Microgrids, which are smart grid networks for integrating distributed energy generation from both renewable and fossil fuel resources, are proliferating around the world in a variety of forms. Microgrids may be grid-tied or remote and are utilized in several key application segments including commercial, community, institutional, military, and remote installations. According to a new tracker report from Pike Research, one of the most significant changes in the nascent microgrid market in 2011 was the beginning of a shift away from pilot projects and toward full-scale commercial microgrids.
“A wide range of electricity users are demonstrating strong demand for power generation and distribution systems that can be operated independently from the utility grid,” says senior analyst Peter Asmus. “A few of the market drivers include concerns about grid reliability, rising costs of fuel, broader availability of distributed generation technologies, and a drop in prices for some nontraditional energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Microgrids are now emerging from the experimental stage and are being commercialized at greater scale and for an increasing variety of deployment applications.” Continue reading