decentralized energy

decentralized energy

Energy Policy 36 (2008) 4509–4513

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The implications of an increasingly decentralised energy system$
Philip Wolfe Ã
Renewable Energy Association, 17 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AR, UK

a r t i c l e in fo


The UK government has signalled that the increasing use of decentralised energy forms part of its plan
to achieve the UK’s contribution to the EU’s sustainable energy targets. Much of the technology for
decentralised energy already exists, although it is not widely used in the UK. There will be need for new
developments in onsite energy production, and in the delivery, integration and regulatory infrastructure
to support it. Other State of Science reviews for this project describe particular energy technologies, but
this paper highlights selected developments in thermal technologies and in biological processes which
offer the potential for breakthroughs in converting biomass to energy. The effectiveness and
deployment of decentralised energy can be enhanced by systems and infrastructure technology, not
just for electricity but also in heat and biogas networks. Such systems are expected to be a focus of rapid
development over the next two decades. Opportunities exist particularly in active networks, smart
metering and intelligent tariff-interactive load management.
Substantial regulatory and policy reform will be required to optimise the potential for onsite energy
generation and effective two-way interchanges with centralised energy systems. There will be need for
a regulatory system for heat networks and appropriate incentives for active networks. The development
of an energy services business model in the industry will not progress until the compensation model
changes to make it viable. The strength of the drivers for a trend towards...

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