Using software systems, virtual power plants (VPPs) can combine a rich diversity of independent resources into a unified network via sophisticated planning, scheduling, and bidding of distributed energy resource-based services. Driven by the integration of variable generation resources – especially from wind and solar – a viable VPP market is emerging and will see substantial growth, from a relatively small base, over the next several years. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual worldwide revenue from VPPs will grow from less than $1 billion in 2013 to $3.6 billion in 2020, under a base forecast scenario.
Under a more aggressive forecast scenario, VPP vendor revenue could reach $4.3 billion by 2020.
“The growth in distributed, renewable power generation sources requires additional supply and demand flexibility to accommodate fast ramping periods and corresponding supply forecast error,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “VPPs represent an ideal optimization platform for the coming transformation of the power grid.”
Rate-basing utility prerogatives still offer deployment barriers for both VPPs and the complementary market for microgrids. Although recent regulatory reforms are moving in the direction of a greater reliance on distributed energy resources, centralized fossil fuel power plants will still dominate electricity markets for quite some time. Compared to traditional coal and natural gas-fired plants, VPPs offer a low-cost platform to squeeze more value out of existing infrastructure assets and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with peaking power plants.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 Navigant Research website. About Navigant Research Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about 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 Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com. 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 Navigant 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 Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.