As the systems we rely on for vital services—like telecommunications, banking, medical care, retail, and even infrastructure—are transformed by new technologies, they are simultaneously undergoing a common shift from centralized to decentralized operation. What was once a one-way flow from provider to customer has now become a two-way flow.
Where once we consumed mass media, now we can produce social media. Where we once had to go to a central location to manage money, now we can manage it wherever we can access the internet, customizing our banking experience like never before. Before, we went to central locations to shop for standardized goods, now we can have customized goods delivered to our homes. The rise of decentralized distributed energy systems is producing a similar dynamic for energy producers and consumers.
At GE Power, we've seen the expansion of distributed energy systems reflected in the shifting expectations of our customers. They are rightly demanding the ability to have control over their energy needs through more customization, flexibility, and convenience. And we are happy to help meet these demands in the form of physical products like modular and scalable aero derivative gas turbines, customized distributed energy solutions, new energy storage technologies, and services like micro grid and grid optimization solutions.
This move toward smaller, decentralized energy systems has recently accelerated because of improved economics and the rise of digital technologies. For some geographies and applications, it can be far less expensive to install and operate with on-site power generation and micro grids than it is to achieve and maintain access to centrally-generated power. More and more cities, regions, and industries find themselves operating with a mix of centrally-generated and distributed energy resources, which sometimes represent a mix of energy technologies as well, from solar and wind to gas and even nuclear. And in both developed and developing regions, decentralized distributed power generation and energy production provide a range of benefits, such as improved access, resiliency, and efficiency. From Thailand to the French Riviera, distributed energy systems can serve both high-density populations and remote areas.
GE has been a long-time advocate of the need for smaller, decentralized energy systems as a complement to large central generation assets and grid infrastructure. This is due, in part, to our long-term commitment to developing new and more efficient distributed energy technologies.
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Shaken But Strong
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Reimagining our electricity future
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The world is transitioning from an electricity system based primarily upon large, centralized generation, transmission and distribution (T&D) technologies, to one that also embraces distributed, digitally-enhanced, and low-carbon technologies. Traditional and emerging, physical and digital, large and small, are all converging to create a new twenty-first century power network. GE is leading this transformation and co-creating the future of energy with our customers across the globe.