Distributed Energy Generation, can alternatively be known as Distributed Energy Systems, Solutions or Services, or DES, primarily consists of a variety of small operators who not only generate energy for their own homes, communities, businesses or organisations but who also feed any excess energy into the central grid, usually in return for an incentive such as a feed-in tariff. Solar power is one of the most popular options for distributed energy generators, although it isn’t the only option. VECKTA discusses non-solar options for DES here.
DES is by its very nature decentralised, often modular, in form. Distributed energy generators produce power close to where it’s actually going to be used. Technologies utilised by DES operators are usually in the range of 1 kW to 10,000 kW.
Wind power, for example, is probably of equal or even greater stature in terms of mature renewable energy technologies, particularly at large scale, but wind turbines that are smaller than the massive machines found in wind farms can be useful at smaller scale.
Hydro power has of course been with us for a while, both on a large scale, based on huge dams generating large amounts of power, and on a smaller, perhaps more local scale, providing power to local communities located near suitable water sources.
More recently, bioenergy, particularly biomass, has become popular, although there is considerable controversy over large-scale biomass such as coal-to-biomass conversions, particularly in Europe, which have been blamed for denuding old growth forests in the southern US. Smaller scale bioenergy is therefore typically generated by small biomass boilers or anaerobic digestion on farms or at water treatment plants that produce methane from farm waste or sewage sludge which can then be fed into gas turbines to generate electricity.
Invariably, some form of storage may be utilised in order to retain energy that isn’t used immediately for future use. This will mostly consist of battery energy storage systems, but could also include pumped hydro, compressed air or thermal energy storage. Storage can also sometimes be accessed through energy storage as a service (ESaaS). In the future, as electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular, EVs may be able to supply power from their batteries in vehicle-to-grid services, thus acting as a distributed energy storage solution (DESS).
Microgrids can become an important part of DES because they make national grids more resilient. While a large, centralized grid is more vulnerable to outages, either because of mechanical failure or extreme weather, drawing power into the grid from DES, particularly microgrids can reduce the risk of such situations. In many cases, a microgrid will be either off-grid, providing power purely for their own locality or area of operations, or be mostly off-grid but be able to connect to the grid when required in order to help provide power when there is a risk of an outage.
Another advantage of distributed energy is cost-reduction, basically because locally-generated power is much less expensive than buying in power from the national grid. However, this can have a disruptive effect on utilities – which is why utilities themselves are now getting involved in constructing microgrids and other distributed energy solutions.
If you’re interested in more non-solar optoins for DES, contact VECKTA today.
Photo credits: (JACK REDGATE / Pexels) (Ivan Bandura / Unsplash
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Barry Callebaut’s Use Of Sustainable Ingredients
When it comes to sourcing ingredients to produce chocolate on a global scale, prioritizing ethical and sustainable sourcing needs to be enforced and upheld as the industry standard.
Barry Callebaut is transparent about where and how they source everything from packaging materials to the raw ingredients like cane sugar, coconut, and cocoa that go into their products.
In addition, they aren’t afraid to admit where there is room for improvement. For example, palm oil is one of the leading causes of deforestation of our rainforests.
Therefore, Barry Callebaut has been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2011. And recently, they joined the front-running members of the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) in order to build upon the efforts of RSPO to further advance sustainable palm oil requirements.
Corporate Commitment to Sustainability
It’s one thing to say it, but Barry Callebaut takes action. Their corporate commitment to sustainability runs deep within their policies and codes of conduct, solidifying their values through actionable steps and practices. The entire team at Barry Callebaut upholds these high standards of sustainability and ethically- sourced ingredients.
Sustainability Reporting at Barry Callebaut
A key theme throughout all of Barry Callebaut’s efforts is transparency. Committed to reporting transparency around their sustainability measures, they publish a sustainability report every fiscal year.
The Forever Chocolate Campaign
Forever Chocolate is Barry Callebaut’s campaign to make sustainable chocolate the norm. By 2025, Barry Callebaut hopes to achieve four ambitious targets that address the largest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain: