Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) Should Top Utility Wish Lists Every Holiday Season

A 2019 study from Deloitte, explored the necessity of distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) to meet the increasing demand caused by enhanced electrification efforts, greater national electric vehicle (EV) production goals, the erratic and disruptive weather events caused by climate change. In the interim, these challenges have only increased with the promise of a greater expansion of distributed energy resources (DERs) like smart home devices, solar, and battery storage, as well as through a variety of demand flexibility load management strategies.

Since this study was initially published, legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as manufacturing mandates that expand the production of EVs by 2030, which means electrification efforts are escalating and rapidly leaving urban areas. Fortunately, these otherwise disparate resources are all manageable through a robust distributed energy resource management system (DERMS), providing utility operators with opportunities to better manage increased demand.

What the Delloitte Study Found in 2019

When the utility leaders taking the survey were asked what digital technology capabilities power companies will be exploring in the next one to two years, the top answer – selected first by 44% of respondents – was developing DERMS solutions. At the time, that study listed “changes in fuel prices/availability” as the top concern, with the “influx of new solar energy” and “increased threats of cybersecurity” trailing closely behind.

In many ways, the top threats enumerated in the Delloitte report persist. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that the three greatest challenges to the U.S. energy grid are cyber, physical, and existential threats. While supply chain and cyber threats will remain constant, extreme weather events have both caused the higher temperatures that further challenge utility operations, while concurrently presenting a real and credible danger to physical infrastructures. As such, distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) provide a variety of demand flexibility opportunities to help conserve energy, reshape the load curve, and enhance grid resiliency, non-wires alternatives that circumvent the steep investments in infrastructure necessary to upgrade the U.S. grid.

Study: Demand Flexibility Can (Still) Help

In a separate 2019 study from Navigant published in Utility Dive, residential demand response is expected to more than triple in the next decade. The U.S.-based consulting firm noted that “new technology and use cases are driving the growth of residential demand response programs as utilities look for help integrating renewables and reducing expensive peak load.” And the largest capacity for expansion is in North America, all controllable using cloud-technologies to connect distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) to Wifi-enabled personal technologies.

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems Should Top Every Utility Wish List Conclusion

With the distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) market growing at an exponential rate to meet global decarbonization regulations and to keep pace with the increasing tech disruption of distributed energy resources (DERs), finding the right DERMS is crucial. We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’ve worked to help our utility partners find an easy-to-access, cloud-based DERMS solution.

We see the same growth in residential demand response programs happening here, to smaller munis and coops who want to reach into the cloud to benefit their rural customers. Together, we’re building momentum, and we’re thrilled to offer scalable, rapidly deployable solutions that allow our customers to harness this exciting technology.

This article was originally published on April 23, 2019, with updates made on November 3, 2023.

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About The Author
Bill Burke blog author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

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