While public policies influence innovation in many ways, over the years new technologies have emerged chiefly from the private sector. The same can be said for innovation in the electricity field. Rather than top-down government mandates, or utility-driven central generation developments, most innovation in electricity is about customer-sited, distributed energy solutions that empower customers. The accelerating pace at which improved technologies and new business models are emerging is bringing the transition to a low-carbon economy within reach. There are three specific areas that in combination promise to be powerful enablers for the shift to a sustainable energy future.