We’re hearing about the emerging microgrid market at almost every turn. Major players are quickly moving into the microgrid space: engineering firms, energy service companies, power plant and transmission developers, manufacturers, control technology companies and others.
They see a strong need for this technology in the US. Microgrids solve a host of grid problems, from providing back-up generation and power quality to offering the macrogrid ancillary services and demand response.
North America, especially the United States, is the center of what Navigant Research expects to be a $40-plus billion annual worldwide market for microgrids by 2020, up from $10 billion in 2013.
A lot of interesting discussion going on right now on our LinkedIn Group, Microgrid Knowledge.
But, Navigant says that he key to microgrid growth “now rests with greater creativity in both the public policy and business model arenas.”
Several states – California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusesetts, New Jersey, New York – are vying to attract microgrid development. They want to strengthen their power systems agains storms, foster renewable energy and energy storage, and offer the kind of reliable, premium power supply that attracts high tech industries and research facilities.
But many questions remain unanswered about the form this growing industry will take. Who will finance and build microgrids? What role will utilities play? And how will state and federal agencies regulate advanced microgrids, especially since they operate in such a unique fashion as part of the macrogrid, but also separate from it?