Published Date : Dec 01, 2016
A microgrid is an energy system with distributed energy sources which, although connected to the main power grid, can also function autonomously for significant durations. It comprises systems that enable generation, storage, and demand management of energy. A microgrid serve the purpose of ensuring reliable and affordable energy security, especially for the urban population as well as commercial and industrial consumers.
According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global market for microgrid was valued at US$13.3 bn in 2015, and is expected to reach a valuation of US$35.2 bn by 2020. Here are some of the factors that are expected to drive the demand for microgrid in near future:
Vendors in the market for microgrids are continuously enhancing the network hosting capacity for renewable energy resources to extract maximum out of it, as well as commercialization of typically expensive renewable energy resources. With almost zero-carbon emissions and advancement in terms of efficiency and costs, renewable energy sources have become a popular choice for use in microgrids.
Microgrid also offer locality and selectivity economic benefits. Locality benefits are mainly ascribed to the creation of an internal over-the-grid energy market within the microgrid, wherein a microgrid generation unit could sell electricity at prices higher than wholesale electricity prices, and end consumers can buy at prices lower than the retail level. On the other hand, selectivity benefits are allied to real-time dispatch decisions, which can minimize opportunity loss and maximize opportunity profits of the microgrid.
The substantial initial cost for the deployment of microgrid is one of the primary restraint over the market growth. However, over an extended period of time, microgrid prove to be cost-efficient due to automated systems that not only generate energy but also conserve it as and when not required. Exponential urbanization across the world is prompting investors to opt for microgrid to ensure long-term gains.
Essential for Natural Disaster Prone Regions
The impact of severe weather conditions creates demand for support systems that can provide electricity during natural disasters. On-site microgrid systems can be designed to operate during tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes. These on-site microgrid systems act as a substitute to the conventional grid at the time of power outages.