Distributed generation is, without a doubt, one of the best concepts that have emerged in recent years, mainly because of the facilities and benefits it promotes.
However, few people know what it actually is and what its main advantages are.
If this is your case, know that this content was made just for you. Therefore, we suggest that you read it very carefully, as it will certainly be possible to understand more about distributed generation.
What is distributed generation?
Simply put, distributed generation is considered a decentralized source of electrical energy, that is, it is not part of a single energy generating industry. The term is actually widely used to refer to a type of energy that is generated at the place of consumption or very close to it.
This means that the energy generation is located in several points along its generating systems. As described above, this goes completely against the commonly used format, where a large plant will produce energy from a single point and distribute it throughout the city.
Since 2012, after Aneel Normative Resolution n°482/2012, Brazilian consumers can generate their own electricity from renewable sources, as well as transfer the surplus to the nearest distribution network.
In 2015, the agency published another normative resolution, updating the previous one, in which it allows consumers to keep credits when they produce more energy than they consume.
In addition, they can also be used to reduce the consumption of consumer units of the same holder in another location, as long as it is served by the same distributor.
What is Aneel Normative Resolution No. 482/2012?
Aneel Normative Resolution n°482/2012 was responsible for a major paradigm shift within the energy distribution scenario.
This is because, until then, consumers had no voice when it came to choosing a supplier or source of electricity, so much so that they were called captive consumers, as they received energy from a single distributor that monopolized the region.
From there, consumers were able to generate their own electricity, using renewable sources such as sun, water, biomass and wind.
The great advantage of this resolution is that it allowed citizens to be able to produce their own energy even with little space. In this way, roofs, facades, parking lots and small plots of land have become the “Power Plant” for many people.
Benefits of Distributed Generation
See below what are the main benefits of distributed generation?
Rebates on the energy bill
People who implement distributed generation end up receiving discounts on their energy bills.
This discount is usually of great value, as it allows a great reduction in expenses.
It is worth remembering that although the implementation of a solar energy structure is reasonably expensive, it usually lasts a long time, close to 25 years. In this way, reductions in your electric bill usually pay for the solar system in the first 8 years. After that you will have 17 years of significant reductions.
Aneel created the Electric Energy Compensation System, which allows surplus generated in the production of electric energy to be returned to the electric energy distribution network, where the holder will have the choice of:
- Deduct the amount from the electricity bill;
- Accumulate credits valid for 60 months (to reduce values over time).
Encourages the production of energy from renewable sources
As Distributed Generation benefits the economy, it is natural for people to start using it for their own energy production.
In this way, renewable energy sources end up coming into the spotlight and being more easily adopted by all people.
Distributed generation is equivalent to 4.3% of electricity consumption in the distributors’ market, according to a CCEE survey.
In the last ten years, distributed generation has developed in Brazil, including in the distributor market. Since 2012, with ANEEL Normative Resolution No. 482/2012, Brazilian consumers can generate their own electricity from renewable sources or qualified cogeneration, and can also supply the surplus generated to the distribution network.
The model created by the government aims to stimulate distributed generation, as it brings benefits to the electrical system, such as reducing the expansion of the transmission and distribution system, since the consumer himself produces and introduces energy into the electrical grid. In addition, the reduction in the loading of the nets minimizes losses and helps in the diversification of the matrix.
Distributed generation and its growth
Distributed generation has grown in the Brazilian energy matrix, especially the photovoltaic solar market with the presence of panels in homes and industries. According to data from the Electric Energy Commercialization Chamber – CCEE, distributed generation is equivalent to 4.3% of all consumption by distributors’ customers.
In the first half of 2022, distributed generation plants produced around 1900 average MW. That is, a growth of 80% compared to the same period last year. Analyzing the installed capacity, the technology is equivalent to almost a hydroelectric plant in Belo Monte, reaching 11,315 megawatts of power in the country.
In addition to distributed generation, centralized generation has also grown. The energy produced by large solar farms is responsible for an average supply of 1,207 megawatts in the first half of 2022. Compared to the same period last year, the value has increased by 64%.
According to data on distributed generation from ANEEL and bulletins from the Chamber of Commerce, in all, adding the 5719 megawatts of centralized generation, solar projects in Brazil concentrate 17035 megawatts of installed capacity, more than the Itaipu plant with 14000 megawatts.
DG in Brazil and the increase in renewable sources
In July 2022, distributed generation reached 12.2 GW of installed power in Brazil, of which 11.9 GW are from photovoltaic installations, according to ANEEL data.
For the coming years, expectations are positive for the growth of the model in the country, especially with the development of other renewable sources, in addition to solar and wind power, such as biogas. After all, society is increasingly demanding more sustainable models in all its consumption and energy is included in this scenario.
Furthermore, the optimism regarding the model has at least three reasons: the water crisis, which already last year heated up the demand for its own energy generation; the approval of the distributed mini and micro generation framework; and the effects of the war in Ukraine on energy prices and global inflation.
Another point is that following the ESG goals of the companies, companies and investors are identifying the attractiveness of good results in the model. Solar energy has already proven DG’s potential and the trend is for other sources to follow this growth.
Biogas is one of the renewable sources that has been helping the growth of DG. It is a biofuel produced from the decomposition of organic materials, of plant or animal origin, which, when decomposing in the absence of oxygen, produce gases, such as methane, which can be used to generate thermal, electrical energy and vehicle fuel.
The model has been highlighted as a good investment, as it is a way to improve waste management, which is a problem in large cities, in addition to farms, such as swine farms. According to data from ABiogás for 2021, the potential for biogas production in Brazil is 84.6 billion m³/year. When we talk about agribusiness, 44% of the sector’s potential for substrate is concentrated in animal waste.
Therefore, distributed generation has been growing and demonstrating its importance in the distributors’ market. To read other content like this, visit our blog.