Generac Grid Services is thrilled to be at the top of Guidehouse Insights’ 2022 “Leaderboard: DERMS Vendors” and the only vendor able to deliver the full range of DERMS distribution system optimization capabilities in a single platform. Generac Grid Services’ Concerto™ distributed energy resource (DER) orchestration platform continues its position as a leading virtual power plant (VPP) and Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) platform, having also received top marks in the previous DERMS Leaderboard release.
Smart Technologies Are Moving Beyond Early Adopter Phase…
For the utility grid to support growing electricity demand, we’ll need to harness the collective capacity of the distributed energy resource (DER) installed base. Fortunately, many home appliances are becoming DERs by virtue of their control over energy-consuming devices behind the meter—you may better know these DERs as “smart” devices.
The penetration of “smart” technologies has not yet reached parity with more standard models; however, growing consumer demands for a smart home environment responsive to both occupants’ needs and external factors are moving some communicating, wi-fi enabled, or otherwise intelligent technologies past the “early adopter” phase. If you don’t believe me, just give your email inbox a scan for the promotional emails from manufacturers, big box stores and your favorite online marketplace.
The threat of climate change has gone from speculative to a full-blown reality within a matter of decades. Scientists, politicians and corporate leaders all agree that we need to act fast before our communities, health and way of life are severely affected. As a follow-up to the Paris Agreement in 2015 which set out ambitions to limit global warming to 1.5°C, nations and global businesses convened in Glasgow last month for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). The resulting Glasgow Pact set out a rulebook to operationalize some of the pledges and targets announced in Paris. A key highlight of the outcomes surrounded Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, paving the way for the development of a global carbon market.
This blog post is authored by special guest Peter Asmus of Guidehouse Insights
Utilities, governments and major corporations alike are committing to 100% clean energy goals in the coming decades. Utilities will need to lean on smart software platforms, such as a distributed energy resources management systems (DERMS), to keep grids that are increasingly dependent upon variable renewables, such as wind and solar, in balance.
These highly sophisticated platforms enable greater control and interoperability across heterogeneous grid elements. The value of DER assets can only be fully realized if they are integrated at customer sites and brought into a grid network to create shared value. At Guidehouse Insights, we use the term Energy Cloud to describe this transition.
Earlier this summer, I posted about the extreme heat wave challenging the Pacific Northwest. The summer has brought a myriad of challenges around the Northern Hemisphere. From flooding in Europe to wildfires across the West, severe weather and changing climate patterns continue to strain electric power grid operators tasked with keeping lights on in homes, businesses and critical facilities. In the utility world, the term “resiliency” is offered daily as the goal. “Keep the power grid resilient.” Distributed energy resources (DERs) play a critical role in achieving these targets in two complementary ways. At the risk of sounding pedantic, we need to address reliability at the grid level and resiliency at the end customer site.
I was recently invited to meet with a class of students studying energy and the future, and as a part of the session, I was asked to prepare a challenge for the students to work through. The result was interesting and showed a glimpse of what may lie ahead. It will certainly be a challenge that will require innovation, new concepts and a lot of hard work.
I showed a small area, powered by an electric utility (20% of total energy), natural gas (25% of local energy) and petroleum products (45% of total energy). The electric utility had capability to increase its energy delivered by about 25% in the next decade, and the students were asked to show how to minimize the emissions in that timeframe. They were free to add solar thermal or solar PV capacity to the system.
At the start of the summer demand response season in North America, grid operators have already used Enbala's Concerto™ platform to dispatch about 100 events to keep the grid stable as heat waves settled upon the western half of North America. Our thoughts are with those in the extreme heat, and we know that describing rising temperatures — coupled with wildfires and severe weather — as "disruptive" is an understatement. However, high temperatures point to the need for distributed energy resource (DER) orchestration to keep the grid stable and to help keep utility customers as comfortable as possible.
It’s all about “commitments to zero” these days. The urgency of climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions has seen many influential organizations making commitments to Net Zero by 2050, including the Biden administration, 73 electric utilities across the United States, global energy giants like Shell and Equinor and the German parliament. The International Energy Agency (IEA) identified that the number of countries which have pledged to achieve net‐zero emissions has grown rapidly over the last year and now covers around 70 %of global emissions of CO2. However, the changes required to reach net‐zero emissions globally are poorly understood. As a result, IEA published its “Achieving Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.” They identified that, despite all the hype, if all announced national net-zero pledges are achieved in full and on time, whether or not they are currently underpinned by specific policies, goal acquisition will still fall well short of what is necessary to reach global net‐zero emissions by 2050.
I describe myself as a technological optimist—well, within reason. I don’t think that Moore’s Law, the notion that our computing capabilities double every couple of years, permits humans to continue reckless consumption and assume that we’ll be able to innovate our way out of any self-created calamity. I also fear technology’s risk of generating moral hazards; just because we are learning how to capture, sequester, and use some carbon dioxide does not mean we can otherwise continue to emit it recklessly. Joining the Enbala team, however, I do recognize we have the tools at our disposal to reduce the economic and environmental costs to power our society.
Enbala’s Concerto™ software platform, combined with distributed energy resources (DER), creates a balanced, sustainable energy future. I joined this company because I believe that such a future isn’t far away, and if we put our hearts and minds into transforming the energy system, we can green it today.
Climate action is on most people’s minds these days, and many view it as an industrial problem that governments can force industry to solve. But given that the International Energy Agency has identified the SUV as the second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade, it’s clear that climate change is not just an industry problem. In fact, it’s been stated that if SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.
Climate change is everyone’s problem, and careful thought and planning are needed to reduce fossil fuel emissions with minimal impact on our quality of life and cost of living.