Where Does Distributed Storage Fit into the Electric Power Landscape
- Jan 23, 2019 11:08 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more
Distributed generation has been growing but is still a niche player in the electric power industry. This could change rapidly as the cost of storage continues to decline. Until now distributed generation has been limited to places where solar is particularly attractive due to incentives, industrial facilities with large and constant thermal loads, and remote locations where it is impractical to extend the grid. Other facilities that have high reliability requirements have backup generators, but only operate them during grid outages.
This is all changing as storage prices drop. Solar PV prices have already fallen enough that it is cost-effective to install solar in places with high utility tariffs even without incentives and utilities are pushing back on the net metering policies that enable utility customers to be compensated at retail prices for power exported back to the utility. Instead of exporting that power to the utility, a utility customer can now use that power to charge batteries. Is this an improvement for the utility? Is it a cost-effective investment for the customer?
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