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Distributed generation capabilities of the national energy modeling system

Description: This report describes Berkeley Lab's exploration of how the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) models distributed generation (DG) and presents possible approaches for improving how DG is modeled. The on-site electric generation capability has been available since the AEO2000 version of NEMS. Berkeley Lab has previously completed research on distributed energy resources (DER) adoption at individual sites and has developed a DER Customer Adoption Model called DER-CAM. Given interest in this area, Berkeley Lab set out to understand how NEMS models small-scale on-site generation to assess how adequately DG is treated in NEMS, and to propose improvements or alternatives. The goal is to determine how well NEMS models the factors influencing DG adoption and to consider alternatives to the current approach. Most small-scale DG adoption takes place in the residential and commercial modules of NEMS. Investment in DG ultimately offsets purchases of electricity, which also eliminates the losses associated with transmission and distribution (T&D). If the DG technology that is chosen is photovoltaics (PV), NEMS assumes renewable energy consumption replaces the energy input to electric generators. If the DG technology is fuel consuming, consumption of fuel in the electric utility sector is replaced by residential or commercial fuel consumption. The waste heat generated from thermal technologies can be used to offset the water heating and space heating energy uses, but there is no thermally activated cooling capability. This study consists of a review of model documentation and a paper by EIA staff, a series of sensitivity runs performed by Berkeley Lab that exercise selected DG parameters in the AEO2002 version of NEMS, and a scoping effort of possible enhancements and alternatives to NEMS current DG capabilities. In general, the treatment of DG in NEMS is rudimentary. The penetration of DG is determined by an economic cash-flow analysis that determines adoption ...
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: LaCommare, Kristina Hamachi; Edwards, Jennifer L. & Marnay, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department