The future of energy systems is currently driven by three key trends: electrification, decarbonization, and digitalization. A growing share of renewable generation is without doubt part of the solution to accommodate the increasing electricity demand with a low-carbon emission constraint. The question addressed in this review paper is to what extent digitalization will enable the decentralization of renewable energy generation close to the point of consumption. Digital technologies, namely, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Distributed Ledgers, will have a positive impact on renewable Distributed Energy Resources adoption by contributing to achieve a better balance between supply and demand at the edge of the grid and by improving the hosting capacity of distribution networks. However, decentralized energy production is still limited by structural factors (e.g., low power density of renewable resources, economies of scale in renewable generation and storage), regulatory factors (e.g., access to the grid, pricing policy), and digital technology constraints (e.g., limited number of transaction per second). As a result, the likely scenario of development is a reasonable mix between decentralized and (also digital enabled) centralized renewable-based energy generation interconnected together with an engaged customer and highly developed and smarter distribution and transmission networks.
The enabling impact of digital technologies on distributed energy resources integration
Note: Invited paper from the International Conference on Sustainability, Energy, Water, and Environment Nexus in Desert Climates
Note: This article was written prior to the Covid-19 crisis and its potential impact has not been included.
Santiago Bañales; The enabling impact of digital technologies on distributed energy resources integration. J. Renewable Sustainable Energy 1 July 2020; 12 (4): 045301. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0009282
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