Major Evolution of the Utility Paradigm
- Mar 15, 2021 3:03 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-03 - Power Generation, click here for more
The electric utility industry has operated under the paradigm that big generators are sufficiently more efficient than small generators to justify the considerable expense of the T&D network required to get their energy to widely distributed loads. This has been the case since Tesla and Westinghouse invented the modern electric utility industry (to a lesser extent Edison, who actually invented DC microgrids). But what if this was not true, at least in some cases?
The answer to the above question appears to be: this assumption is no longer true in limited cases, and this will start an evolution of the grid’s structure.
The title evolution will not be rapid, nor will it initially be universally applicable, but it will start in the next year or two, and it will progress relentlessly for the next few decades. For areas with widely dispersed small communities that are susceptible to wildfires and thus public safety power shutoffs (and other widespread outages), the California Utility organizations appear to have made the determination that these would be better served by microgrids rather than the traditional grid. This post is about this evolution and its implications.
Excerpts of a very documented Investor Presentation. Energy Transition to 2050 means - electrification x2.5 - wind x16 - solar x30 - batteries x30 Lots of copper, nickel, lithium...
Summary: I’ve seen evidence that the projects covered in similar earlier posts are making progress. I’ve also found an excellent DOE Source on Offshore Wind, linked below, and this will provide much of the content in this post.
The present is built from many pasts. The future will be built from many presents.
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