More affordable distributed generation will reduce likelihood of major blackouts

March 01, 2004

Palo Alto, Calif. -- March 1, 2004 -- Recent power blackouts in the United States and Europe as well as increasing loads on centralized generation underline the greater need for distributed generation.

The availability of more affordable local power generation is expected to motivate companies and localities to reduce the chances of total blackouts, using distributed generation that can act as emergency or standby power.

"Deregulation of electricity and natural gas, demand for uninterrupted power supplies, and improved technologies are making distributed generation a viable practice," states Technical Insights Research Analyst Shirley Savage.

Most renewable energy technologies are perfectly suited to distributed generation, as most of them can be produced locally. By placing small, modular power generation units such as fuel cells and microturbines close to electric power users, local grid operations can be improved.

Renewable energy sources are facing stiff competition in cost and energy efficiency from traditional fossil-fuel technology. However, governments are supporting renewable energy on national and local scales by declaring that it must become a bigger part of the energy sector.

Governments are backing their statements by offering research subsidies and financial aid to consumers, and instituting programs that have renewable energy sources as a key component. This support is necessary since renewable energy companies do not have sufficient market experience to be commercially cost competitive, despite recent technological advances.

The Japanese Government has subsidized solar power, while enterprises in Northern Ireland, the United States, and Germany receive substantial support for harnessing wind energy. Governmental financial assistance has caused the capital costs of many renewable energy technologies to halve, and this trend is expected to continue.

"Government subsidies have helped boost renewable energy technology usage but have done little to make it competitive with fossil fuels on a non-subsidized basis," notes Savage. "The focus of most research is to develop a low-cost, high-efficiency technology that can be applied widely."

Sophisticated and more efficient solar and wind energy applications are using advanced technologies such as nanoparticles and artificial intelligence to improve power generation. Meanwhile, silicon and semiconductor research is helping participants produce high-efficiency solar cells at affordable prices.

Current wind technologies use turbines with large propeller blades. These blades have pitch control for effective operation even at low wind speeds, yaw control to keep them well positioned to catch the wind, and an adjustable gearbox to help the turbines operate well in high winds.

Hydrogen has made rapid strides as an alternative fuel as scientists have discovered more energy-efficient and environment-friendly production methods such as electrolysis. This alternative fuel is preferred for its abilities to eliminate greenhouse gases, reduce air pollution, and create greater efficiencies.

Data from satellites is used to choose the best location to site renewable energy plants and help with their building and management, thereby optimally utilizing natural resources. Satellite information is vital for identifying a large heat source for geothermal power production.

Numerous developments such as these have compelled companies to include renewables in their roster of energy sources, instead of viewing them as threats to their oil and gas revenue. The resurgent interest in renewable energy technologies is expected to help create 'market take off', so that they can compete in the market on their own steam.

The Renewable Energy Technologies: Global Developments research service is part of the Energy Vertical Industry Subscription Service, and provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of recent technological advances on the renewable energy technology market. It provides key technical challenges and drivers affecting growth and offers a detailed competitive market analysis. The study evaluates solar, wind, geothermal and wave, and hydrogen sources of renewable energy.
-end-
If you are interested in an analysis overview which provide manufacturers, end-users and other industry participants an overview, summary, challenges and latest coverage of Renewable Energy Technologies: Global Developments - then send an email to Julia Paulson - Technical Insights Media Relations Executive at jpaulson@frost.com with the following information: Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Contact Fax Number, Email. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be emailed to you.

Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and report services.

Frost & Sullivan, an international growth consultancy, has been supporting clients' expansion for more than four decades. Our market expertise covers a broad spectrum of industries, while our portfolio of advisory competencies includes custom strategic consulting, market intelligence, and management training. Our mission is to forge partnerships with our clients' management teams to deliver market insights and to create value and drive growth through innovative approaches. Frost & Sullivan's network of consultants, industry experts, corporate trainers, and support staff spans the globe with offices in every major country.

Renewable Energy Technologies: Global Developments
D270

Contact:
USA:
Julia Paulson
P: 210-247-3870
F: 210-348-1003
E: jpaulson@frost.com

Europe:
Kristina Menzefricke
P: 44-207-343-8376
F: 44-207-730-3343
E: kmenzefricke@frost.com

APAC:
Pramila Gurtoo
DID : 603-6204-5811
Gen : 603-6204-5800
Fax : 603-6201-7402
E: pgurtoo@frost.com

www.frost.com
www.technicalinsights.frost.com

Keywords in this release: Energy, centralized generation, distributed generation, renewable energy technologies, modular power generation units, fuel cells, microturbines, nanoparticles, artificial intelligence, pitch control, yaw control, electrolysis, greenhouse gases, geothermal power production, fossil fuels, solar, wind, wave, hydrogen

Technical Insights

Related Renewable Energy Articles from Brightsurf:

Creating higher energy density lithium-ion batteries for renewable energy applications
Lithium-ion batteries that function as high-performance power sources for renewable applications, such as electric vehicles and consumer electronics, require electrodes that deliver high energy density without compromising cell lifetimes.

Renewable energy targets can undermine sustainable intentions
Renewable energy targets (RETs) may be too blunt a tool for ensuring a sustainable future, according to University of Queensland-led research.

Intelligent software for district renewable energy management
CSEM has developed Maestro, an intelligent software application that can manage and schedule the production and use of renewable energies for an entire neighborhood.

Renewable energy transition makes dollars and sense
New UNSW research has disproved the claim that the transition to renewable electricity systems will harm the global economy.

Renewable energy advance
In order to identify materials that can improve storage technologies for fuel cells and batteries, you need to be able to visualize the actual three-dimensional structure of a particular material up close and in context.

Illuminating the future of renewable energy
A new chemical compound created by researchers at West Virginia University is lighting the way for renewable energy.

Using fiber optics to advance safe and renewable energy
Fiber optic cables, it turns out, can be incredibly useful scientific sensors.

Renewable energy developments threaten biodiverse areas
More than 2000 renewable energy facilities are built in areas of environmental significance and threaten the natural habitats of plant and animal species across the globe.

Could water solve the renewable energy storage challenge?
Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study from IIASA scientists.

Scientists take strides towards entirely renewable energy
Researchers have made a major discovery that will make it immeasurably easier for people (or super-computers) to search for an elusive 'green bullet' catalyst that could ultimately provide entirely renewable energy.

Read More: Renewable Energy News and Renewable Energy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.