A new report from research firm Gartner Inc. identifies social media and Web 2.0 as among the top 10 technology trends affecting the global energy and utility sector in 2013, as the industry faces significant challenges from ongoing environmental sensitivity, changing policymaker attitudes and consumer expectations.

“Searching for successful business models that will address these issues and generate anticipated shareholder returns in uncertain regulatory settings is a top priority for this industry,” Kristian Steenstrup, vice president and Gartner Fellow and author of the report, said in a statement. “Public and private utilities are looking at how technology can reduce cost, drive efficiencies and enhance competitive advantage.”

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