Power systems will become more decentralized for better disaster resiliency

Businesses, homeowners will control more power-generation capacity.

October 09, 2018 |

Recent storms such as Hurricane Florence in the U.S. and Typhoon Mangkhut, which struck the Philippines and China, highlight the need for decentralized infrastructure, according to a recent Bloomberg article co-written by an energy analyst.

“On the basis of economics alone, the power systems of many countries will become highly decentralized in coming years,” the article says. By mid-century, more than a third of power-generation capacity in Japan will be customer-controlled in homes and businesses, the analyst asserts.

In Brazil, more than half of power generation will be in the control of private customers. If millions of small generators compensate for a small number of centralized failures, such decentralization would make electric systems more resilient.

While decentralization will grow based on the cost of energy, it will take government action as well. “Centralized decisions on things like building codes and flood zones can catalyze resilience,” the article says.

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