VPP capacity to rise by 65% between 2011 and 2017
A more aggressive growth forecast scenario contemplates that, under certain conditions, the capacity growth could be as high as 126 percent during the same forecast horizon.
Pike Research said that growing investments in distributed energy resources will require new business and technology platforms to manage the increased level of diversity and complexity in the delivery of electricity to customers. The increasing variability of both generation (from solar and wind) and loads (due to DR and PEVs) will also require more sophisticated and decentralized decision making.
The research firm claims that growth of distributed energy resources will drive investment in VPP systems.
Senior analyst Peter Asmus said: â€œVirtual power plants essentially represent an Internet of Energy, tapping existing grid networks to tailor electricity supply and demand services for a customer. They maximize value for both the end user and distribution utility, primarily through software innovations.â€
Mr Asmus adds that VPPs can stretch supplies from existing generators and utility demand reduction programs, without requiring any large-scale infrastructure upgrades. This approach enables utilities and grid operators to react quickly to changing customer load conditions and deliver tangible value in real time.
Unlike some other frameworks for management of distributed energy resources, such as microgrids, Mr Asmus says that utilities will play a major role in the evolution of the VPP market since it is closely intertwined with transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as customer information systems.
The research firmâ€™s analysis indicated that DR-based VPPs, which are prominent in the US, will represent the largest segment of the market, with significant capacity already in place and strong growth anticipated over the next six years.
Wholesale auction VPPs, which are unique to Europe, will also continue to be a major factor in the world market. And supply-side and mixed asset VPPs, though they are smaller segments than the first two categories, will each more than double in capacity during the 2011-2017 timeframe, according to the research firmâ€™s base case scenario forecasts.
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