The globalization that comes hand in hand with technological advances has generated new business opportunities in the market, which drives the transformation of companies and their business model. Within the energy market, both consumers and companies are driving various global trends in which the decarbonization of energy stands out, leaving aside fossil fuels due to their high costs and pollution, the digitization of services offered by both generators and by distributors and the distributed generation of energy, that is, that we can generate it from the places of consumption.
What is Distributed Generation?
Distributed or decentralized generation, a fundamental part of a Smart City, consists of the generation of electrical energy through many small energy sources of various technologies (solar, thermal, hydraulic, wind, among others) that are characterized by being installed in points close to consumption. These distributed energy equipment are usually installed in homes, SMEs, and industries with the purpose of generating economic savings in the electricity bill and, in turn, and most of these contribute to the mitigation of climate change.
What are its benefits?
What is important about this new trend are the benefits they generate both economically and to the environment, as long as their use reduces the amount of electricity produced in power plants that use fossil fuels. Existing distributed generation technologies used to generate electricity in homes and/or industries are mainly renewable sources (solar and wind) and generate savings in electricity bills. In turn, among the main benefits that we find in the implementation of distributed generation technologies, the following stand out:
- The energy discharged does not revert to the external network, which generates greater control of reactive energy and improves voltage levels.
- They reduce congestion and energy losses in the network.
- Increase in the reliability of the electricity supply.
- Investments made in transmission networks can be postponed.
What are the mechanisms used?
In countries where there is an approved regulatory framework for distributed generation, it is regulated through three mechanisms: self-consumption, net metering, and net billing.
- Self-consumption (known as self-generation) consists of the production of electrical energy that is consumed in real time, which is not accounted for in the system and, therefore, does not have additional compensation or toll charges. li>
- Net metering (known as net balance) consists of injecting into the network the surplus energy produced and not consumed by the generator, allowing it to obtain a credit for future consumption from the network. This metering is done by installing a bidirectional meter that rotates backwards when electricity is sent back to the grid, compensating for electricity purchased at another time.
- Net billing allows distributed generators that have surplus energy to sell this surplus to the distribution company, injecting it into the grid.
In many countries, distributed generation is still in its initial stages, however, the decrease in the investment costs of the equipment required for electricity generation, added to the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging the electricity sector to generate with renewable energies have generated a growing interest in the development of these new technologies. Photovoltaic systems that take advantage of solar energy are the most versatile, simple and reliable way to implement projects for self-consumption of electricity in homes and industries. Currently in Peru, there are few companies that have implemented photovoltaic self-generation within their facilities, generating economic benefits and security of electricity supply during solar hours. However, in order to “take the big leap” and implement these new technologies in Peru, a regulatory framework with clear incentives must be implemented as soon as possible, since they are still expensive technologies, for which the recovery of the investment is traced in a long term, and this would translate into lower income for the distribution companies.
Let's encourage the implementation of new technologies! Let's generate our renewable energy!