Energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids top areas of growth in smart grid

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Energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids top areas of growth in smart grid

Greentech Lead India: Private- and public-sector funding
for microgrid, distributed generation and grid-level storage research and
development (R&D) and projects/pilots would contribute to more
cost-effective solutions, inform better business cases and help reveal best
practices around installation, application and optimization for the
technologies, according to a recent report published by Zpryme Research &
Consulting.

The report, “Power Systems of the Future: The Case for
Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids,” commissioned by
standards organization IEEE, identifies energy management systems, distributed
management systems and communications technologies as the critical enabling
technologies for energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids, as well
as advanced grid services such as net metering, load aggregation and real-time
energy monitoring that in many cases will be delivered in the cloud.

“The smart grid is the premier technological and economic
platform to build the 21st century, and this report details how energy storage,
distributed generation and microgrid technologies are both fueling and feeding
off of the smart grid engine,” said Andres Carvallo, a member of the Zpryme
smart grid advisory board and executive vice president and chief strategy
officer, Proximetry.

Added Wanda Reder, chair, IEEE Smart Grid, said, “The
smart grid is a journey. The methods and technologies that undergird
electricity delivery around the world have grown steadily more intelligent over
decades, and now, with the smart grid, we’re challenging traditional norms that
utilities and their suppliers have known.”

According to Reder, energy storage, distributed
generation and microgrids will prove to be critical elements in the
transformation, as will incentives, standards, policy, and customer engagement.
And all of those pieces must align logically within a long-range plan for
society to efficiently realize the revolutionary benefits that the smart grid
promises.”

 Europe is the global leader in adopting and
utilizing distributed generation and microgrids, while North America is
prominent in storage technology. The report says that these regions stand to
“take the lead when it comes to developing and deploying next-generation
distributed energy systems.”

Survey respondents prioritized the benefits of each
technology area. Energy storage’s “first-best benefit” was identified as the
ability to provide supplemental power to meet peak demands. Distributed
generation’s top benefit was identified as targeted addition of supply. And
ability to meet local demand was listed as the top benefit of microgrids.

The Zpryme report shows that the importance of all three
technology areas is rising along with global interest in more efficiently
managing energy consumption, growing electricity demand and increasing
awareness of the cost of service interruptions.

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