Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) must invest in new technologies if they are to slash the cost of connecting more renewables to the grid, according to a new report.

A report from Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) said utility companies should install Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) immediately if they are to save money and meet decarbonisation targets.

Bob Currie, Chief Technology Officer at SGS, said: “The number of electric vehicles, solar panels, batteries and other distributed energy resources (DER) being connected to the grid is going to rocket from tens of thousands at present to millions within the next decade, so now is the right time to invest in the right systems."

“Utility companies need to implement DERMS because distribution networks aren’t the same as transmission networks; they’re more complex, they have less real-time monitoring and they have different challenges in different locations due to the clustering of DER.”

International comparisons

Currie argued that the use of new technology was becoming increasingly important as DNOs transformed themselves into distribution system operators (DSOs), offering more advanced services.

He also drew comparisons between the systems used in the UK and those adopted in Germany and other countries.

“Germany has been actively managing its grid since 2009, with renewable generators receiving curtailment compensation up to 3% a year, increasing significantly the amount of renewable generators that can connect to the existing distribution system and reducing the overall cost to customers,” he said

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