Fledgling industries sometimes give a pass to jurisdictions as they strive to create market knowledge and good will. Once momentum is achieved but roadblocks remain, it seems perfectly fair to offer constructive criticisms and evaluations for better paths forward, particularly if the service offered provides a mission-critical value.
Microgrids do that. This week, we covered advocacy group Think Microgrid’s State Scorecard, which gives grades to all the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Think Microgrid is clearly pro-industry, but you’ll find the report is not afraid to evaluate critically at the policy level. Only four states rated above average grades in the Scorecard, garnering Bs, while nearly all were handed out Cs and a handful with Ds. No As in the bunch. Tough taskmaster.
Clearly, the microgrid industry has made great strides over the past 20 years and, in particular, the last five years. Distributed energy and microgrid capacity is booming, and yet some states’ regulatory and utility entities are uncertain about how to maximize the potential for microgrids, sometimes even impeding the momentum.
You’ll see that the Think Microgrid report is not political, and the rankings of some states will surprise you. It’s the group’s goal to evenly evaluate where states are and perhaps nudge them to move in more positive directions to elevate microgrids from fledgling to mission critical, which they are.
The United States Air Force and other military branches certainly “think microgrid.” A cursory search of Microgrid Knowledge will pull up close to a dozen recent stories on new microgrids at bases all around the nation and world.
The military gets the value of microgrids and is committed to pouring funds into installations to protect its energy needs. The scorecard is simply trying to inspire many states to do better and realize their full potential.