Distributed Energy resources, the green key to savings and reliability
Distributed energy generation uses decentralised, locally-generated power to cut costs, boost reliability and reduce environmental impact
Published on Thursday, 17 September 2020
Companies looking at their energy use in the modern world are faced with a bewildering variety of requirements, ranging from the need to reduce carbon emissions to the necessity of improving sustainability and saving costs.
Distributed generation is an approach that uses small-scale technologies and renewable energy sources to produce electricity where it is most useful – close to the end user. This ticks a series of boxes by reducing costs and boosting reliability with lower environmental impact than traditional methods of power generation.
The way it used to work, giant coal, gas, or hydroelectric power stations generated electricity that was then distributed by a centralised grid. While that worked well enough when demand was limited and predictable, reliability of supply has now emerged as an issue even in many major developed economies because of the demands that an ever-more electrified world places on the grid.
Technology is in the process of changing the shape of that system, supplementing, or replacing it with new power sources that draw on the energy of the sun or the wind. These are positive moves in themselves, particularly from the point of view of the environment, but they leave the system more subject to the vagaries of the weather and the cycle of night and day. That means business is more vulnerable than ever to the stresses placed on the grid.
Our distributed energy services
By bringing clean, reliable power to commercial and industrial clients, distributed energy resources reduce the risks inherent in relying on the grid for power. We help our clients make the leap to a more reliable, sustainable future with a distributed energy offering that includes the sale, installation and maintenance of combined heat and power generation plants, solar panel arrays, as well as the necessary infrastructure.
We can also offer a variety of financial solutions, tailored to meet clients’ needs. These include Cogenio, our joint venture with Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G, one of Europe’s biggest fund managers. This designs, implements and manages distributed energy solutions for commercial and industrial clients, using a turnkey, no upfront payment model.
The grid itself is changing, channelling two-way power flows as clients who once merely drew from the network also act as suppliers to it. This opens up a path to profit for our clients, who can sell the surplus energy they produce back to the grid, offsetting energy costs. They can also get compensated for allowing their storage systems to help stabilise the grid, particularly during peak hours.
For the customer, this adds up to lower costs, reduced environmental impact and an improved supply of green energy.