Engerati’s Week in Smart Energy: what scale is best for PV?

rooftop PV solar UK solar meter
What is more cost effective? Rooftop or utility-scale solar? One point of view suggests that the answer could be good for utilities

With the push towards residential-scale PV with its declining costs and rapid growth, a question that seems to have been forgotten along the way is how it compares in cost effectiveness with utility-scale PV, writes Jonathan Spencer Jones, contributing editor of Engerati, the sister portal to Metering.com.

Bruce Tsuchida and Sanem Sergici from The Brattle Group set out to find out and in a letter to the US President, they outline their analysis. [Utility-Scale Vs Residential-Scale PV – Which Is Most Cost-Effective?]

Their findings are not what you might expect and while they are applicable to a specific utility system and not directly transferable to other geographies, they nevertheless have important policy implications, not to mention some potentially good news for utilities who may be concerned about their future in the changing energy market.

Talking of the changing energy market, we spoke to new UK market entrant Upside Energy, which is seeking to tap unused battery resources at homes and small businesses to create a virtual energy store that can participate in demand response activities. [Households and Small Businesses To Sell Their Battery Power]

To date these resources have been excluded from market participation because of their scale. The prize-winning start-up is about to launch a pilot which it intends to rapidly scale-up. Once proven in the UK, the company has plans to enter other markets such as the US and Japan.

One of the challenges of distributed generation for utilities is its integration. Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California has long been at the forefront of smart grid developments and in a recent project has installed in-line power regulators to better manage the voltage on the distribution network.

Among the outcomes are recommendations for mitigating voltages and better understanding of how best to evolve the LV system. [Sacramento Municipal Utility District Tackles Distributed Generation Challenges]

Getting set for European Utility Week

European Utility Week in November 2015 is one of the highlights on Engerati’s event calendar and in an interview, event director Paddy Young outlined a focus on innovation and the aim to bring in new thinking to this year’s event. [European Utility Week Promotes Fresh Thinking From The Outside-In]

Among our activities are pre-event interviews with selected speakers. [Innovation Takes RWE Towards The Future Energy System, Energy Efficiency Challenge – Stepping Up Projects, Digital Transformation Calls For Skills Integration ]

The full Engerati team will be present at the event, presenting Energy Talks and a full studio programme as well as participating in the formal programme. Updates will be given in this space and we look forward to meeting and networking with colleagues.

Enjoy these and our other stories on Engerati.