Decarbonization Seminar: What Kinds of Distributed Generation Technologies Defer Network Expansions?

Frank Wolak, Stanford University

online

Another presentation in MISES' decarbonization seminar series looks at different types of Distributed Generation Technologies and cites evidence from France.

Frank Wolak
Stanford University
September 20, 2021 – 05:00 – 06:15 PM (CET)
Live virtual event: please register for this talk via Zoom

Seminar Abstract
We estimate the relations­hip between distributed generation investments and hourly net injections to the distribution grid across over 2,000 substations in France between 2005 and 2018. A 1 MW increase in solar PV capacity has no statistically significant impact on the highest percentiles of the annual distribution of hourly net of injections to the distribution grid. A 1 MW increase in wind capacity is predicted to reduce the 99th percentile of the annual distribution of hourly net injections to the distribution grid by 0.037 MWh. In contrast, a 1 MW investment in a distributed small hydro, non-renewable thermal, or renewable thermal generation unit predicts an almost five times larger MWh reduction in the 99th percentile of the annual distribution of hourly net injections to the distribution grid. A 1 MW investment in distributed solar PV or wind capacity predicts substantial absolute changes in both extremes of the annual distribution of hourly ramp rates of net injections to the distribution grid. For the remaining three distributed generation technologies, a 1 MW capacity increase does not predict a non-zero change in any percentile of the annual distribution of hourly ramp rates of net injections to the distribution grid. These results argue 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 distribution network investments.

Speaker Bio
Frank A. Wolak is the Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the Department of Economics at Stanford University. His fields of specialization are Industrial Organization and Econometric Theory. His recent work studies methods for introducing competition into infrastructure industries — telecommunications, electricity, water delivery and postal delivery services — and on assessing the impacts of these competition policies on consumer and producer welfare. From January 1, 1998 to March 31, 2011, Wolak was the Chair of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator for electricity supply industry in California.  He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He currently directs the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) in the Freeman-Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies and co-directs the Natural Gas Initiative at Stanford University.   From January 2012 to December 2013, Wolak was also a member of the Emissions Market Advisory Committee (EMAC) for California’s Market for Greenhouse Gas Emissions allowances. This committee advised the California Air Resources Board on the design and monitoring of the state’s cap-and-trade market for Greenhouse Gas Emissions allowances.

Admission information
The seminar is open to the public. Registration will be open approximately two weeks before the event.
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More informationen can be found on the website of the Mannheim Institute for Sustainable Energy Studies (MISES).