Decentralisation is coming to energy

The latest trends in the sector include smart systems, local source and renewable energy.

Trends in energy production are gradually changing.Trends in energy production are gradually changing. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

Just like other economic sectors, the modern energy sector requires science, research and innovation. New technologies reduce costs and increase competitiveness, allowing states to meet international targets.

Decentralised production, efficient storage and renewable energy sources (RES) now complement or replace traditional large, centralised energy production. While in the past the sector belonged exclusively to large, strictly-targeted enterprises, today small firms and municipalities can engage in the production, storage and efficient consumption of energy, according to Economy Minister Peter Žiga.

“This leads to the interconnection of formerly separate industries such as electro-energetics, transportation and information technologies,” said Žiga at the Modern Trends in the European Energy Sector conference held in Bratislava on November 22, 2017.

Read also:Efficiency leads to savings and safetyRead more 

The application of the trends results from not only the individual decision-making of countries, but also from the global, long-term strategy under the Paris Agreement of 2015. The agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a significant share of RES in the gross final energy consumption and increase energy efficiency.

“The targets, hand in hand with the interconnection of the power system, shift the EU from the role of global energy consumer to the global example for ideal management of the energy portfolio, its stocks and supplies,” said Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at the conference.

Within the EU’s 2020 climate-energy package, Slovakia committed to increasing its RES share to 14 percent. Based on the latest Eurostat data from 2015, the country fulfils the target at 12.9 percent.

Production in small

The latest trend in the European energy sector is decentralisation, or the consumption of energy close to the production site without the need to produce it in large plants and send it through the national grid. This offers innovations such as aggregation and the formation of active customer and local energy communities that enable active end users to participate in the market, said Žiga.

Thanks to the decentralisation wave, Slovak distributors are changing their orientation from pure energy supply to a wider portfolio of services. As of March 2017, Západoslovenská Energetika (ZSE) is providing households smart solutions under the ZEON brand, including motion sensors, active appliances, temperature, humidity, air pressure, overvoltage protection and monitoring apps.

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