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Topic Title: DG penetration- will it increase?
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Created On: 12 February 2014 01:12 AM
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 12 February 2014 01:12 AM
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I am looking to understand the reasons why distributed energy resources do not yet make up a significant portion of generation. The idea has obvious benefits (more reliable system, decreased losses, etc.) and the installation of renewable resources is encouraged by many utilities and civic bodies; yet it does not seem to have taken off in most areas. What are some of the barriers or challenges associated with installing distributed generation systems? And do you think that their prevalance is likely to increase in the future, or will they continue to make up a relatively small portion of generation?

Thank you!
 12 February 2014 11:05 AM
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What are your thoughts on the questions you raise?

 13 February 2014 09:16 AM
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Jellyhut, I work commissioning renewables. From what I can see the answer depends on where you live. I used to live on the Hants/ Berks border. I did very little work locally. To the populous there they object to all forms of renewables. Wind.. unsightly, PV... unsightly
AD smelly...Nuclear and Fracking don't even think about it. I questioned a group one day who were objecting to the mere prospect of an application for a wind turbine. Where did they think their Electricity came from? Answer .... from the Grid. A year or so ago there was an application for a minute 25Kw ground mounted PV within our local sewerage works.... never got past planning.
As to the future I can tell you that in certain areas of the South West the DNO's are inundated with applications for Solar farms all for connection to the 11 or 33Kv network. these are from a few MW to I think one over 50 MW. Many of these will not happen but many will.
In Yorkshire and parts of Wales there is an upsurge in private Wind Turbines. A farmer starts with one at say 50 Kw and quickly sees the benefits, puts up another larger one, then his neighbour does the same. Now they are looking at 250 or even 500Kw whereas 2 or 3 years go they might have been looking at 20-30 Kw machines.
Last thought why will the government not distinguish between the rewards for Solar on Roofs and the rewards on Farm land. Bearing in mind that when roofs are used the generation is usually not exported
 13 February 2014 01:36 PM
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The NIMBYs (or even worse, the BANANAs*) will object to pretty much anything and everything. The only reason anything ever gets built is that the planning authorities have guidelines to follow, and don't just do what popular opinion says.

Bearing in mind that when roofs are used the generation is usually not exported

That's a big assumption. The sun's just come out here, but I'm at work. So most of what my panels are generating is being exported to the grid. The strange way in which FIT and export payments are calculated means that I get paid the same whether I use the electricity myself, or export it.

*BANANA = Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody

S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 13 February 2014 10:34 PM
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A lot of the 'easy' capacity in the network has been taken up already for connection of these devices. We are already seeing significant reinforcement / other measures required to allow them to connect - which all costs money. As long as the government continues to subsidise then I can see the connection rate continuing as it is today, but not increasing much.

As an aside, farmers I have spoken to recently tell me that for LV - small 11kV connections (20kW - 500kW) a rough rule of thumb is £1,000 in their pocket per year per kW. Grid connection charges for a 500kW machines will typical range from £50k for a local easy connection to £500k if significant reinforcement / voltage regulation is required and the point of connection is a bit of a distance away.

As a 2nd aside - it is very interesting to see how quickly a farmer's attitude towards his field drains / fences / crops etc changes as soon as the utility company needs into his fields to connect his new wind turbine! All of a sudden he doesn't need quite as much compensation to move his 'prize winning' bull into the neighbouring field!

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