January 23, 2013
Remote microgrids target niche markets, such as mines and other commodity extraction facilities not connected to an existing grid, physical islands, rural villages in the developing world, and mobile and tactical applications for military agencies. While these remote power systems number in the thousands, many are still powered by diesel generation. Today, an increasing number of remote microgrids showcase smart and much cleaner combustion technologies capable of reducing diesel consumption by as much as one-third, even without any renewable generation. Click to tweet: According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the total worldwide capacity of remote microgrids will grow from 286 megawatts (MW) in 2013 to nearly 980 MW in 2020.
Under a more aggressive scenario, total capacity will reach 1,071 MW in 2020, the study concludes.
“Operating in isolation from the wider power grid, remote microgrids are multiplying thanks to a combination of factors, including high costs for existing energy services in many parts of the world and declining costs for solar photovoltaics and other renewable distributed energy generation technologies,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “These systems tend to be the most lucrative of current microgrid opportunities, in terms of per-megawatt vendor revenues, and while the majority of remote microgrids are being deployed in the developing world, activity is also increasing in Europe and North America.”
In many cases, the most advanced creative controls technology approaches for microgrids are being pioneered with off-grid distribution networks. ABB, for instance, has combined a flywheel to provide frequency stabilization and a robust inverter with its own supervisory controls, enabling it to offer state-of-the-art optimization to grid-tied microgrids that feature high penetrations of renewables. Other remote microgrid innovators, such as Younicos, claim the ability to achieve 100 percent renewable penetration within remote microgrids.
The report, “Remote Microgrids”, analyzes the global market for remote microgrids in four key segments: commodity extraction, physical islands, village electrification, and remote military. The study provides an analysis of the market issues, including business cases, opportunities, and implementation challenges, associated with remote microgrids. Global market forecasts for capacity and revenue, broken out by segment and region, extend through 2020. The report also examines the key technologies related to remote microgrids, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.
Contact: Richard Martin
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Remote Microgrids,” is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.