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Strong growth potential for energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids

November 29, 2012 | By Anthony Capkun

November 28, 2012 – IEEE has made available a new report it commissioned detailing how energy storage, distributed generation and microgrid technologies stand to evolve given the deployment of the smart grid across the globe over the next five years.

Based on a survey of 460 global smart grid executives in September 2012, Zpryme Research & Consulting created the report, “Power Systems of the Future: The Case for Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids”, which is available for free download at http://smartgrid.ieee.org .

“Energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids will prove to be critical elements in the transformation, as will incentives, standards, policy, and customer engagement. And all of those pieces must align logically within a long-range plan for society to efficiently realize the revolutionary benefits that the smart grid promises,” said Wanda Reder, chair, IEEE Smart Grid.

Three overall conclusions are defined in the Zpryme report:


• Private- and public-sector funding for microgrid, distributed generation and grid-level storage R&D and projects/pilots would contribute to more cost-effective solutions, inform better business cases and help reveal best practices around installation, application and optimization for the technologies.

• Europe is the global leader in adopting and utilizing distributed generation and microgrids, while North America is prominent in storage technology: the report says these regions stand to “take the lead when it comes to developing and deploying next-generation distributed energy systems”.

• Energy management systems, distributed management systems and communications technologies are identified in the report as the critical enabling technologies for energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids, as well as advanced grid services such as net metering, load aggregation and real-time energy monitoring that in many cases will be delivered in the cloud.

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