Managing DER energy supply in real time for grid balancing
The global DER generation market is growing rapidly, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% anticipated through 2027.1 Utilities can use these new generation assets to meet growing electricity demand—and avoid building additional and expensive power plants or peaking plants that may also emit greenhouse gases.
Deloitte notes that some providers are even combining distributed energy systems into “suites” that include solar photovoltaics plus battery storage, along with energy management applications and smart inverters.2
At the same time, residential smart thermostats, appliances, and water heaters are replacing direct load controls as a primary source of demand response. Using these smart utility technologies to reduce or shift demand, customers help balance utility-generated variable energy resources (VER) like solar and wind power.
Taking advantage of DER requires a Smart Grid that integrates emerging digital technologies and provides the data utilities and customers need.3 A robust and reliable 5G network, such as T-Mobile’s 5G network that covers 320 million people across 1.8 million square miles, can deliver the connectivity advantages needed by both utilities and consumers alike.
Pricing to influence electric vehicle charging times
Another opportunity for demand response comes from electric vehicle (EV) charging. Utilities can influence charging times by reducing rates when electricity is abundant and raising them when demand peaks. Through grid intelligence, utilities can also encourage customers to use inexpensive renewable energy for EV charging when it’s available.
Some EV batteries also provide the option to push energy back into the grid. This serves a dual purpose—rewarding owners with payments when possible and minimizing the need to construct more generation facilities. To support near-real-time communications and rapid changes in grid power, these advanced capabilities will require the high data transfer speed and low latency that 5G networks can provide.