"Decoupling" refers to separating the electricity generation business from the transmission and distribution business. A decoupled utility's profits do not depend on the amount of electricity sold. Since decoupling was instituted in California, energy efficiency has improved dramatically. Jim Rogers has called for "decoupling on steroids".
It's the same principle we think about when we talk about "net neutrality" - the Internet is a common carrier that treats everyone's data the same. The highway system allows any company's trucks to transport goods. Freeing the grid allows anyone to sell power to anyone else, and for community-based systems to thrive.
Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers predicts that nearly every single
power plant operating today -- aside from some hydro and perhaps a few
nuclear plants -- will be replaced by the middle of the century. He
called it a “blank sheet of paper” that opens up the possibility of a
major transformation for utilities.
Speaking at a recent Brookings Institution event on the future of
utilities, Rogers offered his candid take on where the power business is
headed. Although centralized natural gas and nuclear are at the top of
his list for low-carbon technologies, Rogers said he believed a more
distributed grid is inevitable.