Residential Energy Digitalization

Residential customers are increasingly taking an interest in generating their own electricity, better controlling their energy consumption, and having a positive impact on the environment. This interest is fundamentally changing the utility-customer relationship and transitioning utility business models away from traditional centralized power toward a much more diverse and resilient grid infrastructure. The resulting broad evolution is being enabled by the proliferation and maturation of distributed energy resources (DER).

In previous articles we have touched on the transition taking place in the residential sector, including the adoption of distributed solar PV and distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) while the transition include the storage, “re-
distribution” and transportation uses via electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging stations plus demand response (DR).

DR covers new innovation to maintain reliability on the grid; e.g. smart metering, online communications and digital control equipment. Market liberalization, economic pressures, and environmental regulations are all moving toward a path of fewer traditional central power plants and more DER to address future energy needs. Advanced technologies can help speed this transition and make it more reliable along the way.

Despite the differing operating characteristics and applications for the consumer, the technologies all represent new and dynamic resources that can challenge the traditional relationship that utilities have with their customers.

Growth in capacity for residential DER (RDER) over the coming 10 years can be largely attributed to the U.S., where DR is expected to have the strongest increase. Annual installed power capacity for the global RDER market is expected to rise from approximately 16.0 GW in 2016 to 121.2 GW in 2025.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific is expected to experience the greatest growth in revenue generated by RDER, mostly due to the residential fuel cells market in Japan.

According to Navigant Research, annual revenue for the global RDER market is expected to increase from approximately $19.7 billion in 2016 to $92.7 billion in 2025.