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Distributed generation: definition, benefits and issues


  • Guido Pepermans

    (K.U.Leuven, C.E.S. and Energy Institute)

  • Johan Driesen

    (K.U.Leuven Energy Institute)

  • Dries Haeseldonckx

    (K.U.Leuven Energy Institute)


This paper starts from the observation that there is a renewed interest in small-scale electricity generation. The authors start with a survey of existing small-scale generation technologies and then move on with a discussion of the major benefits and issues of small-scale electricity generation. Different technologies are evaluated in terms of their possible contribution to the listed benefits and issues. Small-scale generation is also commonly called distributed generation, embedded generation or decentralised generation. In a final section, an attempt is made to define the latter concepts more precisely. It appears that there is no consensus on a precise definition as the concept encompasses many technologies and applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Pepermans & Johan Driesen & Dries Haeseldonckx, 2003. "Distributed generation: definition, benefits and issues," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0308, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:etewps:ete0308

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frayer, Julia & Uludere, Nazli Z., 2001. "What Is It Worth? Application of Real Options Theory to the Valuation of Generation Assets," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(8), pages 40-51, October.
    2. Voorspools, Kris R. & Brouwers, Els A. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2000. "Energy content and indirect greenhouse gas emissions embedded in [`]emission-free' power plants: results for the Low Countries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 307-330, November.
    3. Charles D. Feinstein, Peter A. Morris and Stephen W. Chapel, 1997. "Capacity Planning Under Uncertainty: Developing Local Area Strategies for Integrating Distributed Resources," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 85-110.
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