The Increasing Need of Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems
How OT-IT Convergence and AI can Positively Impact on the Renewable Energy Market?
The electricity generation and transmission industry is at the start of a period of great challenge, and great change.
There are several reasons for this:
- Traditional power stations are extremely expensive to build, take a long time to bring into service, and are very unpopular with the local residents living in their vicinity.
- Burning fossil fuels is driving global warming, is having a serious detrimental effect on climate patterns, and has to be significantly reduced, evidenced by initiatives such as the EU’s Green Deal, which aims to cut 55% of CO2 emissions by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050.
- High voltage transmission grids do not currently have the capacity to transport and distribute the forecast load across long distances.
- Renewable energy sources have, by their very nature, a capacity that is neither fixed, nor entirely predictable. Solar plant outputs are dependent on both the strength of sunlight on any given day and the number of daylight hours, which varies between seasons. Wind power capacity depends upon wind strength, which again varies on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
- Both the voltage and frequency of the supply to customers has to be controlled within tight limits, irrespective of the load drawn, or the rate at which this changes. The more generation sites that feed into the grid, the more complex the problem of managing supply voltage and frequency becomes.
- A decentralized generation model, with a large number of disparate energy sources, requires much more sophisticated real-time monitoring and control than is the case when generation is based around a single process and site.
- The smaller scale generation locations are built and operated by a variety of owners, resulting in a large variation in the equipment used, and therefore requiring a high level of versatility in the data ingress systems.