0
\$\begingroup\$

I have heard many times about supergrids and distributed generations (small scales generation connected close to the loads). In a supergrid scenario, a efficient and clean production of electricity (for instance wind farm plants) can travel long distances and be consumed even in a far different country. However, the distributed generation approach suggests that the generation shall be produced near it is consumed.

Both concept seem to be trendy for future electric systems, but, is not there a contradiction between the two approaches because while one is encouraging to export energy long distances the other one suggests to minimize the "travel" of the electricity from the generation to the consumers? is my understanding mistaken and there is not such contradiction?, and if not, which of them is more sensible for future grids?

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

They aim at different goal with the same purpose at the end of the day: having sustainable energy.

Technically speaking, an engineer will evaluate the actual cost of maintaining a long distance generation plant (be it hydroelectric, wind, solar, tidal generator or pretty much anything else). These type of installation will generate a huge sum of energy, but will also require lengthy transmission line, massive infrastructure.

When you're able to produce electricity locally, you end up having a reduced cost of exploitation because of the small distance and simpler design. However, this will be mostly usable by small industries and housing.

Combining them together will give a complete flexibility on the grid between local production and state/nation wide supply.

Interestingly enough, some people are also looking at electric car for other purpose than transportation. They could act like an accumulator and store the excess energy and or release energy into the grid during peak period to smooth out the long distance energy requirement and therefore reducing the losses. A local production will be used in a similar way too.

Regardless of the actual topology or choice, the bottom line of those technology is a highly heated social debate regarding smart grid, green energy and fossil fuel depletion.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ideally when both approaches are well-established in a grid then there might not be any contradiction between them, as they share the same goal: having sustainable energy. However, in grids like today's, where distributed generations are just beginning to start, does low price of electricity due to the supergrid approach jeopardize the development of distributed generations? why should I be interested to invest in local generation if I can get it cheaper even when it is far away produced? \$\endgroup\$ – Bur Nor Sep 14 '18 at 0:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your follow up question has the considerations of the region. If the power needs to travel on a transmission line of another company a fee or small tariff can be placed on the company requesting power across their lines. \$\endgroup\$ – Britt Kelly Sep 14 '18 at 2:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In a highly decentralized interconnected power grid there is typically much more activity surrounding economic considerations and trade than a centralized interconnected grid which typically needs to focus more on reliability of the network. Distributed generation has a cost for the entity who maintains the overall system due to the volatility of most green energy types. In many cases there is a lack of financial incentive to support green technologies in comparison to older power industries. The reward may be personal satisfaction or maybe you are savvy enough to use DG to supply your needs. \$\endgroup\$ – Britt Kelly Sep 14 '18 at 3:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.