Distributed Generation

The concept of Distributed Generation (DG) is the next step in the evolution of the electric power generation and distribution concept. It may be defined as the generation of energy on-site (close to the final user) in small and medium scales.

The energy crisis and negative environmental impacts bring along a ser of problems that have a lasting influence on the energy industry. In the last 20 years, technological innovations, increased transport and distribution costs, shifting economies, woes about climate change and new law and regulation schemes have spark a new interest in Distributed Generation.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) lists the following factors as contributors to the evolution of the DG concept:
  1. New technological breakthroughs in DG and Smart Grids
  2. Restrictions on the installation of new distribution lines
  3. Growing energy demand
  4. A drive of consumers to achieve energy independency
  5. Climate change
The most important aspects of DG are:
  • Use of renewable energy sources
  • Modular systems
  • Cogeneration and trigeneration
Traditional technologies for DG:
  • Gas turbines
  • Micro-turbines
  • Alternative engines
  • Diesel generators

Non-traditional technologies for DG:

  • Wind
  • Small hydro
  • Solar thermal
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Geothermal
  • Tidal power
  • Fuel cells
  • Biomass