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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Distributed generation and the need for network expansions - Smart Grid Seminar

January 21, 2021 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Live Virtual Event: Please Register using link
Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Bits and Watts Initiative, Precourt Institute for Energy, TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering
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Speaker: Nicolas Astier from Stanford University 

What kinds of distributed generation technologies defer network expansions? Evidence from France (joint with R. Rajagopal and F. Wolak)

Seminar Abstract: Electricity systems around the world are hosting increasing numbers of small generation units connected to distribution grids. Because distribution networks were designed to supply end-consumers, whether distributed generation installations reduce the need for grid expansions has raised considerable debate. This work presents evidence from France, where distributed generation capacities have reached over 28 GW in 2018, a ten-fold increase since 2005. For the most part, these generation capacities consist of wind, solar, small hydro, renewable thermal or non-renewable thermal units. We estimate the relationship between investments in each of these five different distributed generation technologies and hourly net injections to the distribution grid across over 2,000 substations in France between 2005 and 2018. Results suggest that, at least for the case of France, increases in distributed solar and wind capacity are more likely to lead to increases, rather than decreases, in the need for distribution network investments.

Speaker Bio: Nicolas is a postdoctoral fellow within the Bits & Watts initiative at the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy. After his graduate studies in engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique and Stanford, he completed his Ph.D. at the Toulouse School of Economics. Prior his postdoctoral work at Stanford, he served for two years and a half as an analyst at the French Energy Regulatory Commission within the electricity transmission department. As an energy and environmental economist, his research mainly focuses on applied questions that relate to the on-going transformation of the electricity industry.

Admission Info

Seminar is open to all Stanford students, faculty and staff. Register via the RSVP link.