This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Report: Distributed Generation to Grow 15-Fold by 2011
The global electric capacity of distributed generation sources will grow to 300,000 megawatts by 2011, according to a new report. Distributed generation includes modular forms of generating or storing electricity that can be located near the point of use - for instance, fuel cells or solar electric systems. The new report from Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) projects a 15-fold increase in the use of distributed generation from today's 20,000 megawatts. According to ABI, reciprocating engines and small gas turbines should dominate the market until about 2005, when fuel cells are expected to grow in prominence. The full report is due out in late June. See the ABI press release: (PDF 30 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has recognized the growing distributed generation market and the challenges that it faces. Because one of the major challenges is the interconnection of any generation system with the power grid, NRECA has created a "Distributed Generation Toolkit" to help its members address the legal, economic and technical issues raised by consumer-owned generation. The toolkit, which was rolled out in April, may also be helpful to others investigating distributed generation. See the toolkit on the NRECA Web site.
Ballard Power Systems Inc., a leading fuel-cell manufacturer, also appears to be anticipating the growing distributed generation market. The company has just produced a new power converter for microturbines and has opened an "Alternative Energy Laboratory" in Dearborn, Michigan, for the testing of generation systems using power sources such as fuel cells, microturbines, and internal combustion engines. See the Ballard press release: (PDF 76 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.