The world’s distributed energy resources capacity is poised to grow from 132.4GW in 2017 to 528.4GW in 2026, according to a new report.

Electric vehicle charging and flexibility technologies – such as demand response and energy storage – are expected to outpace competing solutions in the next decade.

Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, Senior Research Analyst at Navigant Research, said: “For countries and regions that started their energy transition early, the role of distributed generation technologies will be less, while the technologies that help integrate this generation will play a key role in the deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) over the forecast period.

“In this realm, when and how the electrification of transport happens will have a significant impact on the development of DER deployments.”

‘Concern and optimism’

The report noted that “technology advances, business model innovation, changing regulations, and sustainability and resilience concerns” have made distributed energy a core part of plans for the deployment of energy infrastructure.

It said that the rapidly-expanding investment in distributed energy marked a “major” shift away from centralised electricity grids, which has caused “both concern and optimism throughout the power industry”.

Regulators and grid operators are working to understand the “evolving landscape that is redefining the relationship between utilities and customers”, which had previously only functioned in one direction.

> Download the report