There are several cliches that seek to define power. Money is power. Knowledge is power. Votes are power. In the sense of physics, there is only one equation that matters and that is power over time is energy. As has been observed many times in the past decades and, of course, most recently in Ukraine, the ability to provide energy resources offers countries with those resources a great deal of power.
If we need to rely too heavily on products produced by geopolitical and economic rivals like China to achieve our climate goals, we are basically exchanging one level of energy insecurity for another. The current global supply chain and logistics crises has laid bare the risks of relying on our economic rivals for critical energy infrastructure.
Therefore, it is critical you look carefully at where the equipment going into your next microgrid project is built.
It’s key that components like the DC:DC power electronics deployed in microgrid projects are built in US factories from components sourced largely from North American based suppliers. This approach offers a number of benefits to customers including higher product quality while offering intellectual property protection for both patented technology and trade secrets. This approach also assures a very high level of cybersecurity for interconnected products, a particularly critical feature for microgrids on military installations. At the same time, the US-made products not only support the creation of many manufacturing jobs in US facilities but in those of suppliers, be they a contract manufacturer in Ithaca, an extruder in Michigan or a sheet metal shop in New Jersey.
Hanan Fishman is president of Alencon Systems.