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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
Virtual power plants (VPPs) are networked systems of decentralised energy or storage resources, such as solar photovoltaics (PVs) and electric vehicle (EV) batteries, that are pooled together to help power the electricity grid, particularly in times of peak demand. But are they underused? asks Rolf Bienert, Managing and Technical Director at the global OpenADR Alliance.
In the electricity sector, balancing supply and demand is critical to maintaining a reliable electricity grid. VPPs present an innovative solution, enabling local grid operators to use energy flexibility to ensure a more stable electricity supply, improved energy efficiency and enhanced grid capacity.
The industry is focusing more on renewable forms of energy, distributed energy resources (DER) and electrification. For this reason, VPPs are attracting more attention. While they deliver value to customers, they also offer huge benefits to DER installers, grid operators and utilities companies.
Drawing on the capacities of a diverse range of energy sources, including wind turbines, solar panels or photovoltaics, EVs and battery storage, smart plugs and thermostats, the cost of implementing VPPs can be much lower when compared to more traditional power plants. Controlled by grid operators or third-party aggregators, these energy resources can be monitored, forecasted and optimised with bi-directional communications between components for a more efficient and resilient power grid.