Microgrid Markets: Moving Beyond Critical Infrastructure
Thursday, July 11th, 2013, 9:30am - 12:00pm EDT / Streamed Panel Discussion: 7:00am - 8:30am PDT / 10:00pm - 11:30pm EDT / 16:00 - 17:30 (Paris-Brussels)
According to a recent report by Navigant research, microgrid projects have ramped up in 2013 to represent 3,800 MW of in progress or operating capacity worldwide, with 2,505 MW in North America alone. Deployment is also “expected to rise from $10 billion in 2013 to more than $40 billion annually by 2020” (source). Though smaller in scale than the centralized electricity system we know, microgrids consists of the same essential generation, distribution, and regulation components as all such systems. Growth in the sector will therefore bring market opportunities for all players (e.g. energy developers, grid operators, utilities, technology providers, investors, etc.) in this space.
Conducive to renewable assets integration and smart grid technologies, microgrids are cited as a building block of the Perfect Power System by the Galvin Electricity Initiative, and will contribute immensely to grid modernization and the essential move towards smart infrastructure. Currently, microgrids see applications in four main segments: campus/institutional, Commercial and Industrial, Defense and Military base, Community and utility, Island and remote “off-grid”. In addition to the to the energy self-reliance they provide in these applications, microgrids can also, via their connection with the main grid, lend stability and contribute to demand smoothing. Despite such advantages, microgrids will face obstacles in their compatibility with incumbent utilities as well as other market barriers.
In this meeting, we will examine the growing microgrids market and their move to becoming a viable solution in the mainstream energy market.
- What current microgrid projects are operating? What are in the pipeline?
- Which are the most successful cases and why?
- What is the investment landscape for microgrid projects? How are they being funded?
- In which sector are microgrids most popular?
- What unique technological or operational difficulties face microgrids?
- How are the biggest barriers to their adoption?
- What specific advantages and disadvantages do microgrids bring to the community? To the grid at large?