Distributed Power Generation
Small, embedded power generation
No transmission or distribution losses
Natural gas, diesel, propane, etc.
Renewables: solar photovoltaics, wind, wave, biomass
One way to accomplish effective demand management and eliminate the need for large scale utility grids is to introduce a concept of distributed power generation based large numbers of small embedded power stations.
These small modular electricity generators are located close to customer loads and offer advantages that large-scale, capital-intensive, central-station power plants cannot provide. Distributed generation avoids transmission and distribution power losses and provides a choice of energy systems to the utility customer.
Many distributed power systems produce so little noise or emissions that they can be located inside,
or immediately adjacent to, the buildings where the power is needed. This greatly simplifies the problems of bringing power to expanding commercial, residential, and industrial areas.
Distributed energy systems offer the promise of reliability for consumers who need dependable, high-quality power to run sensitive digital equipment and can provide alternative, less-expensive power sources during peak price periods. The potential market for providing power during peak price periods is
as high as 460 GW, according to a DOE study. Distributed power generation technologies use a variety of fuels, including natural gas, diesel, biomass-derived fuels, fuel oil, propane, hydrogen, sunlight, and wind.
Distributed power generation based on renewables is especially attractive for remote applications. “Stand alone” systems can eliminate the need to
build expensive new power lines to remote locations while providing completely autonomous power generation.