The community resilience microgrid (CRM) market is projected to reach $1.4 billion by 2024, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
Trying to separate CRMs from community microgrids or utility distribution microgrids (UDMs), as well as from the larger universe of microgrids in general, is an immense challenge, according to Navigant. The Community Resilience Microgrid report is the first attempt by an organization to quantify the market opportunity while also placing the CRM market segment in context with the larger market. The focus of the report is on microgrids that meet criteria for both community and resilience.
The regulatory and public policy drivers for CRMs are identical to those of the microgrid market in general. However, they are more focused on providing emergency power services to communities rather than private sector end users (data centers), national security critical infrastructure assets (military bases), or for overall grid reliability (UDMs seeking to integrate high penetrations of distributed renewables).
CRMs garner the widest public support in terms of concepts; however, they face the largest regulatory barriers. Since they require significantly more buy-in from stakeholders, their development cycle is typically longer. Furthermore, the ability to finance and finish CRMs on a fully commercial basis is challenging. Additional challenges facing the microgrid market include the following:
- Mixed customer classes, making for regulatory complexity.
- Customer equity issues, especially when utilities are involved with providing CRM services.
- Lack of grid resilience metrics and values.
- Unique financing challenges when addressing community-scale projects.
While the United States is leading the market in terms of novel policy reforms and technological innovation, China and Japan are pushing harder on near-term capacity expansion. By 2024, the Asia Pacific region is projected to represent roughly half of the total CRM market.