy.
Much localized generation is driven by federal and state subsidies. Localized powered generation is mainly through solar photovoltaic panels at customer sites. Power supplied locally is cheaper than power supplied through traditional electric grids because of lower transmission and distribution costs. Localized power generation has become a major concern for utilities because even a penetration rate of 5% can reduce the earnings of utilities by 4% to 9%.
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