The Global "Virtual Power Plant Market" is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.5% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
Virtual power plant reduces the load on the grid by smartly distributing the power generated by the power generating units during periods of peak load.
The combined power generation and consumption of the networked units in the Virtual Power Plant is traded on the energy exchange. It is a network of decentralized power generating units such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units, wind farms, solar parks, small hydro, biomass as well as flexible power consumers and batteries. Furthermore, power traders within a virtual power plant are capable to develop live data to increase estimating and trading of renewable energies.
Germany is a leading country in the implementation of VPPs, such as the one operated by Next Kraftwerke, which networks around 4,800 medium- and small-scale power-producing and power-consuming units in central Europe.
With the changing dynamics of power grids from centralized to distributed, and decreasing costs of solar generation & energy storage are driving the growth of the virtual power plant market worldwide.
Rising clean energy demand and continuous government support towards generating power from renewable energy are also the key factors impacting the market growth. For instance, as per the International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Global electricity demand in 2018 increased by 4%, or 900 TWh, growing nearly twice as fast as the overall demand for energy. Renewable energy increased by 4% in 2018, accounting for almost one-quarter of global energy demand growth. Renewables covered almost 45% of the world's electricity generation growth, now accounting for over 25% of global power output.
However, health concerns over high-frequency human exposure of electromagnetic and radio waves hamper the potential of the market for different end-users. Further, low consumer awareness and extra capital costs needed to control systems and software is other factors restraining the market participants from investing in this technology.
The global virtual power plant market is segmented based on the type of technology, end-user, and system types.
Based on the technology type, the virtual power plant market is divided into distribution generation, demand response, and the internet of things (IoT). The global virtual power plant market size by technology was worth USD XX million in 2018 and is estimated to reach USD XX million by 2026, at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Internet of things (IoT) is expected to grow with a high CAGR rate in the forecast period. Internet of Things in smart grid technology improves two-way communications between utility companies and their customers.
IoT would enable access to the real-time data of both parties to make cost-effective and environmentally friendlier decisions related to power production and consumption. For instance, On April 25, 2019, Toshiba has Launched a Virtual Power Plant Solution Using AI and IoT. Furthermore, In July 2016, the Japanese government-funded an experiment, where 14 major companies operating in the domestic power segment integrated power developed from renewables into the power grid through the Internet of Things (IoT). This experimental project focused on creating new energy management systems with the installation of new devices to ensure more efficient energy use.
Based on the end-user type, the virtual power plant market is segmented into commercial, residential and industrial. The global virtual power plant market size by end-user was worth USD XX million in 2018 and is estimated to reach USD XX million by 2026, at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. The commercial segment is further classified into power trading and generation companies, educational institutions, and, hospitals. The commercial segment is expected to dominate the major share owing to rising demand for electricity in remote locations, along with the need for reliable backup power systems, and growing applications of distributed power generated at the site or near the point of use.
These are systems having less than 100 MW of generation capacity, supplying power to small commercial and industrial sites, often as part of combined heat and power (CHP) projects and microgrid installations. For instance, In November 2018, In Queensland, Australia, The NSW government unveiled plans to turn hospitals and schools into mini power plants using solar panels and batteries in a bid to cut participating buildings' electricity costs by up to USD 40,000 per year. The government has planned to spend USD 20 million to install up to 900 smart batteries on government buildings to create a 13-megawatt virtual power plant.
Based on the system type, the virtual power plant market is divided into centralized controlled virtual power plant (VPP) and decentralized controlled virtual power plant.
Geographically, the global virtual power plant market is segmented to five regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
The Europe virtual power plant market size was worth USD XX million in 2018 and is estimated to reach USD XX million by 2026, at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. This region is expected to grow with a high CAGR rate over the forecast period 2020-2027. The rising demand for decentralized energy sources often arising from small and medium-sized enterprises is playing an important role in the market growth in this region.
Moreover, existing participants such as RWE and E.ON are developing new business models for energy utilities that focus on decentralized renewable energy rather than on centralized conventional fossil fuels or nuclear power. For instance, In August 2016, Brussels-based Next Kraftwerke Belgium has successfully provided primary control reserve (R1) to transmission system operator Elia by networking the power generation of many small renewable generators. With its Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Furthermore, it has brought a new concept to Belgium and is the first company in Belgium to provide primary reserve control on lower voltage levels.
The Asia Pacific virtual power plant market size was worth USD XX million in 2018 and is estimated to reach USD XX million by 2026, at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. This region is expected to hold a high market share in the forecast period 2020-2027. Increasing demand for management of distributed energy and rising investments are the major factors driving the market growth. For instance, 1,760-megawatt CCGT power plant and ancillary infrastructure in Cilamaya, Karawang, West Java, Indonesia was funded by Asian Development Bank as a direct loan of USD 185 million, and a parallel loan of USD 120 million.
Moreover, Governments initiatives in building virtual power plant are the other key driving factor in this region. For instance, In February 2018, South Australia government and Tesla have collaborated to build the world’s largest virtual power plant with an installed capacity planned for 50,000 homes across the state over the next four years.
Global virtual power plant market players are experiencing high competition within the industry as key market players have adopted acquisitions as their key strategy to widen their brand portfolios and expand their market reach.
Some of the key players in the market are ABB, Siemens AG, Sunverge Energy Inc, AutoGrid Systems, Inc, Advanced MicroGrid Solutions, Inc, ENGIE Storage Services NA LLC, Spirae, LLC, Sonnen, Enbala technologies and Next Kraftwerke.
In June 2019, Next Kraftwerke, a power plant operator without any power plants has announced that they digitally bundled more than 7,500 renewable power units with a capacity totaling almost 7,000 megawatts into one of Europe’s largest virtual power plants (VPP) hat balances renewable power sources with commercial and industrial consumers in Germany and neighboring countries.
In February 2019, Shell acquired Limejump one of the digital energy platform operating in the virtual power plant unit. This acquisition will support Shell's initiatives of moving beside the oil industry and revolutionizing the energy industry.
In February 2019, Shell has acquired German-based home energy-storage start-up, Sonnen, for an undisclosed sum.
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