North Star Energy Group has compiled insights from its past presentations below.
General Findings from North Star Energy Group Presentations on Distributed Generation Markets
Project Development: The resource and time requirements for project development have been largely underestimated by developers. However, adopting process best practices can be the best way to reduce future project costs.
New Technologies: Fuel cells and microturbines have not delivered on their rather substantial hype and have not met market expectations. On the other hand, traditional technologies such as reciprocating engines and mid-sized turbines have adapted surprisingly to market challenges in emissions and performance.
Market Players: The ESCO shakeout continues, as energy utilities rediscover their conservative roots and divest themselves of their unregulated corporate limbs. However, utilities are finding new ways to use the Internet to become market players with minimal risk.
Electric Restructuring: Changes to DG markets portended by electric industry restructuring are really only now beginning to make an impact. On the other hand, the hope offered by interconnect standards to efficiently and seamlessly integrate DG with the utility has not yet been realized. These barriers will be resilient as long as there are disincentives to electric utility shareholders to connect DG projects.
New Drivers: Demand response programs, which may be the mechanism finally allowing wholesale markets to benefit from decentralized capacity, are beginning to take shape. This is likely to provide a boost for stand-by and peakshaving projects – both existing and new. However, these projects will need to become “smarter” and more flexible.