The microgrid market has grown exponentially in recent years, with many in the energy sector relying on the theory of a decentralized grid, and many municipalities offering grants for just that.
For example, as part of a national grid modernization initiative, South Carolina’s Duke Energy has received a portion of a $7.2 million federal grant for a three-year project involving the Anderson Civic Center Microgrid.
In January, the International District Energy Association called for more focus and energy being put towards district cooling systems and microgrids.
In recent years, microgrids have become bigger business in general. Microgrid Knowledge reported that global annual revenue from microgrids rose 29% between 2015 and 2016. And Navigant Research predicted that the worldwide microgrid research market will reach almost $20 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
The five most commonly used classes of microgrids are commercial and industrial, institutional and campus, community and utility, remote off-grid, and military, according to a report by Deloitte. Earlier this year, the US military announced plans to conduct a microgrid demonstration in Michigan as a way to ensure that nearby military centers maintain power during an emergency.
The US Army is even on board with microgrids. In March, Army is using clean energy projects to begin targeting resiliency through microgrids, executive director of the US Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives Michael F. McGhee said at the recent Microgrid Global Innovation Forum in Washington, DC.
“We have a host of projects that were set up initially to kickstart the transition to a clean energy economy. But we are trying to convert those projects to be more focused on a direct resiliency contribution for the Army,” McGhee said, according to Microgrid Knowledge’s Elisa Wood.
These are merely recent snippets of how the microgrid market is making headlines. It remains to be seen how far it will go.
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