Global energy consumption has grown steadily over the past century. This trend, driven by population and economic growth, is set to continue in spite of rising efficiency of both production and consumption. The IEA estimates that over the period to 2035 the investment required each year to supply the world’s energy needs will rise steadily to $2,000 billion.
In response to new opportunities such as renewable energy and smart technologies – and new policy goals – to reduce emissions and extend energy access, Distributed Energy Systems (DES) encompasses a diverse array of generation, storage, energy monitoring and control solutions. DES technologies represent a paradigm shift and offer building owners and energy consumers significant opportunities to reduce cost, improve reliability and secure additional revenue through on-site generation and dynamic load management.
The numbers speak for themselves. Operational cost reductions ranging between 8% and 28% and a return on investment (ROI) between 3-7 years compared to a business as usual are observed. CO2emissions are reduced at similar scales, with wider uptake delivering significant economic, social and environmental co-benefits through better system resilience and efficiency, including lower cost grid balancing, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and affordable extension of grids to unconnected communities.
Improving Security Of Energy Supply & Resilience
Energy infrastructure all over the world is ageing and requires significant investment to replace and repair. The risks associated with such ageing assets coupled with shocks derived from large scale weather related events, could lead to potential failures in the network or poor environmental compliance.
Local, decentralised and controllable DES generation and storage sources can be designed to provide the end user with local resilience or even full independence from the grid. The benefits accrue to grid operators as well: DES can manage demand to reduce peak loads when infrastructure is nearing capacity, thus postponing the need for major grid reinforcement investments.
Energy Cost Reduction
Low but uncertain oil prices not only make overall energy costs unpredictable but increase risk on large investments in energy system upgrades, potentially obstructing the requirements of the end consumer. DES can be customized to match the consumer’s requirements as well as enabling actors to shape local generation and consumption in response to market price signals to achieve the lowest overall cost of energy.
Low Carbon Energy And Energy Efficiency
DES includes renewable and low carbon generation and controls that enable the integration of such technologies into the network and as a result reduces the carbon intensity and impact on the local environment of the energy system.
At a local level, poor air quality can proliferate acute public health problems. DES that rely on clean energy generation or hybrid systems, have a reduced impact on air quality and helps maintain a greener and cleaner ecosystem.