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Publication Title | Distributed power generation in the United States

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Distributed power generation in the United States Alexander Thornton, Carlos Rodriguez Monroy*

Department of Business Administration, School oflndustrial Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2 28006 Madrid, Spain


u e genera ion Combined heat and Dower

United States Barriers


1. Introduction

1.1. Traditional electrical grid

1.2. The state of the electrical grid

1.3. Distributed generation

2. Technology

2.1. Internal combustion engine

2.2. Combustion turbine

2.2.1. Microturbine

2.3. Steam turbine

2.4. Small-scale hydroelectric

2.5. Other

2.5.1. Fuel cell

2.5.2. Photovoltaic

2.5.3. Wind turbine

3. Applications

3.1. Emergency backup

3.2. Peak/load shaving

3.3. Base load generation

4. Economics

4.1. Combined heat and power

4.2. Reliability

4.3. Interaction with the grid

5. Environmental impact

5.1. Positive impacts

5.2. Negative impacts

6. Barriers

6.1. Technical


With electricity consumption increasing within the United States, new paradigms of delivering elec- tricity are required in order to meet demand. One promising option is the increased use of distributed power generation. Already a growing percentage of electricity generation, distributed generation locates the power plant physically close to the consumer, avoiding transmission and distribution losses as well as providing the possibility of combined heat and power. Despite the efficiency gains possible, regula- t o r s a n c j xjtilities have been reluctant to implement distributed generation, creating numerous technical, regulatory, and business barriers. Certain governments, most notable California, are making concerted efforts to overcome these barriers in order to ensure distributed generation plays a part as the country meets demand while shifting to cleaner sources of energy.

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