What is a microgrid? Watch this video

Oct. 27, 2022
Watch “Microgrids Now,” a short video explaining microgrids and how they are a game-changer for the U.S. energy grid.

Think Microgrid, the Civil Society Institute, RMI and Millennial Action Project have released Microgrids Now, a short video explaining microgrids and how they are a game changer for the US energy grid.

The Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law on August 16 creates new tax credits and extends existing ones for technologies used within microgrids, such as solar, storage and microgrid controllers, which cut costs for microgrids. These changes, along with other impacts on microgrids in the law, will significantly affect the adoption of microgrids across the country and spur more American communities and businesses to build renewable microgrids as they seek to become more resilient through reliable and clean energy.

Microgrids Now, the video produced by the Civil Society Institute and 3 More Frames, is available at no cost to news publications and community advocates who want to embed it on their websites as they educate the public on the climate provisions of the IRA. In addition to the entire seven-minute video, news outlets can download specific shorter portions:

Surveys show that the public is ready to embrace the shift toward microgrids once they understand what they are. A study of 1,100 adults conducted in October 2021 by a bipartisan team of pollsters — Lake Research Partners and Breglio and Associates — found that after learning more about microgrids, 79% of adults favor increasing the use of microgrids.

Cameron Brooks, executive director of Think Microgrid, a microgrid advocacy organization, said, “The national grid is obsolete. There is a smarter, more resilient and reliable way to deliver power. Microgrids Now explains how microgrids work and why they are an increasingly vital part of the urgent need to modernize our electric grid and meet the demands of communities, businesses and government institutions for clean, resilient and efficient energy. We hope the video will be the go-to resource for all who want to advocate for microgrids in their communities.”

Microgrids will transform the grid while accelerating renewable energy adoption and advancing electric vehicles. They offer the additional benefit of addressing the inequities and burdens from the current energy system on the health and resiliency of communities bearing the brunt of climate change.

“Microgrids that use renewable energy can be a powerful engine for change, not only for our environment and resiliency but also for our economy. The public is ready, and support is growing,” said Pam Solo, president of the Civil Society Institute. “People understand that microgrids are crucial to resiliency, national security, savings, equity and reducing harmful climate-changing emissions.”

“For younger Americans, fewer issues are more pressing than addressing a clean and resilient energy system for a more sustainable future. Microgrids have emerged as a key intervention for forward-looking lawmakers to act on now,” said Layla Zaidane, president and CEO of the Millennial Action Project. “The information in Microgrids Now will help inform and engage our network of young, bipartisan legislators to build coalitions and pass the necessary legislation to invest in the future using today’s technologies and innovations.”

See the Microgrid Resource Page for Policymakers for more information.

Organizations that produced Microgrid Now
  • Think Microgrid is the unified voice of the microgrid industry, highlighting the role that microgrids will play in addressing grid resilience, energy equity and climate change at this unique moment in history. As unprecedented government support for climate and infrastructure programs takes center stage in the US, Think Microgrid offers a collaborative advocacy and regulatory initiative to provide education to policymakers and advance constructive dialogues that proactively address the inherent barriers embedded in legacy regulatory policy. Think Microgrid leads the conversations that will create new markets for microgrids.
  • The Civil Society Institute (CSI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization focusing on advancing civic engagement on issues that directly affect individuals and their communities. For the past decade, CSI has focused on public opinion research on energy policy and the environment and Solution Voters, those voters who insist on pragmatic and timely solutions, especially on issues related to clean water, air and climate change.
  • The Millennial Action Project (MAP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to activating a new generation of political leaders. MAP does so by identifying innovative policy options to address long-standing challenges, and by working to build post-partisan coalitions of young legislators committed to prioritizing better outcomes for their constituents and communities.
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