The obstacles to the adoption of renewable energy have been decreasing in the last decade. Regulations and subsidies that stimulate their application, the reduction of costs and the commitment of countries to combat climate change, are just some of the factors that have contributed to both companies and the general public wanting to focus on the decarbonization of energy production.
Such is the case of electricity generation, where in 2020, almost 90% of new electricity generation came from renewable sources, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.
However, the decarbonization of electricity generation has a great challenge—reliability. This depends on the flexibility of the network, defined as the ability to precisely match supply and demand in the face of unpredictable changes in the available energy supply.
Additionally, renewable energy sources can come from many places and be dispersed in different geographical points. This is known as Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). Today’s power grids were not designed with these DERs in mind.
DERs offer a promising new source of flexibility for the grid but require powerful software and computing power to manage its dynamics in real time. Therefore, network operators are increasingly turning to advanced automation systems to directly forecast, plan and control these assets to manage supply and demand side variability.
This is where Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) come into play. A DERMS expands traditional grid control capabilities to incorporate variable renewable energy sources, connected devices, and storage for comprehensive distribution utility management leveraging both supply and demand sides.
On the supply-side, DERMS aggregate the power generated from individual DERs into a centralized system capable of providing safe and reliable power to the grid. On the demand side, DERMS software communicates directly to DER such as battery storage or to aggregators such as electric vehicle (EV) fleet managers as well as to demand-response programs that enable consumer load reduction strategies.
Emerson has a new DERMS solution, the OSI digital grid software platform, that puts CESMII’s Sustainable & Energy Efficient and Flat & Real-time Smart Manufacturing principles into action, while empowering utilities, aggregators, and renewable generation managers. It combines the use of a unified platform that integrates plant control, digital twin simulation, advanced analytics, condition monitoring and cybersecurity solutions optimizes performance, increases operational reliability and supports grid stability.
Managing energy performance and reducing carbon emissions begins with gaining better visibility into the site’s energy performance, establishing and managing site energy targets, and sharing the energy performance with key stakeholders for continuous improvement. Visit the Clean Power page on Emerson.com for more on ways to drive renewable energy performance improvements.