Microgrids emerging as a global phenomenon

Dramatic change is occurring in the area of global microgrids and microgrid enabling technologies (MET), including diesel generators, natural gas generators, fuel cells, solar photovoltaic (PV), distributed wind, advanced energy storage, and others, according to Navigant Research, as a greater emphasis is being placed on the economic value that these systems bring to the overall power grid and, at the same time, new business models, designed to support full commercial deployment of microgrid systems, are being investigated and implemented.

As a result of this change, Navigant predicts that vendor revenue worldwide from MET will grow from $5.5 billion annually in 2014 to $26.3 billion in 2023.

“Microgrids are emerging as a global phenomenon,” said Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research.  “These systems offer compelling features, including the ability to isolate themselves from the utility distribution system during power outages, as well as a high capacity to integrate diverse distributed energy resources, such as wind, solar PV, and conventional generation from diesel generators.”

The value proposition for advanced energy storage has been moved ahead by governments and regulators in key microgrid markets and Navigant expects advanced energy storage to represent the single largest investment category among MET options by 2023, although distributed generation investments as a whole are on track to remain the largest segment.

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