On behalf of PennWell I am delighted to present to you, our valued readers, the first issue of Decentralized Energy following the recent rebranding of our long-standing Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production magazine.
Over its 15-year history, Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production has sought to serve the cogeneration/CHP and wider decentralized energy sector faithfully, highlighting the latest technology advances, as well as exploring and providing comment on key market developments. And allow me reassure you that, under its new name of Decentralized Energy, this mission will not change – the publication and its associated website (www.decentralized-energy.com) and weekly e-newsletter will continue to provide in-depth coverage of important and interesting industry developments, and will seek to be the authoritative voice of the global distributed energy sector.
It is undoubtedly an interesting time for our sector because how and where we generate the energy we need is significantly changing, especially in developed regions such as Europe and North America, and distributed energy resources (DERs) lie at the heart of this transformation. It is now well documented that, in a growing number of countries, energy systems are in the process of transitioning away from large, centralized power generation assets, predominantly fossil fuel-based, to more decentralized, lower-carbon, higher-efficiency alternatives that are designed to capitalize on the benefits DERs offer.
Analysis by Navigant Research of 54 countries across seven geographic regions has estimated that an impressive 1.1 TW of cumulative distributed generation capacity, including solar PV, small wind, fuel cells, microturbines and gensets, will be installed between 2014 and 2023. With such a bullish outlook, what is driving this growth? As usual the reasons are manifold, but the takeup of decentralized energy solutions is being accelerated, at least in part, by the ongoing discussions and evolving regulation on mitigating carbon emissions, the drive towards ever-greater energy efficiency, a more proactive consumer or ‘prosumer’, and the improving economics of distributed generation installations compared to traditional centralized generation.
Thus, distributed generation is becoming a fundamental component of any modern energy system, and PennWell wanted to acknowledge this fact by establishing a new brand that would be perceived as more inclusive of all the distributed energy technologies and options on offer, and therefore reflective of the many exciting and dynamic changes that are occurring in our particular industry sector. And, speaking quite frankly, based on all current signals I believe our ‘Powering the 21st Century’ strap line is the truth, rather than hyperbole. It may be a cliché, but the distributed energy industry is facing ‘interesting times’ ahead.
You will see that, with the rebrand, we also took the opportunity to redesign the magazine’s layout to give it a more modern look and feel. Our hope is that you agree we have achieved this, but as always we appreciate hearing from our readers, so if you have constructive comments or suggestions for industry areas that you’d like to see us explore in more detail, please contact us at email@example.com.
Although the Decentralized Energy magazine will continue to bring you in-depth articles on important technology advances and innovative case studies that demonstrate the real, in-the-field benefits of distributed energy, independent research is clearly showing that how people consume content is changing, with the trend towards access via mobile devices, whether it’s via smart phones or tablets. And our own metrics support this shift: between December 2014 and December 2015 we saw the number of people accessing our distributed generation-focused content via mobile devices grow by more than 50%, and our expectation is that this trend will continue. Therefore, it’s our duty as a publisher to reflect this change in how you, our readers, are consuming content, so a major objective for my team and I over the course of this year is to both strengthen and diversify our on-line content offerings to you, with an emphasis on adding value.
What does this mean in practice? In summary, we are planning on developing more video content, such as a regular roundup of the main industry stories, introducing a series of complimentary educational webinars addressing the issues related to the day-to-day running of an on-site power or CHP facility, and the establishment of an on-line library of informative and industry-leading White Papers from key companies serving the distributed energy sector.
So, it’s interesting times for the industry – and also interesting times for Decentralized Energy!
Dr Heather Johnstone, Publisher, Decentralized Energy