The global head of distributed energy at Siemens says that two thirds of new electricity capacity will come from distributed energy by 2030 as the old centralised, conventional system recedes further.

Speaking to Recharge Magazine John Kovach said, “We expect that this market will grow, whereas the centralised, non-distributed energy systems will stay flat. We think that the share of non-hydro renewables in the mix will triple by 2030, with the overall energy demand raised by about 25 per cent. So that’s what driving that increase in share.”
John Kovach Siemens
The projection has greatly positive implications for practitioners of decentralized energies as commercial and industrial consumers want to increase their own energy security.

“If you look right now, over half of commercial and industrial consumers of energy are considering becoming self-sufficient, usually while staying connected to the grid,” added Kovach, who also pointed out the falling costs in such as solar energy and storage to explain the practical reasons distributed energy is growing.

Increased interconnectivity between the electricity, transport and heat and cooling sectors will be vital to the energy transition, and will be necessary to keep climate change below the 2°C rise stipulated in the Paris Agreement, according to Recharge.

Kovach also stated that a small part of that new distributed energy would come from fossil fuels — “because sometimes you will have to supplement renewables with a gas turbine for those times when you don’t have storage and you don’t have wind and you don’t have solar.”

As part of this movement, Siemens is now working on moving all its energy and power products onto one software platform called Mindsphere. “This will enable digitalisation to occur between various systems that you can’t easily integrate today,” says Kovach.

The technology should enable combined heat and power (CHP) systems to interact with solar panels and storage — whether that be battery-, hydrogen- or even compressed-air-based — it would also enable demand-side response, increased energy efficiency and greater cost savings.

From building owners or commercial enterprises, Kovach summarised the impact from that crossover between digitisation and distributed energy:

“If you can measure it, you can manage it. So any additional data and transparency you have to the behaviour of your systems will lead you to better decisions.”