Virtual power plants (VPPs), which rely upon software systems to remotely and automatically dispatch and optimize generation, demand-side, or storage resources, can provide extraordinary value and services to transmission and distribution grid infrastructure, as well as revenue streams to myriad stakeholders engaged in the delivery of electric power. While the concept of a VPP is hardly new, it is only over the course of the last decade that technology and market designs have enabled a growing list of pilot projects to test and validate this smart grid platform concept. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the total worldwide capacity of VPPs will grow from 3,800 megawatts (MW) in 2013 to 15,400 MW in 2020—a nearly five-fold increase.
“VPPs represent an ‘Internet of energy,’ tapping existing grid networks to tailor electricity supply and demand services for a customer, utility, or grid operator,” says principal research analyst Peter Asmus. “By stretching supplies from existing generators and utility demand reduction programs, they deliver greater value to the customer while also creating benefits for the host distribution utility and the transmission grid operator.”
The VPP market can be broken down into four distinct segments, based on the types of resources aggregated: demand response-based VPPs (the largest commercial segment in the United States), supply-side VPPs, mixed asset VPPs (which bring together distributed generation, energy storage, demand response, and other distributed energy resources), and wholesale auction VPPs, which are unique to Europe. Because utilities and grid operators are leading the development of smart grid projects, they will almost certainly have to play a role in future deployments of VPPs.
The report “Virtual Power Plants”, examines the market for VPPs across four key segments: demand response-based VPPs, supply-side VPPs, mixed asset VPPs, and wholesale auction VPPs. The report includes both capacity and vendor revenue forecasts for each of these four VPP segments, broken down by region, through 2020. It also identifies key market drivers and barriers, and profiles the key players in the emerging VPP market, including utilities, large technology vendors, software firms, demand response aggregators, and selected key component providers. In addition, the report details the key issues facing primary VPP technologies, including smart grid automation, demand response, combined heat and power, advanced energy storage, smart inverters, and plug-in electric vehicles. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.About Pike Research Pike Research, which joined Navigant’s global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch. About Navigant Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com. * The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Virtual Power Plants ,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.