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Dec. 20, 2012: Survey Shows Growth Potential for Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids

December 20, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — IEEE has announced the availability of a new report detailing how energy storage, distributed generation, and microgrid technologies stand to evolve and grow given the rapid deployment of the smart grid across the globe over the next five years. Prepared by Zpryme Research & Consulting, the report is called “Power Systems of the Future: The Case for Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids.”

“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 of Proximetry.

“The smart grid is a journey,” said Wanda Reder, chair, IEEE Smart Grid. “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.”

Three overall conclusions are defined in the report:

• 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.

• Europe is the global leader in adopting and utilizing distributed generation and microgrids, while North America is prominent in energy 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.”

• Energy management systems, distributed management systems, and communications technologies are identified in the report 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.

“Key, interrelated themes emerged from the research behind the report, such as the necessity of customer demand to drive the market for the three technologies and, in turn, the need for customer feedback to infuse their R&D strategies,” said Carvallo. “In this way, the report illuminates how storage, distributed generation, and microgrid technologies can support important new revenue streams for manufacturers, utilities, end users, and third-party providers alike, spurring new global markets for software and systems that integrate these technologies into modern and future energy systems.”

To download the report at no cost, visit http://smartgrid.ieee.org/.

Publication date: 12/17/2012