A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for distributed energy resources (DER) technologies is expected to reach nearly 530 GW through 2026.
Technology advances, business model innovation, changing regulations, and sustainability and resilience concerns have brought DER into the core of the future deployment of energy infrastructure. Encompassing a broad set of solutions that include systems and technologies designed to operate closer to customers on the electricity grid, the global proliferation of DER has begun to have a significant, and at times controversial, influence on the electricity industry.
“For countries and regions that started their energy transition early, the role of distributed generation technologies will be less while the technologies that help integrate this generation will play a key role in the deployment of DER infrastructure over the forecast period,” says Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In this realm, when and how the electrification of transport happens will have a significant impact on the development of DER deployments.”
Indeed, the influence of increasing DER deployments will vary in different countries and regions due to the existing and planned additions of centralized generation, according to the report. However, globally, distributed generation is expected to lead DER installations in 2017, and electric vehicle charging and flexibility technologies, such as demand response and energy storage, are expected to outpace competing solutions in the next decade.
Rapidly expanding investment in DER represents a major shift from the centralized, one-way electrical grid. This growth has generated both concern and optimism throughout the power industry as regulators and grid operators work to understand the evolving landscape that is redefining the relationship between utilities and customers. The shift from centralized generation requires the use of innovative technologies and solutions on the part of grid operators, including advanced software and hardware that enable greater control and interoperability across heterogeneous grid elements that are key components of the Energy Cloud.
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